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Benfotiamine – Protection Against Diabetic Complications

Author: Dale Kiefer

European Supplement Protects Against Diabetic Complications

When treating diabetes, today’s doctors focus on establishing blood glucose control, but often overlook the need to protect against common diabetic complications such as blindness, stroke, endothelial dysfunction, and loss of limb.1

Benfotiamine, a little-known fat-soluble form of vitamin B1, has been shown to help prevent the development and progression of many diabetic complications.  As a result, benfotiamine has become a critical nutrient for those seeking to ward off the potentially lethal impact of sustained high blood sugar levels.

Used for decades in Europe as a prescription medication, benfotiamine fights against the progression of diabetic nerve, kidney, and retinal damage, and relieves the painful symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.2-8 Diabetic neuropathy makes it difficult for nerves to carry messages to the brain and also impairs the function of the microvasculature (tiny blood vessels) in the extremities.  The result of this blood-vessel damage is numbness and painful tingling in the feet (and hands) .

Benfotiamine acts through a novel mechanism, blocking the biochemical pathways by which high blood sugar damages cells throughout the body.8  Now available as a dietary supplement, benfotiamine can help diabetes sufferers protect their nerves, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, and heart.  Benfotiamine’s multifaceted effects in preventing dangerous diabetic complications make it an essential supplement for people with elevated blood sugar levels.

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2. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkmann D, et al.  Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats.  Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2001;109(6):330-6.
3. Haupt E, Ledermann H, Kopcke W.  Benfotiamine in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy—a three-week randomized, controlled pilot study (BEDIP study).  Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Feb;43(2):71-7.
4. Sanchez-Ramirez GM, Caram-Salas NL, Rocha-Gonzalez HI, et al.  Benfotiamine relieves inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rats.  Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Jan 13;530(1-2):48-53.
5. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, Battah S, Thornalley PJ.  Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine.  Diabetes. 2003 Aug;52(8):2110-20.
6. Woelk H, Lehrl S, Bitsch R, Kopcke W.  Benfotiamine in treatment of alcoholic polyneuropathy: an 8-week randomized controlled study (BAP I Study).  Alcohol Alcohol. 1998 Nov;33(6):631-8.
7. Winkler G, Pal B, Nagybeganyi E, et al.  Effectiveness of different benfotiamine dosage regimens in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.  Arzneimittelforschung. 1999 Mar;49(3):220-4.
8. Hammes HP, Du X, Edelstein D, et al.  Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic retinopathy.  Nat Med. 2003 Mar;9(3):294-9.