Vanadium is an essential trace element, but adequate amounts are easily obtained from the diet. A variant of vanadium is vanadyl sulphate, which has been a popular bodybuilding supplement for over 10 years. Vanadium is involved in the control of blood sugar levels, and it is able to mimic the actions of insulin. There have been a number of studies showing that oral supplementation of vanadyl sulphate can help sensitise muscle and liver tissue in types of diabetics helping to control blood sugar levels without the use of insulin (Halberstam, et al 1996).
Bodybuilders claim that using vanadyl sulphate enhances muscle fullness and makes it easier to create a good pump. There is no proof of this, as there is no good research on the effects of vanadyl sulphate on improved muscle growth. Vanadyl sulphate appears to help insulin in its glucose uptake action, but has no effect on its amino acid uptake action. One study has suggested that vanadyl sulphate may help to increase creatine uptake by muscle cells (Radda 1996).
Dosage of vanadyl sulphate is 10 - 20 mg two or three times per day, with food (Phillips 1997). Do not exceed this level, as high intakes may be toxic.
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