Benfotiamine is a synthetic nutritional supplement. It is a lipid-soluble (or fat-soluble) form of the Vitamin B-1. Vitamin B-1 is also known as thiamine. Because it is lipid-soluble, the body metabolizes benfotiamine more quickly than Vitamin B-1 (which is water-soluble). It can also use more of it. There's a limit to how much Vitamin B-1 is useful in one day, however in its lipid-soluble form, the body can metabolize more of this nutrient.
Benfotiamine may help a patient alleviate any condition caused by a thiamine deficiency. Benfotiamine can improve a person's health in the same areas that Vitamin B-1 does. This includes complications that are common to diabetics with poorly managed blood glucose levels. It may ease pain from neuropathy, retinopathy (retina damage), nephropathy (a progressive kidney disease), general vascular health and cellular health. Benfotiamine may also help with general nerve health, sciatica, fibromyalgia, blood pressure and lactic acid buildup.
Benfotiamine works specifically to help diabetics by blocking AGEs, also known as advanced glycation end products. AGEs are a result of hyperglycemia. They are formed from sugar. It is normal for a person to have AGEs in their body, however diabetics tend to form AGEs at an accelerated rate. Benfotiamine's action on AGEs may help prevent some complications due to diabetes, such as blood vessel damage and atherosclerosis.
Benfotiamine may also be useful for those who regularly consume alcohol. Alcohol naturally deplete's the body's thiamine levels. This can cause some of the effects of consuming alcohol, such as fatigue, lethargy, impaired awareness, disorientation and loss of equilibrium, muscle weakness, memory loss and apathy. According to Life Extension Magazine, people who chronically abuse alcohol can help their bodies cope with the effects by supplementing their diet with benfotiamine.
You may see results from using benfotiamine within two to three weeks at a dosage of two 150 mg. pills taken twice daily. However, you may increase this dosage to 900 mg. per day to see maximum results. You may need to experiment with your dosage to find the level that works best for you.
Benfotiamine is not regulated by the FDA. It is considered to be a dietary supplement, not a medication. If you're using benfotiamine to treat any medical condition, talk to your doctor about your treatment plan first. You should not abandon traditional medical treatment in favor of a dietary supplement. However, used in conjunction with medical treatment, benfotiamine may help alleviate your medical condition.