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CHAPTER 11
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Germanium - The Health & Life Enhancer

PREFACE    |   INTRODUCTION   |   CHAPTER 1   |   CHAPTER 2   |   CHAPTER 3   |   CHAPTER 4   |   CHAPTER 5   |   CHAPTER 6   |   CHAPTER 7   |   CHAPTER 8   |   CHAPTER 9   |   CHAPTER 10   |   CHAPTER 11   |   CHAPTER 12   |   CHAPTER 13   |   CHAPTER 14   |   CHAPTER 15   |   REFERENCES

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Safety Of Organic Germanium Products


The Exemplary Record Of Organic Germanium's Safety

There is a long and drawn-out process of testing required in order for a substance to be marketed as a drug. This involves efficacy tests in animals, elaborate toxicity studies in animals, teratogenic studies in animals, testing on human volunteers, then a tier of clinical trials in humans. These requirements, in addition to providing the public some assurance of safety, also contribute to the long lead time and enormous expense of new product development.

All the Organic Germanium compounds discussed here - Sanumgerman, Ge-132 and Spirogermanium - have been subjected to rigorous testing, including all the above steps, and have been found to be virtually non-toxic, except that Spirogermanium has been found to cause transient nervous side-effects. At present, Spirogermanium is being developed for use as a drug, while Sanumgerman and Ge-132 are available as nutritional supplements. This may change in the future; it is possible that organic Germanium may become classified as a prescription drug at higher doses.

Organic Germanium is also somewhat unusual, although by no means unique, in that its creator, Dr. Asai tested the initially synthesized product on himself, cured his arthritis, and distributed it to others who also were therapeutically helped. Then extensive testing was carried out, which confirmed the empirical and insightful determinations that this substance was non-toxic. That organic Germanium is a naturally-occurring substance and could be regarded as a food supplement, made this approach feasible and probably accelerated the research and clinical findings many-fold. If organic Germanium had been initially viewed as a new drug, it probably would have had to undergo years of animal tests before being given to humans for testing.

What Happens To Organic Germanium In The Body

Organic Germanium compounds are rapidly absorbed and eliminated from the body without undergoing metabolic alteration. Studies have been performed which trace the route that organic Germanium follows in its "trip" through the body (59,71). The studies performed with the various compounds have yielded essentially similar data with respect to absorption, distribution and elimination rates from the body, and the following incorporates the data from all the compounds.

Within one hour of administration, 50% of the compound is in the gastrointestinal tract; after twelve hours, only 5% is there. Organic Germanium is resorbed by the vena portae. One hour after administration, 50% is in the vena portae; after 8 hours, this figure rises to 85%, and by twelve hours, it is quasi complexed. Serum plasma levels reach a maximum two hours after administration; in eight hours, Germanium is reduced by 80% of the maximum.

Organic Germanium, administered orally, has also been shown to be absorbed by about 30%, distributed evenly throughout the body, leaving almost no residual concentration after twelve hours. It is excreted, unchanged metabolically, in the urine in twenty-four hours. Germanium is ubiquitously distributed in all organs - there are no specific taget organs, and no differences in distribution patterns detected between sexes.

Organic Germanium is also eliminated at quite a rapid, linear rate, of approximately 8% of the dose per hour, during the first eight hours. It is completely eliminated after three days, mainly via the kidneys (85%). Germanium is soluble in the interstitial fluids, and is not protein-bound. Germanium does not accumulate in any organ (see, however, below) - no Germanium can be found in animals one week after their removal from treatment.

Animal Toxicity Studies

Animal toxicity studies measure doses and effects of a substance administered and determine levels at which damage, or indeed death occur. Sanumgerman and Ge-132 and were both found to be totally nontoxic when administered orally, up to 3.4 g/kg and 10g/kg respectively in mice and rats (2,86). This is a huge amount of organic Germanium, which was not found to cause any abnormal effects which could be detected.

