Normally, individuals can meet their vitamin B1 requirements by consuming foods like pork, fish, nuts, peas, asparagus, squash, camel milk, onion, garlic, shallots etc. Vitamin B1 can’t be stored by the human body and we need to get it through our diet. However, some people cannot absorb vitamin B1 from their daily diet because of various reasons like malnutrition, long famines, dependence on foods low in thiamine content, wrong cooking practices, etc.
It results in deficiency related diseases like Beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, muscular problems, heart issues, etc. One way to deal with vitamin B1 deficiency is consumption of supplements. Benfotiamine is a lipid-soluble form of vitamin B1, manufactured in a laboratory. Oral administration of Benfotiamine has proved beneficial in increasing plasma concentrations by 5 times as compared to regular thiamine. The absorption rate is 3.6 times quicker than water-soluble forms of thiamine, which allows it to enter the nerves rapidly.
Let us look at some benefits of consuming Benfotiamine supplements.
Oral administration of Benfotiamine – Top 10 benefi
Benfotiamine may be effective to combat certain ailments and diseases. Let us discuss the same.
- Diabetes related complications – Benfotiamine is said to destroy dangerous biochemical pathways that allow high blood sugar levels to damage nerve cells, small blood vessels and also treat complications arising out of diabetes. Various doctors have used Benfotiamine to treat diabetic neuropathy and it could also prevent problems like blindness, dementia, kidney failure, heart ailments, etc.
- When used in combination with alpha lipoic acid, it helps in normalizing AGE’s levels. AGE’s (advanced glycation end product) also causes nerve damage with commonly observed symptoms like numbness, pain. Certain studies show that Benfotiamine could help with inflammation, free radical damage, blood vessel dysfunction etc. Patients have experienced best results when Benfotiamine is consumed with vitamin B6 and B12. Benfotiamine could help in the breakdown of sugar when ingested in combination with fenofibrate.
- Helps deal with alcoholism – Many alcoholics experience thiamine deficiency which tends to hamper their cognitive functions or brain based skills and emotional health. Oral supplementation of Benfotiamine daily may help them deal with depression, alcohol withdrawal, and alcoholic polyneuropathy.
- Arthritis – When protein or fat combine with sugars in the bloodstream, it leads to AGE’s buildup. This leads to a form of arthritis known as osteoarthritis. Consumption of Benfotiamine supplements may help deal with pain, inflammation and improve mobility.
- Deals with ill-effects of smoking – Smokers experience oxidative stress in blood vessels that could lead to blood vessel dysfunction. Benfotiamine might help in reducing the ill-effects of smoking. Short-term studies suggested that Benfotiamine could restore macrovascular function in smokers to a certain degree.
- Kidney problems – Patients with Type 2 diabetes could develop kidney problems. In the early stages, patients excrete albumin through urine. Consuming Benfotiamine supplements in large doses could stop the excretion of albumin and reverse kidney damage. However, this worked for patients in the initial stages only. More research in future could divulge more information about this.
- Protection against depression – Depression is an emotional or mental illness, but food habits and nutrition can also play a part as it affects the intensity and time of the same. In controlled trials where patients were given vitamin B1, B12 supplements, results turned out to be positive. They showed signs of improvement and appeared to recover from depression and anxiety.
- Dealing with heart attacks/stroke – Diabetes makes people more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes. When high levels of sugar/glucose enter the cardiovascular cells, it forms lethal toxins, speeds up aging and patients die because of this. Clinical tests conducted on rats with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes revealed that Benfotiamine during the initial stages of diabetes could prevent heart disease. However, more conclusive evidence is required to prove that it could work for humans.
- Helps relieve inflammation – Certain studies have shown promising results as to how Benfotiamine could help reduce inflammation and improve neuropathy scores. Apart from the decrease in pain and swelling, Benfotiamine also shows the ability to prevent diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. Researchers observed the healing effects after 21 days of oral administration of Benfotiamine. However, this worked only when the dosage was high – 600 mg/day for 6 weeks.
- Fight against cancer – At this point of time, we lack firm evidence of Benfotiamine’s ability to cure all kinds of cancer but certain research showed that it could slow down the progression of leukemia tumors and reduce cancer cell proliferation.
Benfotiamine shows a lot of promise, and it is a good supplement to prevent vitamin B1 deficiency. It could cure a lot of diseases, but most of the results are based on clinical trials, placebo-controlled studies or pilot studies on humans. There is no doubt about the fact that vitamin B1 is essential for good health and general wellbeing, but we require more evidence to establish the results of Benfotiamine supplementation.