Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vanadium appears to play role in speeding recovery from infections

12.10.2005


Dietary supplements containing vanadium are used by body builders to help beef up muscles and by some diabetic people to control blood sugar. New research now suggests the naturally occurring but easily toxic element may help prepare the body to recover speedily from infections from gram-negative organisms such as E. coli.



In research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, scientists are trying to understand how recovery might be encouraged and why people with diabetes tend to have lingering behavioral symptoms such as fatigue and apathy long after many infections end.

Their latest research found that mice given vanadium -- in its typical vanadyl sulfate form -- before exposure to a pathogen sped recovery in both diabetic and non-diabetic animals. They also tested pre-treatment with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which vanadium mimics, but only the non-diabetic mice recovered quickly after exposure.


The new paper appeared on line Oct. 10 ahead of regular journal publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers Daniel R. Johnson, a doctoral student, and Dr. Gregory Freund, head of the pathology department in the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, don’t suggest adding vanadium supplements to everyday diets. However, they said, the findings raise questions about just how it works and how it might be useful in speeding recovery.

The amount of vanadium used in the study was comparable to that found in nutritional supplements. While its nutritional value is unclear, the body needs an estimated 10 to 20 micrograms a day and obtains it mostly from plant material. Vanadium in much higher levels becomes toxic. Its use for building muscles has not been confirmed, but vanadium has improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar in diabetic people.

In their research, Johnson first administered a low dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule present on E. coli and other gram-negative bacteria, to both diabetic and non-diabetic mice after they had been given IGF-1. Non-diabetic mice recovered more quickly than diabetic mice, suggesting, he said, an insulin resistance state in the diabetic animals.

Next, experimental mice were pre-treated with vanadyl sulfate before exposure to LPS. Recovery after illness of the vanadium-treated mice, diabetic or not, was 50 percent faster than that of the untreated control mice.

"With vanadyl sulfate being like IGF-1, we expected to see resistance in the diabetic animals, but we didn’t see that," Johnson said. "We saw similar improvement. Thus it must have been acting through a different pathway than do IGF-1 or insulin."

Johnson and Freund, also an adjunct professor of animal sciences and a researcher in the immunophysiology and behavior program at Illinois, theorize it may be vanadium’s metal-related shape or its ability to inhibit tyrosine phosphatases, which help to modulate signaling proteins, in the immune system. Freund and colleagues last year documented a connection between serine phosphorylation and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

"Diabetes affects millions of people," Freund said. "It is hard to overcome many of the problems in a nutritionally dependent fashion. This research implies that metals that are trace elements may have more importance than we realize to human health, not only in preventing diseases but also in making you feel better."

It’s possible, Johnson said, that taking vanadyl-sulfate-containing supplements beginning two weeks before possible exposure to gram-negative organisms might help speed recovery from subsequent infection.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>