Trace elements (TE) are a group of chemical elements that are contained in the tissues of the body in very small concentrations, ranging from 0.00001% to 0.01% (A.Skalniy, 2000). Even though the amount of TE that humans need are only measured in milligrams, or even thousandths of shares milligrams, that does not mean that these substances are less important than other nutrients – in fact many of these substances play a vital role in maintaining health and functioning of organs and systems. Physiological importance of TE is determined by their participation in the majority occur in the body enzyme, plastic processes and build tissues, to maintain acid-base balance, regulation of water–salt metabolism and others (Korovina N.A .et al., 2004). Therefore, a sufficient income from the body TE largely depends on the preservation of the normal state of health, efficiency, longevity and ability to actively resist the influence of a range of adverse environmental factors.


Among all the TE that were identified there is a particular group of so–called essential (indispensable) TE, where its regular flow into the body is absolutely required for normal functioning. These include: iron (Fe), iodine (J), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), cobalt (Co), molybdenum (Mo), selenium (Se), chromium (Cr), vanadium (V). In the absence or insufficient flow of essential TE, organism ceases to grow and develop, cannot carry out its biological cycle, in particular — the reproductive function. Injection of the missing element eliminates the signs of deficiency, and returns body vitality. (Skalniy A.V. 2000). TE deficit in the organism occurs for a number of reasons: nutritional (unbalanced diet, fasting, etc.), various diseases, both directly related to the violation of absorption in the digestive tract, and are not related, bad habits (smoking, alcohol abuse), chronic psychoemotional stress. All diseases resulting from deficiency of essential TE were taken to signify the term «TRACE ELEMENT DEFICIENCY DISEASE». However, regardless of the etiological factors causing chronic shortages of essential TE, pathogenesis resulting of this case in the variety pathological conditions, the key role plays development of the fermentopathia (see figure).



This is natural, since most of the enzymes of the human body to demonstrate its activity require the presence of essential TE. They can directly enter into the structure of the enzyme molecule as its active catalytic center, act as coenzymes to activate the biological response, serve as acceptors or donors of electrons (Tutelyan V. A., 2001; Hotimchenko S. A., Spirichev V. B., 2002).


Vanadium (Lat. Vanadium) — is the chemical element of Group V elements of the Mendeleyev periodic system. It has atomic number 23, atomic mass 50.9415. Pure vanadium is malleable solid metal silver-gray color. Density is 6.11 g/cm3, which allows it to include to heavy metals. Melting Point is 1920°C. Vanadium is named in the honor of the goddess of beauty of the ancient Scandinavians — the legendary Freya Vanadis. This element name was given in 1831 by Sefstrom Gabriel, professor of the Mining Institute in Stockholm. He identified the element of slag obtained by smelting ore in blast furnaces. The work of G. Sefstrom carried out in conjunction with his pupil Johann Jacob Bertselius. However, in reality what Sefstrom allocated from the slag is not pure metal, but solid and heat-resistant compounds — carbides of vanadium. He has received the powder black and pure vanadium — malleable metal is light gray. But it turned out, only after 1867 (after thirty years after the opening of G. Sefstrom), when vanadium and its compounds were studied by Sir Henry Edward Roscoe. In 1869, Sir Henry Roscoe was able to get the first vanadium with 96 percent purity. By removal of the remaining 4% impurities vanadium becomes more ductile and malleable. The first pure vanadium was obtained in 1927.


Vanadium prevents the development of atherosclerosis, regulates blood glucose levels, involves in bone formation, improves the condition of the teeth, and controls the cardiovascular system activity. Products that contain vanadium include: rice, oats, beans, radishes, barley, buckwheat, green salad, peas, potatoes, dill, parsley, black pepper, shellfish, meat, mushrooms, soy, wheat, olives, and gelatin, as well as unsaturated fats and vegetable oils. Vanadium is also supplied with water.


Main effects:

  • Reduce cholesterol levels — vanadium reduces the cholesterol in the liver cells and decreases in blood lipid content, accelerating their metabolism. Adequate vanadium content in the brain maintains its vessels in good condition, and prevents the development of sclerosis, prevents the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension.
  • The normalization of carbohydrate metabolism — many researchers predict great future for vanadium compounds in recent years, for the treatment of diabetes. Vanadium emulates many of the effects of insulin and its effect indirectly influences the activity of regulatory enzymes. The applicability vanadium compounds with type I diabetes allows to overcome the resistance to insulin and does not raise his dose. For patients with type II diabetes, vanadium compounds improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Regulation of water and salt balance — vanadium is involved in the cellular mechanism of regulation of "sodium pump", so it is important to maintain balance of sodium and potassium in the body that allows you to maintain normal blood pressure, reduce edema, regulate muscle and nerve tissues.
  • Antitumor — vanadium stimulates the correct division of cells, acting as antitumor tool.
  • Regulation of hematopoiesis — vanadium absorbed through the body-carrying molecules, such as those that transport iron. Therefore, the level of vanadium in the body varies in accordance with the consumption of iron and, thus, vanadium influences the level of hemoglobin in the blood.
  • Formation of bone skeleton — vanadium contributes to the accumulation of salts of calcium in the bones, involves in the formation of teeth, and makes them more resistant to tooth decay. Adequate levels of vanadium in the body prevent the deformation of the musculoskeletal system, and for the children — promotes the growth of the skeleton.


Mechanism of action


  • Vanadium enhances insulin function by inhibiting protein Tyrosine Phosphatase (PTP)1b
  • Diabetic tissues are re-sensitised to insulin
    • Restoration of G-6-P level
    • Stimulation of GLUT4 transporters in skeletal muscle
    • Decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis
  • Stabilizes beta-cells