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.
Overview InformationGermanium 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 & 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.
- Osteoporosis (weak bones).
- Low energy.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Heart disease.
- Liver problems.
- Food allergies.
- Yeast infections.
- Viral infections.
- Heavy metal poisoning.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyGermanium 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.
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.
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.
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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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- Vogelzang NJ, Gesme DH, Kennedy BJ. A phase II study of spirogermanium in advanced human malignancy. Am J Clin Oncol 1985;8:341-4.. View abstract.
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- 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.
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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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