Germanium

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-17 (EDT)

See Also Minerals


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Germanium is a mineral which is found in the earths crust and in living things such as plants and the human body. It is important for its role in cellular oxygenation. It also appears to aid in proper immune system functioning, may help the body detoxify toxins, may treat food allergies, and may promote wound healing. The oil form is used in aromatherapy [1]. Germanium may have antiproliferative and antioxidant activity [2].

Food Sources

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The following are natural sources of germanium. For a more expansive list on food sources of specific nutrients visit Health Canada's Dietary Reference Intakes for Elements or USDA's National Nutrient Database


Uses

There are no indications for the use of supplemental Germanium. According to The Centre For Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, germanium products pose potential harm to human health [2]

Deficiency Symptoms

No proven symptoms of germanium deficiency exist.

Excess Symptoms

Large doses may injure the kidneys, liver, muscles, nerves, and brain.

Assessment Procedure

No lab tests are available to detect deficiency.

Prescribing Considerations

  • Germanium is available as Ge-132 (also known as Germanium-132, germanium sesquioxide, and bis-carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide) in capsule form. 100% pure Ge-132 is encouraged if Germanium must be used and must do so under strict medical supervision.
  • Germanium may also be present in colloidal or liquid mineral preparations [2]

Safety

  • General adverse effects: 100% pure Ge-132 supplements can cause nausea, diarrhea, and skin eruptions. Germanium dioxide and germanium lactate citrate are nephrotoxic and may cause anemia, muscle weakness, and peripheral neuropathy. Spirogermanium causes neurotoxicity and pulmonary toxicity.
  • Children: Do not use.
  • Pregnancy: Do not use.
  • Breastfeeding: Do not use.
  • Contraindications: renal failure or in those at risk of renal failure (ex. diabetics and those on potentially nephrotoxic drugs)
  • Precautions: Pure Ge-132 is not associated with renal failure, however, the possibility exists that Ge-132 products may contain compounds known to be toxic such as germanium dioxide and germanium lactate citrate and therefore is not recommended [2].

Drug Interactions

  • Drug and Other Interactions include: None are known. [1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Griffith, H. Winter (2000) Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals & Supplements: The Complete Guide, Revised Edition, MJF Books. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "griffith" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Hendler Sheldon S, Rorvik David (Editors) (2008) PDR for Nutritional Supplements, Medical Economics Company Inc. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "hendler" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Medlineplus [1]