GERMANIUM

OTHER NAME(S):

Atomic number 32, Bis-Carboxyethyl Germanium Sesquioxide, Carboxyethylgermanium Sesquioxide, Ge, Ge-132, Ge-Oxy 132, Germanio, Germanium-132, Germanium Inorganique, Germanium Lactate Citrate, Germanium Sesquioxide, Inorganic Germanium, Numéro Atomique 32, Organic Germanium, Propagermanium, Sesquioxyde de Germanium, Spirogermanium.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Germanium is a chemical element. People use it as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, germanium is used for heart and blood vessel conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease; for eye conditions, including glaucoma and cataracts; and for liver conditions, including hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Some people use germanium for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pain, weak bones (osteoporosis), low energy, and AIDS.

Other uses include heavy metal poisoning, including mercury and cadmium poisoning; depression; cancer; food allergies; and yeast and viral infections.

Germanium is also used for increasing circulation of blood to the brain, supporting the immune system, and as an antioxidant.

How does it work?

Germanium might act against inflammation. It might also have antioxidant properties and affect the immune system.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Cancer. Researchers are interested in spirogermanium, a form of germanium, as an alternative treatment for various kinds of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer. However, early research has shown only minimal response to treatment with spirogermanium. Other early research suggests that taking propagermanium, another form of germanium, by mouth for 1-7 months might benefit people with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. Finally, in one person, all symptoms of a particular type of lung cancer went away after taking germanium sesquioxide, another form of germanium, by mouth.
  • Hepatitis B. Early research suggests that taking a specific product (Serocion, Yamanouchi, Japan) containing propagermanium by mouth for 16 weeks reduces the amount of active hepatitis virus in people with hepatitis B.
  • Arthritis.
  • Pain.
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones).
  • Low energy.
  • AIDS.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Heart disease.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Cataracts.
  • Depression.
  • Liver problems.
  • Food allergies.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Viral infections.
  • Heavy metal poisoning.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of germanium for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Germanium is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. A typical daily diet includes 0.4-3.4 mg of germanium.

Organic forms of germanium are POSSIBLY UNSAFE when injected intravenously (by IV) or when taken by mouth. Germanium compounds such as spirogermanium and propagermanium are some organic forms. These forms can build up in the body and cause serious side effects including kidney failure, multi-organ dysfunction, lung toxicity, and nerve damage.

Germanium is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in elemental form and in the form of certain compounds such as germanium oxide. There have been more than 30 reports of kidney failure and death linked with use of these forms of germanium. It builds up in the body and can damage vital organs such as the kidneys. It can also cause anemia, muscle weakness, nerve problems, and other side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Germanium is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. More than 30 deaths have been linked to using germanium. Don't use it.

Interactions

Interactions?

