Vanadium Supplement, Vanadyl Sulfate dosage and review of research studies, use for blood sugar control - Benefit and side effects, proper dosage by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 16, 2016

Vanadium is a mineral that can be found listed on a periodic table of the elements. Vanadium is also available as a supplement in the form of vanadyl sulfate.

Source Naturals buy Vanadyl Sulfate, Vanadium supplement 10 mg
Vanadyl sulfate is a form of the trace element vanadium, which is important for normal cell function and development. It may help maintain blood sugar levels already in the normal range.

Supplement Facts: Vanadyl Sulfate - 10 mg, yielding 2 mg Vanadium

Buy Vanadium Vanadyl sulfate to purchase, or to subscribe to a free newsletter.

Dosage: As with many supplements, particularly certain minerals, it is a good idea to take two days off each week, and a week off every month or two. Not enough long term research in humans is available with vanadium sulfate to determine the ideal dosage and frequency of use, nor the long term vanadyl sulfate side effects.


Vanadium use for diabetes
Vanadium may be helpful in diabetes or blood sugar control.

Clinical trials of both vanadate and vanadyl have been carried out in either or both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Modest improvement in glucose tolerance and/or insulin sensitivity, especially in type 2 diabetes, has been observed, although the trials have been for a short period. Treatment with sodium metavanadate at 1 mmol/day for 2 weeks resulted in significantly improved insulin sensitivities as measured by a 2-step euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp technique in type 2 diabetic subjects only. Subjects also had reductions in cholesterol levels. Type 1 diabetics had decreased insulin requirements during the treatment period. Hemoglobin A1c levels were decreased by 10% on average in both groups. Oral vanadyl sulfate at 0.5 mmol/day for 3 weeks followed by 2 weeks of placebo showed increasing insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic subjects, which was sustained during the withdrawal period. Decreases in fasting plasma glucose and percent hemoglobin A1c were also seen. Safety and efficacy were evaluated at a higher dose of vanadyl sulfate therapy for 4 weeks at 1 mmol/day, resulting in significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose by 20%, and a reduction in hepatic insulin resistance. This dose was fairly well tolerated, although 6 of 8 subjects had gastrointestinal disturbances. In 16 type 2 diabetics who were given 3 graded doses of vanadyl sulfate at 75, 150 and 300 mg/day, equivalent to 0.35, 0.70 and 1.4 mmol/day of vanadium, over a 6-week period, there were significant decreases in fasting plasma glucose and percent hemoglobin A1c, although there was no correlation between plasma vanadium and clinical response. Vanadium is a redox active element, and oxidative stress was not increased overall with vanadium treatment. In a 12-week study in weight training non-diabetic adults, vanadyl sulfate at 0.5 mg/kg/day showed a complete lack of toxic, anabolic or hematologic effects. In 11 type 2 diabetic subjects who were treated with150 mg/day of vanadyl sulfate for 6 weeks, there was a 20% reduced fasting plasma glucose, 10% reduced percent hemoglobin A1c from 8.2 to 7.6%, and a decreased fructosamine level by 16%. Vanadyl sulfate treatment also lowered plasma total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, but did not affect 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, and was well-tolerated with a progressively increased dose treatment regimen. “Vanadium Compounds in the Treatment of Diabetes,” Thompson KH, Orvig C, Met Ions Biol Syst. 2004.

In the discussion and quotes from clinical-trial authors, I see references to dosages such as "...doses of vanadyl sulfate at 75, 150 and 300 mg/day. My degree is in physics with post-grad studies in electrical engineering. As I look at the above quote and try to reconcile it with a supplement delivering 2mg/day of vanadium, to reach 75,150, or 300 mg/day would require a huge number of tablets or capsules. The value "mg/day" is "milligrams per day". Most metals in dietary supplements are "micrograms" where the "g" is preceded by the Greek letter "mu". Is this an error in your quotes that should be 75, 15 and 300 micrograms/day -- not milligrams/day? I suspect that's the case. I would greatly appreciate any clarification you can provide in this regard, as I am interested in trying vanadyl sulfate as a solution to elevated a1c levels, but don't want to get into a toxic situation.
   When short term studies are done researchers use high dosages to elicit a response that can be measured statistically. However, this does not mean that the high dosages are appropriate for long term use.

