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Vanadium and Vanadyl Sulfate for Diabetes and Bodybuilding

Page last edited by Earl, Jan-20-2015

Vanadyl Sulfate

Trace mineral which works like insulin to increase the amount of glucose and amino acids driven into the muscle.  Vanadyl Sulfate is a compound of Vanadium, Sulfur, and Oxygen.


Mineral element found naturally in some food and the human body that helps to balance blood sugar levels and aids in the release of energy.

Food sources rich in Vanadium


black pepper
dill seed

olive oil
sunflower oil




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Studies have shown both positive and negative health effects of Vanadium and  Vanadyl Sulfate.  

Example of positive health effects:

Vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and muscle insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes

Source:  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Mar;86(3):1410-7.

According to a study performed by the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas in 2001, Vanadyl Sulfate was shown to reduce hyperglycemia, improved liver and muscle insulin sensitivity,  and significantly improved glycemic control in a small study of (11) people with type 2 diabetes.  Another benefit was that Vanadyl Sulfate reduced cholesterol levels (including LDL cholesterol) in the patients.

Abstract of the study:

University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas 78284, USA.

Vanadyl sulfate (VOSO(4)) is an oxidative form of vanadium that in vitro and in animal models of diabetes has been shown to reduce hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Small clinical studies of 2- to 4-week duration in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have led to inconsistent results. To define its efficacy and mechanism of action, 11 type 2 diabetic patients were treated with VOSO(4) at a higher dose (150 mg/day) and for a longer period of time (6 weeks) than in previous studies. Before and after treatment we measured insulin secretion during an oral glucose tolerance test, and endogenous glucose production (EGP) and whole body insulin-mediated glucose disposal using the euglycemic insulin clamp technique combined [3-(3)H]glucose infusion. Treatment significantly improved glycemic control: fasting plasma glucose (FPG) decreased from 194 +/- 16 to 155 +/- 15 mg/dL, hemoglobin A(1c) decreased from 8.1 +/- 0.4 to 7.6 +/- 0.4%, and fructosamine decreased from 348 +/- 26 to 293 +/- 12 micromol/L (all P < 0.01) without any change in body weight. Diabetics had an increased rate of EGP compared with nondiabetic controls (4.1 +/- 0.2 vs. 2.7 +/- 0.2 mg/kg lean body mass.min; P< 0.001), which was closely correlated with FPG (r = 0.56; P< 0.006). Vanadyl sulfate reduced EGP by about 20% (P< 0.01), and the decline in EGP was correlated with the reduction in FPG (r = 0.60; P< 0.05). Vanadyl sulfate also caused a modest increase in insulin-mediated glucose disposal (from 4.3 +/- 0.4 to 5.1 +/- 0.6 mg/kg lean body mass x min; P< 0.03), although the improvement in insulin sensitivity did not correlate with the decline in FPG after treatment (r = -0.16; P = NS). Vanadyl sulfate treatment lowered the plasma total cholesterol (223 +/- 14 vs. 202 +/- 16 mg/dL; P < 0.01) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (141 +/- 14 vs. 129 +/- 14 mg/dL; P < 0.05), whereas 24-h ambulatory blood pressure was unaltered. We conclude that VOSO(4) at maximal tolerated doses for 6 weeks improves hepatic and muscle insulin sensitivity in T2DM. The glucose-lowering effect of VOSO(4) correlated well with the reduction in EGP, but not with insulin-mediated glucose disposal, suggesting that liver, rather than muscle, is the primary target of VOSO(4) action at therapeutic doses in T2DM.

Example of negative health effects:

Effect of Vanadium on Insulin Sensitivity in Patients with Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Source:  Ann Nutr Metab. 2008 Nov 22;53(3):195-198

This study showed that Vanadyl Sulfate caused triglyceride levels to go up when given to 14 overweight and obese people with impaired glucose tolerance. Triglycerides are a kind of blood fat. Triglyceride levels going up is undesirable, since high triglycerides alone can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.  [According to Mayo Clinic.]  The 14 people in this study did not see any improvement in insulin sensitivity either.  This small study suggests that Vanadium is not a good choice for overweight or obese people that already have impaired glucose tolerance.

Abstract of the study:

Jacques-Camarena O, González-Ortiz M, Martínez-Abundis E, López-Madrueño JF, Medina-Santillán R.

Medical Research Unit in Clinical Epidemiology, Medical Unit of High Specialty, West National Medical Center, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Guadalajara, Mexico.

