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      Hydrogeochemical and biomedical insights into germanium potential of curative waters: a case study of health resorts in the Sudetes Mountains (Poland)

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          Abstract

          Germanium is considered to be a non-essential element; however, little is still known about its significance for living organisms. It exerts prophylactic and therapeutic effects in the treatment of serious diseases such as cancer, HIV infection, and others. Germanium does not exhibit acute toxicity, but, as it tends to accumulate in various organs and tissues, undesirable and even dangerous side effects have been reported after prolonged and/or high dosage application. In general, inorganic compounds of germanium are more toxic than its organic compounds. Further studies should be performed to elucidate the exact molecular mechanism of germanium action, to determine the safe and effective dose of germanium via curative/mineral waters, and to understand the applications and benefits of using germanium-enriched waters in balneotherapy. The geochemistry of curative (cold CO 2-rich, thermal) waters from spas in the Sudetes (Poland) was clarified in terms of components and mineral phases which might govern germanium. Germanium and silicon in thermal (above 20 °C) waters presumably result from the solubility of silicates in crystalline (granites, gneisses) aquifer rocks and might be controlled by neo-formed quartz. The cold CO 2-rich waters revealed a significant diversity of aqueous chemistry and relationships of germanium with iron, silicon, or arsenic. Locally, both in sedimentary (sandstones) and metamorphic (gneisses) aquifer rocks, primary (silicates) and/or secondary (oxides) iron-containing minerals likely release germanium into solution. In the CO 2-rich waters of the western part of the Kłodzko Region, germanium distinctly correlates with arsenic. It is hypothesized that both elements are co-sourced from crystalline basement and/or migration of substances of post-magmatic origin along deep-seated dislocations related to the seismically active Poříčí-Hronov fault zone. This area was proposed as the most prospective one for finding waters rich in germanium in the Sudetes.

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          The online version of this article (10.1007/s10653-017-0061-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                +48 22 5540522 , d.r.dobrzynski@uw.edu.pl
                Journal
                Environ Geochem Health
                Environ Geochem Health
                Environmental Geochemistry and Health
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                0269-4042
                1573-2983
                3 January 2018
                3 January 2018
                2018
                : 40
                : 4
                : 1355-1375
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1937 1290, GRID grid.12847.38, Department of Hydrogeochemistry and Groundwater Dynamics, Faculty of Geology, , University of Warsaw, ; Zwirki i Wigury 93, 02-089 Warsaw, Poland
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1033 7158, GRID grid.411484.c, Department of Medical Chemistry, I Faculty of Medicine, , Medical University of Lublin, ; Chodźki 4a, 20-093 Lublin, Poland
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0000 9290 9879, GRID grid.265050.4, Department of Biology, , Toho University Faculty of Medicine, ; 5-21-16, Oomori-nishi, Oota-ku, Tokyo 143-8540 Japan
                Article
                61
                10.1007/s10653-017-0061-0
                6061135
                29299858
                59f5761a-4dd9-4453-8dc9-e1052f1fecfe
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                History
                : 24 January 2017
                : 22 December 2017
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                © Springer Nature B.V. 2018

                germanium geochemistry,curative water,mineral water,therapeutic use,germanium metabolism,poland

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