Some of the important sources if germanium are
- Mushrooms (especially shitake)
It is no surprise that the dietary sources rich in germanium are those that are used routinely by traditional medicine, such as garlic, ginseng, comfrey and mushrooms. It is also a powerful analgesic, which enhances the effects of the body’s own endorphins.
Benefits of germanium
It plays many important functions in the body though it is a trace element. Some of the important functions it plays in the human body are given below:
- Antiviral activity
- Powerful antioxidant
- Anticancer properties
- Enhances oxygen supply to tissues
- May protect against osteoporosis
- Germanium seems to be particularly effective in enhancing the body’s natural resistance to viruses.
Many disease states, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, immune system dysfunction and cancer have all been shown to respond to germanium therapy.
Deficiency symptoms of germanium
Although germanium deficiency per se is not recognized, a lack of germanium is associated with infection and immune disorders, heart disease and high cholesterol, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and many other conditions.
Germanium is present in many natural foods, comprising around 1mg/day in an average western diet. High intakes of synthetic germanium (50-250mg/day) have been shown to be detrimental to health, although this seems to depend on the form taken.
Some other points
Whilst organic germanium (germanium sesquioxide) and germanium lactate citrate seem to be fairy safe, germanium dioxide has been associated with permanent kidney damage.
It was this knowledge that prompted regulatory bodies to ban ALL forms of germanium on a “tar them all with the same brush” approach that led to its withdrawal for the treatment of AIDS patients, despite the fact that the alternatives not only kill AIDS patients but they may even be responsible for it in the first place.
Germanium supplements are now not easily available and it should be sought through dietary sources.