Background/Aim: Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is considered a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and is associated with insulin resistance. Vanadium seems to block protein tyrosine phosphatase with the consequent increment in insulin sensitivity (INS) in T2DM patients, but this effect has not been studied in IGT patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of vanadium on INS in IGT patients. Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out in 14 overweight/obese patients with IGT. Intervention consisted of vanadyl sulfate (VS, 50 mg p.o. twice daily) or placebo for 4 weeks. Before and after the intervention, a metabolic profile was performed and INS was assessed using the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp technique. Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon rank tests were used for statistical analyses. Results: There were no significant differences in basal characteristics between groups. VS did not affect INS [2.7 +/- 0.8 vs. 2.9 +/- 0.9 mg/(kg/min), p = 0.735] but increased triglyceride levels (1.35 +/- 0.61 vs. 1.70 +/- 0.46 mmol/l, p = 0.018). Conclusions: VS administration in IGT patients increased triglyceride concentrations without changes in INS. Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

In the future, stem cells may be used to help patients with type 1 diabetes gain insulin independence.


cab - Monday, September 4, 2006 at 19:42

I worked for a Holistic Doctor for 2 1/2 years . He had me on Vanadium from a company called nutra west . I was taking 3 to 4 pills a day . It really kept my sugar from getting high . Sense he died , I can't find a Doctor that sales this . I have tried other products , But they don't seem to work as good .

Chuck - Friday, February 08, 2008 7:10 PM

I am taking 5000 mcg daily ( 1capsule) of vanadyl sulfate to help control my blood sugar. What would be your recommended dosage? I am type two diabetic. Your input would be most appreciated. Tks.

sandra - Friday, February 22, 2008 at 09:34

I used to purchase Vanadyl sulfate from Olympian Labs but they no longer carry it. Where can I purchase some now? thank you

sandra -  Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 11:29

Vitamin world carries vanadyl sulfate in there catalog or order on line

Carlos -  Monday, September 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM

You can find vanadyl or vanadium from Puritan Pride Vitamins on-line......

Larry -  Monday, March 16, 2009 at 02:12 AM

You can find Vanadium from Swanson for about $3.49 for 60 caplets, they even put it in some of their multiple vitimins.

Earl - Monday, March 16, 2009 at 11:17 AM

I decided to let visitors add links to online stores that sell Vanadyl Sulfate or Vanadium.  I went back through the comments above and added links to the sources that visitors found.  If you know of more sources where you can buy these products, you may add them here in the comments.  Thanks.

James -  Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Vanadyl Sulfate 5000 mcg (micro grams), 180 capsules, can be purchased from Super Supplements for approximately $9.

Jules -  Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Many of you have already probably found sources for Vanadyl Sulfate.  I just started taking it yesterday.  I got mine from "The Vitamin Shoppe" locally.  I think I paid about $8-9 including tax.  Hope this is helpful.  I got it because I have been looking into help for Systemic Candida.  The first thing on the list of changes is stop sugars and I have a huge sugar craving and can't seem to stop it on my own. The sales guy at the store started to steer me toward chromium picolate and/or cinnamon but I've tried both and neither stops my craving for sweets.  I've have high blood sugar many times over the past 2 years so now I'm trying to change my diet.  He said that this is something for people with type 2 diabetes and I was heading in that direction so I'm on day 2.  I actually have candy and sweets in my drawer here at work and yet I'm not interested in eating any of it.  So this may be working.  We shall see the longer time goes by.

Earl - Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Good luck with that, Jules.  I know how hard it can be to resist the sweets.  It may help you to also eat some of the foods rich in Vanadium, toward the top of this page.  I've been eating a lot of those foods and have noticed my cravings for simple sugar has dropped significantly.

rocksteady  -  Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 4:59 PM

I've been buying Vanadium with chromium from

It's about $15.00 for 180 pills.  I take 1, twice daily with food.  Fasting blood sugar level has dropped significantly in 5 weeks, from 150-170 to 119-125.

Earl - Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Glad to see you are having good results.  That's a cheap supplement.  Any idea how your triglycerides are or if they have changed?  The study cited earlier on this page shows that triglycerides can go up when taking Vanadyl Sulfate.  I wonder if Vanadium with chromium has a different effect.

rocksteady  -  Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I will let you know.  My doctor has asked me to wait until November to have my blood work done, which will cover hemoglobin and lipid panel.  Thanks for an informative website and your kind words.

Earl - Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 5:51 PM

In a couple months if you get your blood work done, that would be great if you remember to share your results with us.  Thank you.

