Benfotiamine Why Every Diabetic Should Take It

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Benfotiamine is a dietary supplement that is a synthetic version of vitamin B1. B1 is a vitamin found in a variety of foods including legumes, nuts, and some meat and fish such as beef and trout.

a photo showing foods naturally high in vitamin B1

Natural B1 is water-soluble; however, benfotiamine is fat-soluble. Because it’s fat-soluble, it has a higher bioavailability and better absorption by the body than naturally occurring B1, and is used to raise B1 levels to manage certain health conditions - especially diabetes.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I ordinarily do not recommend synthetic vitamins because most of them are made from petroleum derivatives. But this is one synthetic product I’m willing to endorse, because it has virtually no side effects.

And it’s a total game-changer for diabetics. I believe every single person with diabetes should be taking benfotiamine. In this article, I’ll explain:

Let’s get started.


How Benfotiamine Helps With Diabetes

a paper with the words type 2 diabetes printed on it

Vitamin B1 is intimately involved in what I call the small engines in your mitochondria that involve your glucose metabolism. The more glucose you have running through those little engines - in other words, the higher your blood sugar - the more depleted of B1 you’ll become, leading to the tingling sensation in your arms and legs, muscle fatigue, and blurry vision, in addition to the effects of diabetes.

With diabetes, there are four main tissues that are most affected by the disease:

  1. Nerves and brain
  2. Eyes
  3. Kidneys
  4. Heart vessels

Yet it just so happens that benfotiamine can help with each of these. Because it’s fat-soluble, it can penetrate 3 to 5 times more deeply into your body’s tissues for significant health benefits.

Benfotiamine particularly protects against oxidation, which is a grave concern for people with diabetes since chronically high blood glucose causes widespread oxidation, with its concurrent free radical damage and tissue breakdown.

But that’s not all.

Although any kind of B1 vitamin will counter the oxidation and its effects, benfotiamine goes further. It will reduce what’s called advanced glycation end products (AGE). These are formed when you combine glucose with a protein, or glucose with fat, and subject them to heat. AGE are sticky proteins, and can be either made by your body or contained in certain foods you consume.

For example, take barbecued ribs. Meat is coated with sugary sauce then cooked on a grill, forming advanced glycation end products in the process. It’s the same for ice cream, which has sugar, fat, and dairy protein all cooked together.

a picture of barbequed ribs

Advanced glycation end products increase oxidation in the body, and accelerate the aging process. The sticky proteins can become glued to the inside of your arteries, in your brain, and in your eyes.

Benfotiamine can counter the effects of AGE. As well, it can help lower your A1C, which is a measurement of your average blood sugar levels over a span of two to three months. Lowering A1C is a crucial part of diabetes management.


Benfotiamine And Peripheral Neuropathy

In my practice, I used benfotiamine to treat people with peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which the nervous system of your feet and fingertips has broken down. With peripheral neuropathy, you can experience pain, numbness, or tingling in your feet and fingers. When your feet are affected, you have difficulty walking.

Benfotiamine works like magic for peripheral neuropathy. You want to take at least 600 milligrams per day, either all at once or spread out in several doses over the day.

There is no specific brand of benfotiamine I recommend; please do your own research to find a product that meets your satisfaction. Read the label, and assess product reviews online.

If you suffer from foot pain because of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, benfotiamine works like magic. It helps restore nerve function and alleviate pain. It’s good to treat any type of neuropathy.

Benfotiamine And Vascular Dementia

As well, benfotiamine helps protect the brain against diabetic complications.

People with diabetes often develop vascular dementia with its subsequent memory loss, confusion, and personality changes. Scientists are already calling Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes. But benfotiamine can help.

You Can Also Protect Your Eyes And Kidneys

As far as your eyes go, there are secondary complications from diabetes. One is damage to the retina. But because the retina is all nerve tissue, it responds quite well to benfotiamine.

Your kidneys too are at risk for damage from diabetes. Benfotiamine helps protect the cells of the kidney called the nephrons. If you have stage 3, 4, or even 5 kidney disease, benfotiamine will help.

And Benfotiamine Helps With Your Cardiovascular System

a drawing of blood heart circulation

Now, let’s look at how it helps your heart and its vessels.

There’s a layer of cells within your heart’s artery called the epithelial layer. It’s fed by tiny blood vessels that are at risk for damage from diabetes, but benfotiamine can help protect them.

In fact, if you’re deficient in vitamin B1, you’re missing a crucial antioxidant, which can lead to dysfunction within the blood vessels. When this happens, cholesterol and calcium can build up, leading to plaque in your arteries.

In other words, benfotiamine is crucial to healthy cardiovascular function and artery protection.


Benfotiamine Will Be More Powerful When You Combine It With These Two Actions

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you already know what I’m also going to recommend:

Go on the low-carb, high-fat Healthy KetoTM. Lowering your carbohydrate intake is essential to controlling and perhaps even reversing type 2 diabetes. You’ll also lose weight nearly effortlessly, experience increased energy, and banish brain fog.

a photo of keto diet foods and nutrition plan

When you couple the keto diet with intermittent fasting, you’ll significantly improve the benefits of keto. Intermittent fasting is simply a pattern of alternating periods of eating with periods of not eating. There’s nothing complicated about it, which is fortunate since it provides amazing benefits for your health.

I strongly recommend you adopt the keto way of eating and intermittent fasting in addition to taking benfotiamine supplements. If you’re merely taking benfotiamine without correcting your diet, it probably won’t work as well to support your health.

If you’re uncertain how to get started, or you feel confident but could use some extra support, you can join my FREE 30-Day Low-Carb, No-Cheat Challenge to get you started on your journey to improved health and better management of your diabetes.

Here’s to your health!

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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