Benfotiamine: For cognitive vitality and much more

A lipid-soluble derivative of Thiamine, Benfotiamine is highly effective in treating diabetes-related nerve damage, alcohol dependence and Alzheimer’s disease. This increased solubility it possesses allows it to penetrate nerve cells – in fact, this increased bio-availability makes it far effective than its counterpart Thiamine.

Thiamine or Vitamin B1 is an integral element in energy metabolism, neural communications and activation of the immune system, making it an important dietary nutrient. Reduced intake of the nutrient results in increased cellular oxidative stress, impaired energy metabolism and causes other neurological damage. Thus, Benfotiamine is also often used to treat patients with B1 as well as for the treatment of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy and Beriberi. [1]

Medical uses

This highly effective drug has multiple applications thanks to its easy solubility in the human body [1, 2, 3, 4]:

  • Diabetes: Early research has indicated that Benfotiamine may ease nerve damage in patients suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It may also help with other diabetes-related complications such as eye damage, heart failure and kidney disease. Preclinical studies have shown that this drug can prevent the accumulation of Triosephosphates that leads to biochemical dysfunction.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: There is ongoing research that connects this drug to the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Preclinical studies have shown that the drug reduces amyloid deposition in Alzheimer animal models.
  • Alcohol dependence: Long-term drinking can lower Thiamine Studies have proven that Benfotiamine can be used to curb the drinking habit in alcohol-dependent men and women.
  • Smoking: Benfotiamine has been found to prevent nicotine-induced vascular dysfunction in animal models.
  • Kidney protection: Addition of Benfotiamine with the regular diet helps with decreased expression of toxic glycogen products, benefitting the kidneys in the long run.
  • Anti-tumour potential: Benfotiamine may prevent leukemia mechanism or paraptosis cell death.
  • Beriberi: This drug is commonly used to treat this vitamin B1 deficiency disease that is related to nerve pain and weakness.
  • Wernicke Encephalopathy: Benfotiamine is used to treat neurological disorder associate with Wernicke Encephalopathy
  • Antioxidant: It is a potent antioxidant that derives its anti-inflammatory properties from the inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis.
  • Other uses: It also finds widespread usage in the treatment of anxiety, Fibromyalgia, depression, back pain, thyroid disease and Sciatica

Modus operandi

The drug works by modulating AGEs or advanced glycation products, which are usually proteins or lipids that become non-enzymatically glycated when exposed to sugars. These AGEs then generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and form cross linking structures. Benfotiamine inhibits the synthesis of AGEs and reduces the linked metabolic stress.

Additionally, Benfotiamine can also regulate non-AGE pathways viz. vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, glycogen synthase kinase -3β and nuclear transcription factor κβ. The drug also is related to cell survival, apoptosis and cell repair. [1]

Side effects

Some of the side effects induced by this drug include [4]:

  • Reduction of blood pressure
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Body odour

Precautions [4]

  • Since Benfotiamine contains sulphur element, patients with sulphur allergy should avoid this drug.
  • There is insufficient evidence of safety for this drug intake when it concerns pregnant or nursing women, hence it should be only consumed under the guidance of a reputed physician.
  • Patients with pre-existing medical conditions should consult their doctor before consuming this drug.

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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog and articles have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and the technical team strives to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.


[1] News Medical Lifesciences [online]:

[2] WebMD [online]:

[3] Practo [online]:

[4] Very Well Health [online]::,Back%20pain