Reverend Woody - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 05:43

I take vanadyl sulfate 2x a day from life extension my hba1c was 7.6 and now is 6.6 after 3mnths . I take 7.5 mg providing 1.5 vanadium . I also take six flavor tea pills .

rocksteady  -  Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 22:47

Well I had my blood panel done.  My HGA1c is 7.0 after taking the vanadium sulfate with chromium twice daily for 3 months now.  I'm really pleased with the results. Also, I lost 8 pounds.  Not significant, but it's a start.

Earl - Friday, November 20, 2009 9:55 AM

Wow, that sounds impressive to me.  Glad to see your update!

darkSide - Saturday, January 2, 2010

Besides Vanadium, you can also use KOREAN GINSENG, and Cinnamon to help control blood sugar, all three together have been reported to greatly control type 2

Mark - Saturday, January 23, 2010

Greetings to All,
Do I have to go off all prescriptions meds to see results from vanadium. ?

Sev - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Those interested in Vanadium, here is a website for a vanadium all natural drink.

Earl - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I checked out the link above for the drink.  I'm not sure how it could be considered "all natural".  It's water with an the element Vanadium added.  I don't think they found this water naturally from a spring and bottled it, but it looks like they are adding the element directly to the water.  They recommend drinking it 30 minutes before each meal.  

In my opinion, it seems like a waste, encouraging people to add more empty bottles to the land fills.  Why not just take a pill containing the same Vanadium (or Vanadyl) with a glass of clean water from home?

Islam Gapurov - Monday, April 5, 2010

Hi Earl,

Let me answer your questions.

First of all thank you for visiting our web site

1. Our water with vanadium comes out of underground water sources inside of Japan, you may search on web about japanese vanadium water.
2. We add vitamins and sweetener, more detailed information you can read here
3. Our bottles are made with recycled aluminum, which can be recycled again for another purpose.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

fred - Thursday, July 15, 2010

I have been taking vanadyl sulfate 10 mg./day to control sugar, recently I sent for  the item from Swanson on line and received vanadium 5 Mg.  Is taking two of these the same?

KITTEN - Friday, August 20, 2010


henri - September 7, 2010 

I would like to know why vanadyl sulfate  makes my sugar levels go up. I stayed on it for a month. could not stay on it anylonger. Help.

ralph - October 23, 2010 

according to the stedmans medical dictionary Vanadayl sulfate lowers LDL and assist in bone formation

Islam Gapurov - April 26, 2011

The safe level of vanadium is not over 500 mcg a day.

Earl - April 26, 2011

Well, thanks for the tip.  Without citing your source of info on the safe level, I'm not sure I could accept that.

Islam Gapurov - April 27, 2011

The Food and Nutrition Board,  Institute of Medicine (2001), has established a tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 1.8 mg/day of  elemental vanadium for adults aged 19 years, based on a lowest-observed-adverse-effects level (LOAEL) of 7.7 mg/kg/day and an uncertainty factor of 300.

Kitty - May 5, 2011

I began taking Vanadyl,(with chromium & niacin for increased assimulation), on March 8th, 2011. It will be two months on Mother's Day. My fasting blood sugar has dropped from 134 to consistently being 90-107 every morning. My doctor is talking about weening me from the needle twice a day to the pill, and then off insulin completely. I still need to lose more weight, but now I feel so much hope. Also to Sandra who used to buy her Vanadyl from Olympian Labs... This is where I get mine from. They do still sell it. I purchase mine from Mia's, (a local health food store for $10.99/ 100-capsule bottle).

Chrissie - May 10, 2011

Kitty, Thanks for your post.  I read about Vanadyl in Dr Colbert's book, "What you don't know may be killing you" (sp?).   He is pretty thorough man and I don't believe he would suggest anything that would be potentially damaging.  I was suprised through online research that type 1 diabeties is actually an autoimmune disease.  Have been doing much research and am starting to see that my pcos, prediabeties, gluten intolerance and Hashimoto's thyroiditis are all related.   Am on small (15) trial dose of Amour Thyroid, and am looking to address most of this problem through natural means.   It seems to me that many doctors forget to monitor patients on metformin for b12 absorbsion problems, and this cause a domino affect of health crisis, if gone unchecked.  Am glad to hear that Vanadyl is working.  No problems with Triglicerides?  Mine are high already, will have to monitor it. 

Creatine Monohydrate - what it's good for and how to use

Aspirin - Is It Good for You?

Foods that contain CLA

Why Gargle to Relieve a Sore Throat?

Quinoa for Breakfast