Vanadium is an essential trace mineral for a select group of life forms, including rats, chickens, a number of sea creatures, some macrofungi, and certain microorganisms (primarily diazotrophs). However, its importance in human nutrition remains to be conclusively determined. Studies in animal models show that vanadium mimics insulin in diminishing hyperglycemia and improving insulin secretion, and it appears to inhibit the activity of select enzymes. Although its precise function in humans is unknown, vanadium is thought to play a role in supporting iodine metabolism and thyroid function.
The total absorption of ingested vanadium is generally below five percent (5%). The best food sources include mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper, parsley, dill seed, and certain prepared foods.
There is currently no evidence of adverse effects associated with vanadium intake from food. Consequently, there is also no established upper limit (UL).