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, Sesquioxyde de Germanium, Spirogermanium.


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 & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of germanium for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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Side Effects

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

Spirogermanium, a specific form of germanium, is POSSIBLY SAFE when injected intravenously (by IV) in recommended amounts by a licensed professional. Propagermanium, another form of germanium, is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in recommended doses for up to 7 months.

Germanium is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in elemental form and in the form of certain compounds such as germanium oxide and germanium lactate-citrate. 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.


Furosemide (Lasix)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

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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Komuro, T., Kakimoto, N., Katayama, T., and Hazato, T. Inhibitory effects of Ge-132 (carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide) derivatives on enkephalin-degrading enzymes. Biotechnol.Appl.Biochem. 1986;8(5):379-386. View abstract.

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Kumano, N., Ishikawa, T., Koinumaru, S., Kikumoto, T., Suzuki, S., Nakai, Y., and Konno, K. Antitumor effect of the organogermanium compound Ge-132 on the Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) in C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Tohoku J Exp.Med. 1985;146(1):97-104. View abstract.

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Matsusaka T, Fujii M, Nakano T, et al. Germanium-induced nephropathy: report of two cases and review of the literature. Clin Nephrol 1988;30:341-5.. View abstract.

McMaster, M. L., Greco, F. A., Johnson, D. H., and Hainsworth, J. D. An evaluation of combination 5-fluorouracil and spirogermanium in the treatment of advanced colorectal carcinoma. Invest New Drugs 1990;8(1):87-92. View abstract.

Ming, X., Yin, H., and Zhu, Z. [Effect of dietary selenium and germanium on the precancerous lesion in rat glandular stomach induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine]. Zhonghua Wai Ke.Za Zhi. 1996;34(4):221-223. View abstract.

Mizushima, Y., Shoji, Y., and Kaneko, K. Restoration of impaired immunoresponse by germanium in mice. Int.Arch.Allergy Appl.Immunol. 1980;63(3):338-339. View abstract.

Mrema, J. E., Slavik, M., and Davis, J. Spirogermanium: a new drug with antimalarial activity against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Int.J Clin.Pharmacol Ther.Toxicol. 1983;21(4):167-171. View abstract.

Nagata, N., Yoneyama, T., Yanagida, K., Ushio, K., Yanagihara, S., Matsubara, O., and Eishi, Y. Accumulation of germanium in the tissues of a long-term user of germanium preparation died of acute renal failure. J.Toxicol.Sci. 1985;10(4):333-341. View abstract.

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.

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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.

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Schroeder, H. A. and Balassa, J. J. Abnormal trace metals in man: germanium. J.Chronic.Dis. 1967;20(4):211-224. View abstract.

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Suzuki, F. and Pollard, R. B. Prevention of suppressed interferon gamma production in thermally injured mice by administration of a novel organogermanium compound, Ge-132. J Interferon Res 1984;4(2):223-233. View abstract.

Takeuchi A, Yoshizawa N, Oshima S, et al. Nephrotoxicity of germanium compounds: report of a case and review of the literature. Nephron 1992;60:436-42.. View abstract.

Tanaka, N., Ohida, J., Ono, M., Yoshiwara, H., Beika, T., Terasawa, A., Yamada, J., Morioka, S., Mannami, T., and Orita, K. [Augmentation of NK activity in peripheral blood lymphocytes of cancer patients by intermittent GE-132 administration]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1984;11(6):1303-1306. 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.

Van der Spoel, J. I., Stricker, B. H., Schipper, M. E., de Bruijn, W., de Smet, P. A., and Esseveld, M. R. [Toxic damage of kidney, liver and muscle attributed to the administration of germanium-lactate-citrate]. Ned.Tijdschr.Geneeskd. 6-22-1991;135(25):1134-1137. View abstract.

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