Benfotiamine is a synthetic variation of thiamine, a member of the B-Complex family more popularly known as Vitamin B1. Unlike thiamine, benfotiamine is fat-soluble and is retained longer in the body. Vitamin B1 is required for a healthy nervous system. Because of this, benfotiamine has been widely- used in supplements made to alleviate the effects of neuropathy (nerve damage). In fact, the product Nerve Renew may help relieve pain because its main active ingredients include this variation of Vitamin B1.
Health Benefits of Benfotiamine: What Experts Found Out
Over the years, many have attempted to prove its use in medicine through conducting researches on the health benefits of benfotiamine. However, the results tend to be a mixture of positive benefits with ones that failed to show any significant effect on the subjects’ health. Because of this, we have compiled four studies showcasing its benefits to the nervous system and a person’s overall health.
- Benfotiamine and Diabetic Polyneuropathy (2008)
This double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study was conducted on 165 out of 181 screened diabetic patients to determine the safety and efficacy of benfotiamine as a treatment for diabetic polyneuropathy. The subject of the study, who are mostly patients suffering from weakness, numbness, and neuropathy in the fingers and toes, were put on a six-week test treatment, whereas one portion of the group was given placebo and the other received actual benfotiamine. Results revealed that the group who received the thiamine variation reported that they experienced significantly fewer symptoms, especially pain. However, this result was achieved with those who received a higher dose of benfotiamine for a longer period.
- Benfotiamine and Cell Death (2010)
A group of scientists also tested the effects of benfotiamine in terms of preventing cell death in 2010 and discovered that it can protect the heart from the detrimental effects of high levels of glucose in the blood. The experiment, which was conducted on lab rats, concluded that the possibility of cardiac dysfunction caused by diabetes mellitus may be significantly lower if the patients take supplements containing benfotiamine.
- Benfotiamine and Alcohol-Induced Complications (2013, 2015, and 2016)
Published in August 2016 in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a study revealed that benfotiamine aids in preventing alcohol-induced damage to the liver. Based on the research conducted on ethanol-fed mice, the fat-soluble form of thiamine reduced damages from alcohol on the rats’ livers. Previously, two more studies published in 2013 and 2015 showed that benfotiamine also alleviated depression in severe alcoholics and reduced their amount of alcohol intake.
- Benfotiamine and AGE Toxins (2017)
Several studies have proven that intake of benfotiamine can help reduce the formation of advanced glycation end (AGE), a toxic substance that causes serious medical conditions like retinopathy, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, and even cancer. Because of this, a team of scientists conducted a study in 2017 that proved how AGE levels in the body can be reduced with the help of the lipid-soluble variation of Vitamin B1. The double-blind clinical trial involved 41 subjects, all of whom were diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. After being treated with benfotiamine for six weeks, the subjects showed a decrease in AGE levels.
The studies mentioned in this article are only the tip of the iceberg as more researchers conducted have proven the efficacy of benfotiamine in a person’s nerve health. Ultimately, the best course to take when considering this form of treatment for neuropathy is to do a research of your own with the guidance of a licensed medical practitioner.