The review considers the biological role of vanadium, its participation in various processes in humans and other mammals, and the anti-diabetic effect of its compounds. Vanadium salts have persistent hypoglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effects and reduce the probability of secondary complications in animals with experimental diabetes. The review contains a detailed description of all major synthesized vanadium complexes having antidiabetic activity. Currently, vanadium complexes with organic ligands are more effective and safer than the inorganic salts. Despite the proven efficacy of these compounds as the anti-diabetic agents in animal models, only one organic complex of vanadium is currently under the second phase of clinical trials. All of the considered data suggest that vanadium compound are a new promising class of drugs in modern pharmacotherapy of diabetes.