Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 206, Issue 1–2, pp 177–182 | Cite as

Anti-diabetic and toxic effects of vanadium compounds

  • Ashok K. Srivastava


Compounds of the trace element vanadium have been shown to mimic insulin in in vitro and in vivo systems. These compounds have been found to exert anti-diabetic effects in rodent models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as in a limited number of studies in human diabetic subjects. Thus, vanadium compounds have emerged as agents for potential use in diabetes therapy. However, treatment of diabetic animals with inorganic vanadium salts has also been associated with some toxic side-effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort and decreased body weight gain. In addition, vanadium salts have been reported to exert toxic effects on the liver and kidney. More recently, it was shown that organic vanadium compounds were much safer than inorganic vanadium salts and did not cause any gastrointestinal discomfort, hepatic or renal toxicity. This review briefly summarizes the anti-diabetic and toxic effects of vanadium compounds.


Vanadium Body Weight Gain Diabetic Subject Diabetic Animal Renal Toxicity 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashok K. Srivastava
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research CenterCentre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)Canada
  2. 2.Hôtel-Dieu and Department of MedicineUniversity of MontrealMontreal

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