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What is Benfotiamine?

By Kathie Scheidler
Updated May 17, 2024
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Benfotiamine is a synthetic form of thiamine. It is also known as S-benzoylthiamine O-monophoshate. Benfotiamine is used to treat various neurological and vascular conditions, particularly in diabetics. It is also used as an anti-aging supplement.

This substance was developed in the late 1950s in Japan as a treatment for painful nerve conditions. In 1962, benfotiamine was patented in the United States. The supplement is derived from thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Thiamine on its own works differently because it is not as fat-soluble, physiologically active or bioavailable.

Benfotiamine alleviates many health problems because of its function as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the body against free radicals, the atoms or molecules that can cause cell damage. When an individual has cell damage, diseases and other medical issues can develop.

Many health problems associated with diabetes have been proven to be reduced or prevented through the use of benfotiamine. The supplement is commonly used for the nerve pain and numbness in the arms and legs known as peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, it is used for peripheral vascular disease, a condition that affects blood vessels in the extremities. Cardiovascular disease and kidney disease in diabetics also have shown to have great improvement with continued use of this supplement.

Benfotiamine also has proven to be effective for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes. It affects the majority of individuals who have had the disease for a decade or more, and it can eventually lead to blindness. This supplement is extremely beneficial for health issues in diabetics, because most individuals find that their pain is usually not reduced with conventional pain relievers.

This substance can be used for anti-aging purposes because it offers protection against glycation, which is a chemical reaction to excess blood sugar in the body and is caused by age acceleration. When glycation occurs, glucose, proteins and fats are meshed together, and body tissues become stiff and inflexible. This supplement works to combat glycation because it acts on the triosephosphates that can damage nerve and blood cells. The damage can cause wrinkles and signs of premature aging.

Benfotiamine usually can be purchased wherever vitamins or supplements are sold. A standard dosage of the supplement normally ranges from 100-250 milligrams daily. It has no reported side effects and is not believed to interfere with any medications. It is always best, however, for one to ask for the advice of a doctor or pharmacist when beginning a new drug or supplement regimen.

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