Does Benfotiamine Provide Health Benefits? – Side Effects And Uses Explained!

Written by Dr. Amber Jones
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Benfotiamine is a dietary supplement that is known to increase the thiamine (vitamin B1) in the body. Thiamine is a liquid-soluble derivative that helps to convert nutrients into energy, which requires bodily function.

It is also used for proper brain functioning, and some people use Benfortiamine to increase the bloodstream, which leads to an increase in thiamine levels.

There are very few studies available regarding Benfotiamine, according to which it promotes various health effects. Some studies claim that this supplement is beneficial to treat diabetic neuropathy and Alzheimer’s disease.

As very little evidence is available regarding this product, there are very few benefits and side effects that we have discussed below.

What Are The Potential Health Benefits Of Benfotiamine Supplement?

Benfotiamine is mainly used to increase the thiamine level in the body, which is beneficial for the body. Thiamine helps in battling various diseases that are caused by low vitamin B1 levels.

However, it is available in various plants like garlic and onion but is also prepared in the lab too to provide an exceptional intake of thiamine.

Well, the growth of Thiamine is integrated with the increasing level of advanced glycation and products (AGEs) present in the body. Benfotiamine reacts with these AGEs, neutralizes its effects, and increases the level of thiamine.

Health Benefits Of Benfotiamine Supplement

Vitamin B1 helps in vascular complications and is associated with proper blood circulation and maintaining sugar levels.

Therefore, many people use benfotiamine in synthesizing their blood and sugar levels and even for proper brain functioning.

In this regard, we have provided some potential health benefits that you can get with the intake of Benfotiamine.

  • Thiamine produced by Benfotiamine combines with other nutrients and reduces the risk of developing cataracts in the eyes.
  • Some studies also suggested that Benfotiamine supplement helps in developing brain cells, which decreases the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  • The study of Urinary Albumin Excretion (UAE) also evidences that Benfotiamine supplement can improve the condition of kidney functioning.
  • Some studies also found that the supplement is beneficial for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but the studies were very few.
  • Some researchers also found that high doses of Benfotiamine can decrease the craving for drinking alcohol.
  • Additionally, this supplement can also help in decreasing stress who have stopped drinking recover faster from alcoholism.

But before considering its benefits, you need to note that these points are based on a few varied studies. The studies are still ongoing, and the researchers are still exploring to finalize its benefits and side effects.

Based on the evidence available, we have provided some potential side effects so that you can get the perfect dietary supplement that benefits you with no cause.

What Is The Potential Side-Effect of Benfotiamine?

Before understanding its side effects, it is essential to know why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned this supplement in the United States.

Well, no dietary supplement is regulated in the US, and the FDA does not approve such products for marketing regarding their safety and effectiveness. The same happens with Benfotiamine, where the product has not gained any approval from the FDA.

As the product is new, therefore it fails to submit the potential evidence that the company claims about the product. Due to a lack of evidence, the organization has not approved this supplement for marketing.

In between this process, the FDA is analyzing its potential benefits and even recognizing its side effects.

Still, some third-party organizations like USP, ConsumerLab, and NSF have given a green signal to this product.

Many researchers have already analyzed this product and discovered some potential side effects that you must consider before implementing it in your daily diet.

Studies Showing The Side Effects Of Benfotiamine

Till now Benfotiamine has not shown any side effects, but some potential effects do exist which are considered rare.

In some cases, people have experienced rashes and nausea, which are caused by the supplement. In most of the cases, it has been observed that the excessive dose of Benfotiamine has also caused stomach-related problems.

Normally, professionals recommend it to take a minimum oral dose of 300 mg to 600 mg while dividing it into two parts throughout the day.

The increased doses of this supplement can also cause increased liver enzymes and an imbalance in blood pressure. Further, it can also cause breathing problems, leading to a slow heart rate and potentially increasing cardiovascular risk.

The good news is that there is no document available that can state the severe side effects of Benfotiamine intake. Still, as a precautionary step, it is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers.

Moreover, it is not suitable for children or those with specific medical conditions or who are involved with any medications.

The Correct Dose To Take Benfotiamine To Avoid Any Side Effects

As we have discussed previously, no specific dose is officially recommended that can cause any side effects. Still, many health experts suggest taking a maximum of 300 mg twice a day for effective results.

To some extent, it is suggested to take almost 900 mg on a single day, but in rare cases.

The thing to note here is that if you have any medical condition or you take some specific medicine, then you must consult a doctor. They can guide you with the correct dose if it is safe for you while matching all your health needs.

Conclusion

Benfotiamine is one of the dietary supplements that is known to increase the level of thiamine in the body. These Vitamine B1 helps to fight against various health issues sometimes with chronic ones like cardiovascular diseases.

But in most cases, these nutrients are beneficial to deal with Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes.

With its potential health benefits, Benfotiamine also has some side effects, such as increased blood sugar levels and various stomach-related issues.

Therefore, professional recommendations are to be taken while maintaining the correct doses, like 300 mg to 600 mg per day.

Additionally, it is also recommended you break these doses in two halves to avoid any side effects.

References:

  • Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, Gundert-Remy U, Gleiter CH. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997;52:319–320
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9248773/
  •  Sambon M, Napp A, Demelenne A, Vignisse J, Wins P, Fillet M, Bettendorff L (2019) Thiamine and benfotiamine protect neuroblastoma cells against paraquat and β-amyloid toxicity by a coenzyme-independent mechanism. Heliyon 5, e01710. 
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520661/

Amber Jones is a sought-after dietitian nutritionist with expertise in public and community health. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and completed her dietetic internship with the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

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