Research during the 1980’s showed that this trace mineral could lower blood sugar levels.

Now, 2 decades later, we’re still waiting for rigorous research in humans, according to reviewers from the University of Southampton, in the UK.

First, the details.

  • The reviewers included studies where the effects of vanadium were compared to placebo in adults with type 2 diabetes.
  • There had to be at least 20 participants in each study.

And, the results.

  • 151 studies were found, but none met the inclusion criteria.
  • Based on what was available, 30 mg to 150 mg of vanadium taken daily in people with diabetes seemed to have some effect on blood sugar levels, but the studies were so poorly designed that the results must viewed cautiously.
  • Treatment with vanadium often resulted in gastrointestinal side effects.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that when it comes to diabetes, “The routine use of vanadium… cannot be recommended.”

A product called Vanadyl is sold to treat diabetes; and in Italy, vanadium is among the 10 most frequently recommended dietary supplements by herbalists for diabetes treatment.

More about vanadium can be found in this review by John Walsh, a physician’s assistant and certified diabetes educator.

4/26/09 19:30 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.