Vanadium can facilitate glucose uptake and metabolism, facilitate lipid and amino acid metabolism, improve thyroid function, and enhance insulin sensitivity.
Vanadium and Diabetes
Vanadium exists in vanadate and vanadyl forms that are most common in biological systems. Vanadyl sulfate and sodium metavanadate are in use as supplemental forms.
Pharmacological doses in human improvise lipid and glucose metabolism by enhancing glucose oxidation, glycogen synthesis, and hepatic glucose output. Vanadium performs primarily as an insulin mimetic agent, it enhances insulin activity and increased insulin sensitivity. Thus, it helps diabetics to attain their normal blood-glucose level and stop or postpone diabetes complications.
Vanadium mechanism of action
The trace element vanadium has the property similar to insulin. However, the mechanism of action of vanadium in metabolic effects is remaining poorly understood whether it is directly mimics or rather enhances insulin effects.
Although different studies confirm that activation of the insulin receptor, will affect various insulin signaling pathways and may lead to regulation of the insulin receptor and subsequent intracellular signaling pathways.
Benefits of Vanadium supplements
Many studies evaluated some benefit of the use of oral vanadium supplements in diabetes. Most focused on the type 2 diabetes, although vanadium also has a potential benefit in type 1 diabetes.
In subjects with type 2 diabetes, vanadium increased insulin sensitivity as assessed by euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamp studies. Increase in Glucose oxidation and glycogen synthesis, and suppress hepatic glucose output.
In type 1 diabetes, vanadium cannot affect insulin sensitivity, although daily insulin doses slowly declined. Regular supplement intake decreased FBG, HbA1c, and cholesterol levels.
Vanadium acts similar to insulin in the body, so it may help access more energy. Additionally, it believes to decrease cholesterol levels and promote bone formation.
Recommended dosage for Vanadium
There are different suggested dosages for vanadium, but it is better to go with low values to get its benefits without any unnecessary side effects.
Many expert institutions suggest taking very low vanadium dosage that is less than 1.5 micrograms of vanadium, is safe to attain its benefits.
Health risks of too much of Vanadium
High dosages of vanadium that is more than 1.8 milligrams per day may cause liver or kidney damage.
Common side effects of too much of vanadium include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and gas.
People with kidney and/or liver diseases should not recommend for vanadium supplementation.
Medication that may interact with Vanadium
Following medications may interact with vanadium, so consult your health care provider before taking vanadium supplementation.
Blood thinning drugs such as Anticoagulant or antiplatelet may interact with the vanadium, and its effects multiply and so may increase the risk of bleeding. Some of the blood-thinning medication is:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
Vanadium may lower blood sugar levels, so people on diabetes medications are at the risk of developing hypoglycemia and thus needs to adjust (lower) their medication dosage.
Natural sources of Vanadium
Our body absorbs only about 5% of the vanadium available in the food. The best sources are mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper, parsley, dill weed, beer, wine, and grain.
Chemical form of Vanadium
Vanadium is existed in several forms, including vandal sulfate and vanadate. Vanadyl sulfate is most commonly available in nutritional supplements.