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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Germanium
    Supplement Articles  
GERMANIUM
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)
Last Updated: September 15th, 2015

Germanium is an ultra-trace mineral with ultra-health benefits...

GERMANIUM

Germanium boosts the immune system and kills cancer cells.

This little known trace mineral can be used to treat cancer, boost immunity, improve bone health, decrease pain associated with osteoarthritis and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Clearly germanium’s health benefits are numerous. So why isn’t it better known? Germanium has been shrouded in controversy since the late 1980’s to 1990’s after reports of toxicities and deaths associated with its use. Is it safe? Read on to find out.

What is Germanium?

Germanium is considered an “ultra-trace mineral” because it is present in all living plant and animal matter in very small, micro-trace quantities. At this time it is not considered an essential mineral for living organisms. Germanium supplements first became popular in the 1980’s and ever since there has been a great deal of confusion surrounding the safety of this trace mineral. To clear up this confusion, an understanding of the different forms germanium is needed.

First of all, germanium is too reactive to be found in its natural, unbound form on earth. Therefore, it generally exists in two forms, either organic or inorganic. The organic forms of germanium contain carbon atoms and the inorganic forms do not. Often there is confusion surrounding the use of the word “organic” and when referring to minerals, “organic” does not refer to how it’s grown (it’s a mineral and it’s mined), organic means there are carbon atoms bonded to the germanium mineral.

It is important to know that the organic form, germanium sesquioxide (GE-132), is the safe form that is used in supplements, while the inorganic form, germanium dioxide, has been found to be toxic.

Germanium can be found in lower doses in certain minerals including: argyrodite, germanite, garlic, ginseng, aloe, onions, shiitake mushrooms, bran, whole wheat flour,  and comfrey. It is also a byproduct of coal combustion and zinc ore processing.

What is Germanium used for?

In animal studies, germanium sesquioxide has been shown to have anti-cancer effects, including destroying cancer cells, increasing the immune cells that kill cancer cells, reducing tumor size and protecting cells from cancer that have been exposed to carcinogens. Human studies have yet to be done, but initial research is promising. It has potential use in various types of cancers including leukemia, breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers.

Germanium sesquioxide has been shown to boost immunity in a number of animal studies and has been shown to be antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic. It can be used to boost immunity in AIDS and has been shown to reduce symptoms caused by the Epstein - Barr virus.

It is also used to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, to reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and to treat diseases of the eye such as glaucoma and cataracts. It has been used to treat heavy metal poisoning from mercury and cadmium and has been used to increase oxygen circulating to the brain.

What’s the controversy about?

The controversy surrounding germanium has to do with the toxicity associated with inorganic forms of germanium. Studies have shown that germanium dioxide, an inorganic form of germanium, is toxic and can cause kidney failure, liver damage and death. However, the pure organic form of germanium, germanium sesquioxide, is considered safe and there are no reports of toxicity occurring from it. One case study showed no adverse effects with supplementation of low dose germanium sesquioxide after four years.

Interestingly, germanium sesquioxide is water soluble, is rapidly removed from the blood and does not accumulate in body tissues. However inorganic germanium has been shown to accumulate in body tissues, causing systemic toxicity.

How do you use it?

Pure organic germanium sesquioxide (GE-132) is available in capsules for supplementation. You should purchase supplemental germanium only from reputable manufacturing companies to ensure you are getting pure organic germanium sesquioxide, with out potential contamination with inorganic germanium forms.

GERMANIUM QUICK FACTS

SOURCES

Food sources (trace amounts) include garlic and Siberian ginseng

APPLICATIONS

Immune stimulant, cancer, AIDS, antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma, cataracts, heavy metal poisoning

DOSAGE

At this time there are no clinical trials showing effective optimum dosage. Low doses, 50-200mg daily of pure germanium sesquioxide are considered safe.

WORKS WELL WITH

Vitamin C, probiotics

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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Inorganic germanium dioxide is toxic, however organic germanium sesquioxide is non-toxic. Do not use in pregnancy or breastfeeding.

For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.

All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2015.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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