Types of Vanadium mineral
The element vanadium is found in many forms including vanadium pentoxide, vanadate, vanadium oxide and vanadyl sulfate or sulphate, the form used in supplements and it is available in health food stores and online.

Combination of vanadyl sulfate and taurine
Vanadyl sulfate, taurine, and combined vanadyl sulfate and taurine treatments in diabetic rats: effects on the oxidative and antioxidative systems.
Arch Med Res. 2007. Department of Biology, Science and Literature Faculty, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey.
Vanadyl sulfate and taurine are two promising agents in the treatment of diabetes related to their antihyperglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, and hyperinsulinemic effects. The findings of the present study suggest that Vanadyl sulfate and taurine exert beneficial effects on the blood glucose and lipid levels in STZ-NA diabetic rats. However, Vanadyl sulfate might exert prooxidative or antioxidative effects in various components of the body and taurine and Vanadyl sulfate combination might be an alternative for sole Vanadyl sulfate administration.

Vanadium Vanadyl Sulfate Research
Metabolic effects of vanadyl sulfate in humans with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: in vivo and in vitro studies.
Metabolism. 2000. Joslin Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
To investigate the efficacy and mechanism of action of vanadium salts as oral hypoglycemic agents, 16 type 2 diabetic patients were studied before and after 6 weeks of vanadyl sulfate treatment at three doses. Glucose metabolism during a euglycemic insulin clamp did not increase at 75 mg/d, but improved in 3 of 5 subjects receiving 150 mg vanadyl sulfate and 4 of 8 subjects receiving 300 mg vanadyl sulfate. Basal hepatic glucose production (HGP) and suppression of HGP by insulin were unchanged at all doses. Fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) decreased significantly in the 150- and 300-mg vanadyl sulfate groups. At the highest dose, total cholesterol decreased, associated with a decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL). There was no change in systolic, diastolic, or mean arterial blood pressure on 24-hour ambulatory monitors at any dose. There was no apparent correlation between the clinical response and peak serum level of vanadium. The 150- and 300-mg vanadyl doses caused some gastrointestinal intolerance but did not increase tissue oxidative stress as assessed by thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). In muscle obtained during clamp studies prior to vanadium therapy, insulin stimulated the tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), and Shc proteins by 2- to 3-fold, while phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity associated with IRS-1 increased 4.7-fold during insulin stimulation. Following vanadium, there was a consistent trend for increased basal levels of insulin receptor, Shc, and IRS-1 protein tyrosine phosphorylation and IRS-1-associated PI 3-kinase, but no further increase with insulin. There was no discernible correlation between tyrosine phosphorylation patterns and glucose disposal responses to vanadyl. While glycogen synthase fractional activity increased 1.5-fold following insulin infusion, there was no change in basal or insulin-stimulated activity after vanadyl. There was no increase in the protein phosphatase activity of muscle homogenates to exogenous substrate after vanadyl. Vanadyl sulfate appears safe at these doses for 6 weeks, but at the tolerated doses, it does not dramatically improve insulin sensitivity or glycemic control. Vanadyl modifies proteins in human skeletal muscle involved in early insulin signaling, including basal insulin receptor and substrate tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of PI 3-kinase, and is not additive or synergistic with insulin at these steps. Vanadyl sulfate does not modify the action of insulin to stimulate glycogen synthesis. Since glucose utilization is improved in some patients, vanadyl must also act at other steps of insulin action.

