To assess the effectiveness of oral vanadium supplementation for glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes by conducting a systematic review of the literature. Eligible studies were identified by searching 14 databases using standardized terms. Experts, study authors and manufacturers were also contacted. Hand-searching was not undertaken. Selection criteria for inclusion in the review were controlled human trials of vanadium vs. placebo in adults with type 2 diabetes of minimum 2 months duration, and a minimum of 10 subjects per arm. Data extraction, assessment of study quality and outcome analysis were undertaken by two independent reviewers. One hundred and fifty one studies were found but none met the inclusion criteria. We proceeded to summarize the state of existing evidence and plan for a future clinical trial by applying revised, less restrictive criteria to our search, for clinical trials of 30-150 mg daily oral vanadium supplementation in diabetic humans. Only five were identified. These demonstrated significant treatment-effects, but due to poor study quality, must be interpreted with caution. Treatment with vanadium often results in gastrointestinal side-effects. There is no rigorous evidence that oral vanadium supplementation improves glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes. The routine use of vanadium for this purpose cannot be recommended. A large-scale randomized controlled trial is needed to address this clinical question.