Slow the Process of Cellular Aging with Benfotiamine

A special fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 called Benfotiamine (regular water-soluble B1 is called thiamin), a powerful anti-ager. 

Research has shown that this unique form called benfotiamine can provide protective and restorative actions not attainable from other forms of B1, or even from other supplements. 

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. People use it for everything from diabetes to anti-aging.

How Benfotiamine Is Different From Supplemental Thiamin

Human bodies are only able to absorb and utilize a small amount of the vitamin B1 (thiamin) available in supplements. It turns out that no matter how much regular thiamin anyone takes, the blood plasma levels don’t increase significantly beyond the first 12 milligrams of the dose. This means it is very difficult to obtain high enough plasma levels of thiamin to treat specific health disorders by using oral dosages of regular thiamin. In an attempt to overcome this problem, some doctors are using quick injections of B1, or even long infusions of B vitamins along with vitamin C and minerals. It is not the amount of B1 available, but the form of it that makes the difference.

A Unique Allithiamine

Benfotiamine is one of a unique class of thiamin-based compounds, called allithiamines, that are found in trace amounts in vegetables from the Allium genus family, such as crushed garlic, onions, shallots and leeks. Due to a unique open-ringed chemical structure, benfotiamine is able to directly pass through the intestinal wall and easily enters into the cell. One research abstract, Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine (Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996 Feb; 34(2): 47-50, reports that supplementation with benfotiamine results in plasma levels 5 times higher than water-soluble thiamin. Benfotiamine’s bioavailability is also better than any of the other fat-based, or lipid thiamin derivatives of the allithiamine family. The above abstract summarizes its usefulness with the statement,
“Due to its excellent pharmacokinetic profile benfotiamine should be preferred in treatment of relevant indications.”

Not only is the plasma level of benfotiamine 5 times higher than water-soluble thiamin, but the amount that is absorbed into specific cellular tissues such as the brain or muscle tissue can be five to twenty-five times more than regular thiamin. This gives benfotiamine the ability to provide a powerful benefit when there appears to be a need for increased B1, such as in neurological disorders or cardiovascular disease.

Benfotiamine & Glycation

Exciting new research indicates that Benfotiamine can block three of the four enzymatic pathways that lead to the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s)

One of the theories behind why we age in the way that we do is based on the gradual formation of advanced glycation/glycosylation end products (or AGEs) which in turn can damage many of our body systems, organs and tissues. Glycation (sometimes called non-enzymatic glycosylation) occurs every day as part and parcel of the body’s normal metabolic processes. It is a series of chemical reactions that occur when protein molecules bind to sugar molecules. Glycation is a haphazard process - where enzymes control the process it is known as glycosylation. A whole cascade of chemical reactions occurs during glycation/glycosylation which ultimately results in the formation of advanced glycation (or glycosylation) end products (AGEs). While some AGEs are benign, the majority are extremely harmful.

Research suggests that many chronic age-related degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataract problems and Alzheimer’s may all be associated with the havoc and destruction that a steady accumulation of AGEs over time can cause.

Take for example cardiovascular disease. AGEs can lead to the stiffening and weakening of collagen in blood vessel walls. This type of stiffening leads to high blood pressure and the weakening can result in an aneurism. If an aneurism bursts, a massive amount of blood is released, which results in an almost instantaneous drop in blood pressure that can lead to death. If a burst occurs in the brain, it can result in a stroke. AGEs can also affect the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol that gets deposited in blood vessel walls and in time this can also result in atherosclerosis which is the root cause of various cardiovascular diseases such as angina, heart attack and stroke.
Of course, for someone whose blood system is bathed in too much glucose, as is the case with diabetes, AGEs are formed far more quickly. 
Watching someone with diabetes is in effect like watching someone age in fast forward.

Treatment with benfotiamine, has however been proven to reduce tissue AGEs. This is due to the fact that benfotiamine leads to significantly increased intracellular thiamine diphosphate levels. Thiamine diphosphate is a co-factor in the enzyme transketolase and it’s transketolase that works to reduce tissue AGEs. Using thiamine (Vitamin B1) alone to increase transketolase levels does not work efficiently enough to stop AGEs from accumulating in healthy cells. But benfotiamine can increase transketolase levels by as much as 300%! The implications of this in relation to anti-aging medicine are potentially enormous.

Benfotiamine acts like a biochemical "super-thiamin" because it is fat-soluble, which enables it to access areas of the body that water-soluble thiamine cannot penetrate.  That’s why it is so effective in preventing potential damage caused by high glucose levels that flood cells and overwhelm their metabolic machinery.  At any rate, blocking three pathways is believed to be enough to prevent many diabetes-related complications. Researchers have reported that Benfotiamine is a huge breakthrough in diabetes researcher and that Benfotiamine may also have important implications for aging. Because metabolic dysfunction leading to diabetes may not be diagnosed as diabetes and many similar complications occur as a result, supplementing with benfotiamine may be a prudent measure for anyone over fifty years of age.

Whilst research into benfotiamine continues, even at this stage we already know enough to understand its potential and the fact that ultimately benfotiamine may have a huge impact on the lives of so many.

Benfotiamine is Helpful For:

Benfotiamine has proved efficient not only in safeguarding diabetics' vulnerable health, but also in counteracting a number of non-diabetic ailments. Its wide-ranging beneficial effects include: Aging prevention, Multiple Scelorosis, Nerve disorders, Glycation, Autisim, Neuropathy, Alzheimer's, Cardiovascular health, Fibromyalgia, Lactic acidosis, Sciatica, Vascular dysfunction, Retinoppathy, and many other disorders.

One more application of benfotiamine is alcoholism. The problem is that alcoholics often show symptoms of thiamine deficiency which can eventually result in nerve damage. Being a synthetic variant of thiamine benfotiamine supplement can reverse some of the symptoms of nerve damage.

Vitamin B1 & Benfotiamine From Foods

Although it is very rare to see the extreme form of B1 deficiency in most countries, people who drink a lot of alcohol or live on excessive amounts of depleted, highly processed foods like white bread and sugary cereals, might not obtain adequate amounts. Large amounts of vitamin B1 are used up in metabolizing carbohydrates to produce energy, so a high carbohydrate diet can contribute to creating a deficiency state of B1.

Some of the best natural food sources for vitamin B1 are from whole grain products, whole rice, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, beans, egg yolk, peanuts, bananas, sunflower seeds. The special, fat-soluble, food-form of B1 called benfotiamine is only obtained from crushed garlic, onions, leeks and shallots.

Dosage of Benfotiamine

In some studies, the participants were started at an initial high dose of 340 mg or even as high as 600 mg for several weeks, and then the doses might be gradually reduced to a maintenance level. Many people prefer the idea of starting at a lower dose, 100 to 150 mg a day, and then gradually increasing the dose over a period of weeks or months. The indications are that benfotiamine is safe at reasonable daily doses, and people will have to determine what dose provides the maximum benefits for them. 

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