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Vanadium, a metallic element found in humans, has insulin-like capabilities, according to recent discoveries. As a result, there is increased interest in using vanadium as a possible treatment for diabetes.
According to the December 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, studies demonstrated that vanadium stimulates glucose uptake. In diabetic rats, vanadium demonstrated improved glucose tolerance without an increase in plasma insulin. The studies were conducted at the Diabetes Research Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, by Yigal Aharon, MD, Michelle Mevorach, MD, and Harry Shamoon, MD.
In earlier studies using human subjects with type 2 diabetes, it was demonstrated that low doses of vanadyl sulfate (VS), given over a period of three weeks, increased insulin-mediated glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis and suppression of glucose production.
In patients with type 1 diabetes, however, VS was given for three weeks and compared with a placebo in five type 1 subjects. The researchers observed no such decrease in insulin requirement, weight or appetite during the three weeks. Mean HbA1cs, however, were reduced from an average of 8.1% to 7.6%.
VS is a supplemental form of vanadium that is thought to increase insulin sensitivity in the muscle cells.
Further studies of vanadium will be conducted to determine whether it could be used for clinical treatment of type 2 diabetes.
0 comments - Feb 1, 1999
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.