Vanadyl Sulfate – Side Effects, Uses, Benefits, Dosage

Vanadyl Sulfate is a compound of vanadium, oxygen, and sulfur. It is the most popular form of vanadium, an essential trace mineral.

The human body contains approximately 20-25 mg of vanadium which is distributed in small amounts throughout the body.


It is used as an aniline black preparation, catalyst, and reducing agent. It is also used as mordant in printing and dyeing textiles, for green and blue glazes on pottery, and as a supplement.


Helps Control Blood Sugar

Diabetes is the result of the human body not creating sufficient amounts of the hormone insulin to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. Too much glucose (sugar) in the blood can damage the body over time.

More than 29 million people in the US have diabetes, with about 8.1 million may be unaware of their condition. At 15 percent, West Virginia has the highest rate of diabetes. Worldwide, the number of people with diabetes has quadrupled over the last three and a half decades, rising from 108 million to 422 million in 2014.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common type of diabetes. For instance, of all people with diabetes, 90 percent have type 2 diabetes.

This supplement has been tested with diabetic animals and shown to normalize their high blood sugar levels. For instance, in one study, people with type 2 diabetes mellitus received 50 mg of this supplement twice per day for a month, followed by a placebo for another month. Scientists concluded that study participants had a 20% reduction in average fasting blood glucose, that even lasted into the placebo period after this supplement was discontinued.

This makes it potentially beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes as well as for blood glucose-related conditions, however, more research is required to be sure.

Bone Health

The potent enzyme-stimulation role of vanadium may involve it in tooth and bone formation as well as through the production of coenzyme A (a nonprotein chemical substance) in fat metabolism.

This is good news for many people because osteoporosis, a bone condition, is estimated to affect more than 200 million women worldwide. This is about 10 percent of women aged 60, 20 percent of women aged 70, 40 percent of women aged 80, and 66 percent of women aged 90.

Reduces LDL Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol – HDL (better known as good cholesterol – high-density lipoproteins) and LDL (better known as bad cholesterol – low-density lipoproteins).

Research has concluded that there is a strong correlation between high LDL cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease, both in men and women. High LDL and total cholesterol usually don’t cause any signs and symptoms.

In most patients, it only causes emergency events. For example, a stroke or a heart attack can result from the damage caused by high LDL and total cholesterol.

Some experimental studies reported that this essential trace mineral had beneficial effects on triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. Nevertheless, the relationship between lipoprotein profiles and vanadium in humans remains uncertain.

Muscle Growth

This supplement is popular among bodybuilders because of its insulin-increasing attributes. Insulin is a hormone that helps muscles to absorb more amino acids, proteins, and carbohydrates. There are numerous anecdotal reports from people who used this supplement and reported a superior muscle pump during training and increased training recovery.

Note – Remember that the purported health benefits of supplemental and dietary vanadium are based only on anecdotal evidence, a few animal studies, and several small clinical trials in humans.


Scientists don’t know precisely how much vanadium the human body needs. However, the safe upper limit is considered to be 1.8 mg and the average diet provides between 6 and 18 mcg.

Most producers recommend approximately 30-50 mg a day of this supplement with meals divided into 3 doses throughout the day.

Side Effects of Vanadyl Sulfate

This type is known to be 6 to 10 times less toxic than other forms of vanadium, like -vanadate (a compound containing an oxoanion of vanadium).

However, taking too much of this mineral can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, as well as green tongue, a reversible condition. There is also increasing evidence that this supplement may increase the amount of circulating free radicals, leading to oxidative damage.

Moreover, there is evidence that this supplement might harm the kidneys. Therefore, if you have kidney disease, don’t use it.

Not enough is known about the safety of this supplement if you are breastfeeding or pregnant, hence, limit your intake of vanadium to the amount found in the diet.

DNA Damage

It is believed that overconsumption of this mineral may damage the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a nucleic acid that is found in the nucleus of every cell in the body. DNA provides the instructions required to build every protein of every organ and tissue.

Dietary Sources

The best food sources of this essential trace mineral are mushrooms, parsley, carrots, black pepper, beer, dill weed, wine, cabbage, grain and grain products, soybeans, and vegetable oils, like – soybean, sunflower, olive, and safflower oil.

Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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