SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. Many studies have shown that vanadium has insulin-like effects in the liver, skeletal muscle and fat tissue. Animal studies have shown that vanadium improves glucose metabolism and stimulates glycogen formation. What is much less clear is whether vanadium supplementation is of actual benefit to patients with type 2 diabetes. A team of American and Argentine researchers now provides at least a preliminary answer to this question. Their recently reported clinical trial involved 11 patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients were given 150 mg/day of vanadyl sulfate (50 mg with breakfast, lunch and dinner) for a six-week period. The treatment significantly improved glycemic control. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) decreased from 194 to 155 mg/dL (a 20 per cent drop), hemoglobin A1c decreased from 8.1 to 7.6 per cent, and fructosamine decreased from 348 to 293 micromol/L (a 16 per cent drop). As an added benefit the treatment also lowered total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) levels by 9 per cent. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol level and blood pressure were not affected by the vanadyl sulfate supplementation. The researchers conclude that vanadium supplementation is well tolerated and improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients.
Cusi, K., et al. Vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and muscle insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 86, March 2001, pp. 1410-17 [64 references]