Chronic toxicity studies were carried out in rats for 6 months with both Ge-132 and Sanumgerman (2,86), with the animals receiving varying doses of the respective organic Germanium compound. At the termination of the study, an extensive range of parameters was measured, to assess whether the administration of organic Germanium over a protracted period caused any abnormalities. These parameters included general condition, appearance, behaviour, motor activity, appetites, body weight, biochemical assays of blood serum, hemoglobin, red cells, leukocytes, platelets, weight of internal organs, macroscopic and microscopic appearance of internal organs, respiration, blood pressure, intestinal tonus and contractility. In totally independent studies, performed in different parts of the world, with both these organic Germanium compounds, no abnormalities in any of these parameters were found.

Human Toxicity Studies

In human clinical trials with healthy volunteers, as well as patients who have participated in all the studies described throughout this book, the toxicity of the particular organic Germanium compound was assessed (70). One of the outstanding features of organic Germanium is its virtual nontoxicity and its ability to be tolerated, in contrast to most highly toxic drugs. Even Spirogermanium, which seemed to generate mainly neurological symptoms, was remarked to be well tolerated. However, it is difficult to directly compare Spirogermanium to Ge-132 and Sanumgerman, because it has mainly been administered intravenously in human patients.

In the large number of case histories and clinical trials reported, there are very few reports of any symptomology developing as a result of oral organic Germanium administration.
Taken orally, organic Germanium is highly safe.

Teratogenic Studies

Teratogenic studies assess any damage to developing foetuses that is cause by administration of a substance to pregnant mothers. Ge-132 has been assessed for teratogencity with mice, rats and rabbits; Sanumgerman (an older formulation) with rats. For both these organic Germanium compounds, there were no noted abnormalities to the pregant females. With some doses of both these compounds, there were some differences in the weight of fetuses and the ratio of absorbed fetuses, and skeletal abnormalities were observed (2,22). Skeletal malformations also occurred in the control group.

It is difficult to accurately extrapolate between animals and humans. In teratogenic studies, animals are often given rather high doses of a substance, higher than a human would probably ingest. However, despite Dr. Asai's assertions of the benefits of taking organic Germanium during pregnancy, the demonstration of even slight teratogenic activity in animals should be borne in mind when considering taking any substance during pregnancy.

Toxicity Of Contaminated Organic Germanium Compounds

There is a single report in the literature of a woman who had been taking a Germanium compound over a protracted period, who died of renal failure (75). This woman had been taking 600 mg per day of a Germanium compound for over eighteen months as an elixir. Following her death, analysis of the compound revealed mainly Germanium dioxide (GeO2), with some organic Germanium compound. An autopsy revealed gross cellular abnormalities of kidney tissue and an increased accumulation of Germanium in several organs. It was not possible to determine whether the Germanium compound had caused renal failure, or whether renal failure had caused the accumulation of the Germanium, since Ge is eliminated mainly by the kidneys.

Study of the older toxicity literature, spanning the 1920's to the 1950's which investigated the toxicity of mainly inorganic Germanium (42,84,90-91,114), reveals that, properly buffered and administered in sub-lethal doses, inorganic Germanium is not always damaging; however, in some cases, shock and death occurred to animals administered inorganic Germanium. This Japanese woman had been taking a compound composed mainly of inorganic Germanium, and had suddenly taken ill and died. Although this is the only reported case ever of the accumulation of Germanium, it should not be dismissed necessarily as coincidence; it should be borne in mind that inorganic forms of Germanium may be toxic in high doses.

Organic Germanium Is Safe

The rigorous tests described above demonstrate the safety of taking even very large doses of organic Germanium. Doses of more than 10g/kg body weight produced no damaging effects in rats. A very large therapeutic dose, administered for cancer patients may be 1g per day, obviously much less than that given the rat.
Many of the most common substances we ingest, including aspirin, and even some supplements, such as selenium, have toxic properties. It is said that if many of our older medications were forced to undergo the rigours of present-day testing, they would fail. In light of this, apart from the suggested caution during pregnancy, organic Germanium, even taken at high dosages, is certainly safe.

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