Germanium trace mineral 32, has recently become popular after being developed into an organic germanium compound in Japan. This organo-germanium, bis-carboxyethyl germanium sesqui-oxide (Ge-132), has been tested and used for the treatment of a variety of medical problems that require improved oxygenation and immune function, ranging from simple viral infections to cancer. Organo-germanium will be discussed in detail at the end of Chapter 7, Accessory Nutrients.
The trace mineral germanium itself may be needed in small amounts by the human body; however, research has not yet shown this. It is found in the soil, in foods, and in many healing plants, such as aloe vera, garlic, and ginseng. The organo-germanium currently used does not, however, release the mineral germanium to the tissues for specific action, but is absorbed, acts, and is eliminated as the entire compound, Ge-132. More research is needed to clearly understand the potential importance of both elemental germanium and the Ge-132 compound.