When it comes to nutritional supplements, one of the most popular types are the products for improving brain function.

Americans spend millions of dollars on brain supplements in the hopes of achieving benefits like improved memory and so on. If you’re someone who’s scouring the market for supplements that can improve your cognitive function and health, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across products that contain benfotiamine.

In this article, we will talk about benfotiamine, its benefits, and the possible side effects. Is this ingredient worth adding to your daily diet? Let’s find out.

What Exactly is Benfotiamine?

Benfotiamine is the fat soluble version of thiamine (also known as vitamin B1) and is more easily absorbed via digestion.

As most of you know, vitamin B1 provides vital nutrients to the body and provides benefits like strengthening of the immune system, better energy production, improved digestion, prevention of heart disease, improved memory, and more.

Natural sources of vitamin B1 include garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks. If you are taking a benfotiamine supplement, you can increase the levels of vitamin B1 to as high as five times when compared to an equal dose of thiamine.

This type of supplement works by activating the enzyme called transketolase which converts sugars into energy sources instead of other harmful advanced glycation end products (AGEs). It also decreases the inflammation of white blood cells and brain cells.

Should You Add This Supplement to Your Diet?

Benfotiamine supplements are growing in popularity because low levels of B vitamins are becoming more common. Thanks to the deteriorating food quality, increasing toxicity in our living environment, and rising cases of gut health concerns.

If you are planning to supplement with benfotiamine, here are the health benefits that you should know:

1. Cognitive Improvement in Alzheimer’s Patients

According to a small study published in Neuroscience Bulletin in 2006, taking benfotiamine can improve cognitive response in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Five participants took 300 mg of the supplement for 18 months. By the end of the study, all five participants demonstrated cognitive improvement.

2. Protection of the Brain

This powerful supplement has also been tested to reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall mental function. When tested on mice, the supplement has managed to decrease the production of the enzyme called GSK3b.

As a result, this triggers the serotonin pathways which results in reduced anxiety and healing of damaged brain cell connections.

This form of B vitamin has also impacted the levels of stress in mice, getting rid of anxiety symptoms and minimizing the degeneration of brain cells. Benfotiamine also works by boosting the brain’s immune defenses while preventing inflammatory signals.

3. Reduction of the Damaging Effects of Alcohol

Taking a dose 30 minutes after consuming alcohol will keep your liver protected from potential damage.

Alcohol dependents are generally deficient in thiamine which has adverse effects on psychological well-being and cognitive abilities. In a study, 85 long-term alcoholics took this supplement and exhibited improved symptoms of depression. Some participants even displayed reduced drinking which could indicate eventual recovery.

4. Prevention of Heart Diseases

Sufficient dose of thiamine helps in the product of neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for relaying messages between the muscles and nerves which lead to sound cardiac function.

Deficiency in B vitamins may lead to irregular cardiac functions. People suffering from congestive heart failure exhibited significant improvements in their echocardiograms after being given vitamin B1 for 7 days.

5. Improved Memory

If you find that your memory is failing you on more than one occasion, then you should consider taking vitamin B1 supplements like benfotiamine.

Taking vitamin B1 on a regular basis can improve not just your memory but your ability to concentrate as well.

It is commonly used to manage various nervous disorders such as Bell’s palsy and multiple sclerosis. After all, vitamin B1 is known as the “morale vitamin” for its ability to provide positive effects to the nervous system and promote a healthy mental attitude.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Benfotiamine?

In general, taking this precursor of thiamine is relatively safe. Although there are some side effects that are worth noting:

  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Body Odor

Also, if you have a sensitivity to sulfur, it is highly recommended that you avoid taking this supplement altogether.

The Takeaway

As you can see, taking benfotiamine and including it in your diet has some promising benefits, especially with regards to brain health.

However, before introducing this supplement into your diet, it’s always best to talk with your healthcare provider. This is to determine if this supplement is not only right for you but how much dosage do you need.

As always, if you’re pregnant, nursing or taking other medications, avoid taking benfotiamine

Also, if you have a sensitivity to sulfur, it is highly recommended that you avoid taking this supplement altogether.

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