Effect of vanadium(IV) compounds in the treatment of diabetes: in vivo and in vitro studies with vanadyl sulfate and bis(maltolato)oxovandium(IV).
Journal Inorganic Biochemistry. 2001. Willsky GR, Goldfine AB, Kostyniak PJ, McNeill JH, Toxicology Research Center, SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY
Vanadyl sulfate was given orally to 16 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus for 6 weeks at a dose of 25, 50, or 100 mg vanadium daily [Goldfine et al., Metabolism 49 (2000) 1-12]. Elemental vanadium  was determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. There was no correlation of vanadium in serum with clinical response, determined by reduction of mean fasting blood glucose or increased insulin sensitivity during euglycemic clamp. To investigate the effect of administering a coordinated vanadium, plasma glucose levels were determined in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats treated with the salt Vanadyl sulfate or the coordinated vanadium compound bis (maltolato)oxo vanadium (IV) (abbreviated as VO (malto)(2)) administered by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection. There was no relationship of blood vanadium concentration with plasma glucose levels in the animals treated with Vanadyl sulfate, similar to our human diabetic patients. However, with VO(malto)(2) treatment, animals with low plasma glucose tended to have high blood vanadium. To determine if vanadium binding to serum proteins could diminish biologically active serum vanadium, binding of both Vanadyl sulfate and VO (malto)(2) to human serum albumin (HSA), human apoTransferrin (apoHTf) and pig immunoglobulin (IgG) was studied with EPR spectroscopy. Both Vanadyl sulfate and VO(malto)(2) bound to HSA and apoHTf forming different V-protein complexes, while neither vanadium compound bound to the IgG. Vanadyl sulfate and VO(malto)(2) showed differences when levels of plasma glucose and blood vanadium in diabetic rodents were compared, and in the formation of V-protein complexes with abundant serum proteins. These data suggest that binding of vanadium compounds to ligands in blood, such as proteins, may affect the available pool of vanadium for biological effects.

Safety, risk, toxicity
Is it safe to take 5mg of vanadium supplement every day? I use it to lower blood sugar?
    We can only provide general information on a supplement. The safety and decision to take it depends on the discussion with your doctor and your unique case. As a general rule it is a good idea to take breaks from use of most supplements. Long term safety is currently not well known. Minerals are more likely to cause toxicity when used in excess than vitamins.

Int J Mol Sci. 2015. Vanadium Compounds as Pro-Inflammatory Agents: Effects on Cyclooxygenases. This paper discusses how the activity and expression of cyclooxygenases are influenced by vanadium compounds at anticancer concentrations and recorded in inorganic vanadium poisonings. We refer mainly to the effects of vanadate (orthovanadate), vanadyl and pervanadate ions; the main focus is placed on their impact on intracellular signaling. We describe the exact mechanism of the effect of vanadium compounds on protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTP), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), PLCγ, Src, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades, transcription factor NF-κB, the effect on the proteolysis of COX-2 and the activity of cPLA2. For a better understanding of these processes, a lot of space is devoted to the transformation of vanadium compounds within the cell and the molecular influence on the direct targets of the discussed vanadium compounds.

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012. Dietary high vanadium causes oxidative damage-induced renal and hepatic toxicity in broilers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the renal and hepatic oxidative damage and toxicity caused by dietary high vanadium in broilers. It was concluded that dietary vanadium in the range of 30-60 mg/kg could cause oxidative damage and vanadium accumulation, which induced renal and hepatic toxicity and lesions. The renal and hepatic function was finally impaired in boilers.

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012. Dietary vanadium induces oxidative stress in the intestine of broilers. Dietary vanadium in excess of 30 mg/kg could cause obvious oxidative stress in the intestinal mucosa, which could impact the antioxidant function of intestinal tract in broilers.

Where can i get Vanadyl Sulphate in 100 mg strength?
    I have not searched for this strength but perhaps some online stores have it.

What about Vanadium Chelavite 50 mg and its effects on insulin resistance. Diabetes pulls large amounts of minerals out of the body.
            I have not seen much human studies with vanadium chelavite.