Health Guide


What is it?

Vanadium is an herbal medicine used to treat diabetes and to lower cholesterol levels. It is also used for bodybuilding and to protect against cancer.

Other names for Vanadium include: Panchromium, Bis-Glycinato Oxovanadium, Bis (Maltolato) Oxovanadium (BMOV), Metavanadate, Orthovanadate, Vanadate, and Vanadyl.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure, liver or kidney problems, or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Vanadium you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Vanadium. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Vanadium without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Iron or iron-containing products


  • Before taking Vanadium, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take Vanadium if you have gastrointestinal (belly) problems or manic-depressive (bipolar) disorder (6)
  • If you are diabetic, Vanadium can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugars). Monitor your blood sugar carefully while taking this supplement (4,7)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Fatigue (tiredness) (2)
  • Mania (hyperactivity and a "high" feeling) and depression (feeling sad and hopeless) (6)
  • Weight loss or dehydration (water loss) (7)
  • Diarrhea, nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up), stomach cramps, and black stools (bowel movements) (1, 8)
  • Purple-green tongue (1)
  • Painful menstrual cycles (monthly period) (9)
  • Slow body growth (5)


1. Badmaev V, Subbalakshmi P & Majeed M: Vanadium: a review of its potential role in the fight against diabetes. J Altern Complement Med 1999; 5(3): 342-348.

2. Fawcett JP, Farquhar SJ, Walker RJ et al: Oral vanadyl sulphate does not affect blood cells, viscosity or biochemistry in humans. Pharmacol Toxicol 1997; 80(4): 202-206.

3. Cunningham JJ: Micronutrients as nutriceutical interventions in diabetes mellitus. J Am Coll Nutr 1998; 17(1): 7-10.

4. McNeill JH, Yuen VG, Hoveyda HR et al: Bis (maltolato) oxocanadium (IV) is a potent insulin mimic. J Med Chem 1992; 35(8): 1489-1491.

5. French RJ & Jones PJH: Role of vanadium in nutrition, metabolism, essentiality, and dietary considerations. Life Sci 1993; 52(4): 339-346.

6. Naylor GJ, Corrigan FM & Smith AH: Further studies of vanadium in depressive psychosis. Br J Psychiatry 1987; 150(May): 656-661.

7. Domingo JL, Gomez M, Sanchez DJ et al: Toxicololgy of vanadium compounds in diabetic rats: the action of chelating agents on vanadium accumulation. Mol Cell Biochem 1995; 153(1-2): 233-240.

8. Boden G, Chen X, Ruiz J et al: Effects of vanadyl sulfate on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 1996; 45(9): 1130-1135.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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