Minor Interaction

Be watchful with this combination

!
  • Furosemide (Lasix) interacts with GERMANIUM

    Some scientists think that germanium might decrease how well furosemide (Lasix) works. But there isn't enough information to know if this is a big concern.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of germanium depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for germanium. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • Gerber GB, Leonard A. Mutagenicity, carcinogenicity and teratogenicity of germanium compounds. Mutat Res 1997;387:141-6.. View abstract.
  • Goodman S. Therapeutic effects of organic germanium. Med Hypotheses 1988;26:207-15.. View abstract.
  • Hess B, Raisin J, Zimmermann A, et al. Tubulointerstitial nephropathy persisting 20 months after discontinuation of chronic intake of germanium lactate citrate. Am J Kidney Dis 1993;21:548-52.. View abstract.
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  • https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_139.html. Accessed Jan. 7, 2019
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  • Jao, S. W., Lee, W., and Ho, Y. S. Effect of germanium on 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced intestinal cancer in rats. Dis.Colon Rectum 1990;33(2):99-104. View abstract.
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  • Nakada, Y., Kosaka, T., Kuwabara, M., Tanaka, S., Sato, K., and Koide, F. Effects of 2-carboxythylgerumanium sesquioxide (Ge-132) as an immunological modifier of post-surgical immunosuppression in dogs. J Vet.Med.Sci. 1993;55(5):795-799. View abstract.
  • Obara, K., Saito, T., Sato, H., Yamakage, K., Watanabe, T., Kakizawa, M., Tsukamoto, T., Kobayashi, K., Hongo, M., and Yoshinaga, K. Germanium poisoning: clinical symptoms and renal damage caused by long-term intake of germanium. Jpn.J.Med. 1991;30(1):67-72. View abstract.
  • Peng X, Lingxia Z, Schrauzer GN, Xiong G. Selenium, boron, and germanium deficiency in the etiology of Kashin-Beck disease. Biol Trace Elem Res 2000;77:193-7.. View abstract.
  • Pronai, L. and Arimori, S. Protective effect of carboxyethylgermanium sesquioxide (Ge-132) on superoxide generation by 60Co-irradiated leukocytes. Biotherapy 1991;3(3):273-279. View abstract.
  • Raisin, J., Hess, B., Blatter, M., Zimmermann, A., Descoeudres, C., Horber, F. F., and Jaeger, P. [Toxicity of an organic Germanium compound: deleterious consequences of a "natural remedy"]. Schweiz.Med.Wochenschr. 1-8-1992;122(1-2):11-13. View abstract.
  • Sanai T, Okuda S, Onoyama K, et al. Germanium dioxide-induced nephropathy: a new type of renal disease. Nephron. 1990;54:53-60.. View abstract.
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  • Tsutsumi, Y., Tanaka, J., Kanamori, H., Musashi, M., Minami, H., Fukushima, A., Yamato, H., Ehira, N., Kawamura, T., Obara, S., Ogura, N., Asaka, M., Imamura, M., and Masauzi, N. Effectiveness of propagermanium treatment in multiple myeloma patients. Eur.J Haematol. 2004;73(6):397-401. View abstract.
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  • Wada T, Hanyu T, Nozaki K, et al. Antioxidant activity of Ge-132, a synthetic organic germanium, on cultured mammalian cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2018;41(5):749-753. View abstract.
  • Woolley, P. V., Ahlgren, J. D., Byrne, P. J., Priego, V. M., and Schein, P. S. A Phase I trial of spirogermanium administered on a continuous infusion schedule. Invest New Drugs 1984;2(3):305-309. View abstract.
  • Yanagisawa H, Yamazaki N, Sato G, Wada O. L-Arginine treatment may prevent tubulointerstitial nephropathy caused by germanium dioxide. Kidney Int 2000;57:2275-84.. View abstract.
  • Yang MK, Kim YG. Protective role of germanium-132 against paraquat-induced oxidative stress in the livers of senescence-accelerated mice. J Toxicol Environ Health A 1999;58:289-97.. View abstract.
  • Asaka T, Nitta E, Makifuchi T, et al. Germanium intoxication with sensory ataxia. J Neurol Sci 1995;130:220-3.. View abstract.
  • Aso, H., Suzuki, F., Yamaguchi, T., Hayashi, Y., Ebina, T., and Ishida, N. Induction of interferon and activation of NK cells and macrophages in mice by oral administration of Ge-132, an organic germanium compound. Microbiol.Immunol. 1985;29(1):65-74. View abstract.
  • Becker BN. Ginseng-induced diuretic resistance. JAMA 1996;276:606-7. View abstract.
  • Budman DR, Schulman P, Vinciguerra V, Degnan TJ. Phase I trial of spirogermanium given by infusion in a multiple-dose schedule. Cancer Treat Rep 1982;66:173-5.. View abstract.
  • DiMartino, M. J., Lee, J. C., Badger, A. M., Muirhead, K. A., Mirabelli, C. K., and Hanna, N. Antiarthritic and immunoregulatory activity of spirogermanium. J Pharmacol Exp.Ther. 1986;236(1):103-110. View abstract.
  • Ettinger DS, Finkelstein DM, Donehower RC, et al. Phase II study of N-methylformamide, spirogermanium, and 4-demethoxydaunorubicin in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (EST 3583): an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group study. Med Pediatr Oncol 1989;17:197-201.. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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