Benfotiamine May Delay the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Thiamine or Vitamin B1 is a vitamin of the B complex.   Thiamine is water soluble and has difficulty penetrating the lipid layer of the cell membrane.  Because thiamine is water soluble, excess doses are usually excreted in the urine. 

Scientists in Japan researched and experimented with various analogues of thiamine in order to create better bioavailability to the cells.   They created a synthetic S-acyl derivative of thiamine called benfotiamine, which is fat soluble, and thus able to penetrate the lipid layer of the cell membrane and boost thiamine absorption into cells and throughout the body.

Studies have shown that administration of benfotiamine resulted in a 10 to 40% higher thiamine incorporation into the liver and heart—and a remarkable 5to 25-fold higher thiamine incorporation into muscle and brain.  1

Benfotiamine has been used clinically for reducing the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGE’s).  A study from May 2000 showed that enhanced bioavailability of benfotiamine caused it to reduce the intracellular formation of AGEs in subjects’ blood cells by 40%.  2 

Benfotiamine shows promise in enhancing memory and delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Benfotiamine has been shown to:

  • Reduce amyloid plaque numbers in the brain  3
  • Reduce phosphorylated tau protein levels in the brain  4

According to a study from 2012, thiamine deficiency:

  • Exacerbates plaque formation
  • Promotes phosphorylation of tau
  • Impairs memory

In contrast, treatment of mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease with the thiamine derivative benfotiamine:

  • Diminishes plaques,
  • Decreases phosphorylation of tau and
  • Reverses memory deficits.  5

Resources:

Life Extension – Benfotiamine

Swanson Health Products – Benfotiamine


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