A recent study (Kurt. 2011) published in the journal Biometals underlines that the effects of vanadium, which was named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty and fertility, Vanadis, do in fact border on those of a pharmaceutical drug. After treating rats with streptozotocin and thus inducing a metabolic profile that is generally considered an appropriate model for human type II diabetes, the researchers from the Department of Chemistry, at the University of Istanbul, supplemented the chow of their animals (control & STZ-induced type II diabetic rats) with 100mg vanadyl sulfate per kg of body weight. For an 80kg male human this would amount to a massive dose of 1.200mg vanadium sulfate per day, the consumption of which is not advisable until definitive human data on short- and especially long-term consequences are available.
|Figure 1: Blood glucose levels (mg/dl) of rats at different time-points |
(data adapted from Kurt. 2011)
Its also noteworthy that, according to the scientists, the administration of vanadium also reversed the pro-oxidative effects of streptozotocin-induced diabetes. I am yet not sure if this conclusion Kurt et al. base on a reduction of anti-oxidant activity in the tissue of the diabetic rats is valid. After all, the latter could also be a direct consequence of potential toxic effects of the trace mineral. Until further human data will be available, I would thus strongly advice against taking high dose vanadium supplements, even if you have type II diabetes.