Vanadium is a trace element needed for cellular metabolism and in the formation of bones, cartilage, and teeth and required for normal growth and development. Vanadium is absorbed in the intestines and stored in the liver and bones. Insulin-like effect- one study showed a 20% decrease in fasting glucose in NIDDM at 50 mg bid with no significant side effects after 1st week (GI-upset) – other positive studies as well. Vanadium was used for DM prior to 1922, when insulin was developed.
Vanadium has similar actions as chromium
Vanadium appears to have similar effects in the body as chromium, another type of trace mineral, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It is possible to get vanadyl sulfate from certain types of foods such as cereals, seafood, mushrooms, soy, corn and gelatin. Vanadium is classified as a non-essential trace mineral. Most people get an average of 15 to 30 mcg of vanadium daily from their diets, but the estimated daily requirement is 10 mcg or less.
Actions of Vanadium include:
- Mimics action of insulin on glucose uptake and metabolism in fat cells.
- Increases glucose metabolism and restores the ability of insulin to inhibit glucose production in the liver.
- Increases storage of glucose as glycogen in the muscles, promotes glycogen synthesis in muscles and aids in muscle increase and strength.
Clinical Applications Of Vanadium
- Atherosclerosis/Hypertriglyceridemia: facilitates breakdown of the fatty plaques. Vanadium deficiency causes elevated serum triglycerides levels.
- Diabetes mellitus: reduces risk of developing diabetes, helps normalise blood glucose levels, and increases insulin sensitivity. Helps insulin stimulate glucose utilisation in the peripheral tissues. 100 mg of Vanadyl Sulfate per day for three weeks improves stability of blood sugar levels. Vanadium helps to facilitate weight-loss in obesity.
- Diabetes insipidus: decreases insulin requirements in type-I diabetes.