Researchers in the field of dietary supplements work tirelessly to deliver potential benefits of vitamins and minerals to the public. Sometimes it’s just a matter of dialing in on a capsule dosage that will meet the needs of the widest audience possible. Other times, a significant change in chemical structure may allow the properties of a vitamin to more efficiently integrate into a body’s system. So what is benfotiamine and how does it factor into supplements?
In the case of benfotiamine, researchers discovered a way to alter the molecular structure of Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, in order to allow the vitamin to cross cell membranes. According to one study, benfotiamine is more effective at increasing thiamine in blood plasma.
What is Benfotiamine?
Thiamine is a necessary part of normal muscle, heart, and nerve function. It is a significant contributor to glucose metabolism, which is a process in the body that turns carbohydrates into energy. Like all essential nutrients, thiamine must be replenished daily by diet or supplementation.
However, when taken as thiamine, its ability to cross cell membranes has been shown to be limited. Alternatively, benfotiamine has been shown to more easily diffuse through plasma membranes, thus bypassing the “rate-limiting transport system” required by thiamine. Once benfotiamine is absorbed into cells, enzymes can more readily convert benfotiamine to thiamine.
Thiamine and benfotiamine have comparable base molecular structures, but that’s where the similarities end. Benfotiamine has a “heavy atom” count of 31 and a molecular weight of over 466 grams-per-mole, while thiamine’s “heavy atom” count is only 18 and molecular weight is just over 265 grams-per-mole. Most important, it is benfotiamine’s open thiazole ring that makes a high bioavailability possible.
Why Fat Soluble Nutrients Matter
Thiamine, like most essential nutrients, is water-soluble. When a nutrient is water soluble, it cannot be stored in fat cells. Instead, the nutrient moves through the digestive system, and if needed it is used by the cells in the body. Once the body satisfies its need for nutrients, it eliminates the rest as waste.
Fat-soluble nutrients are different. Fat-soluble nutrients are absorbed by fat globules in the intestine and stored in the body for use at a later time. Benfotiamine, by being made fat-soluble, has a higher bioavailability than thiamine and will help to better fill gaps in nutrition, as well as other potential health benefits. As a result, benfotiamine is considered “more suitable for therapeutic purposes.”
A Supplement With Many Formulations
An essential role of a benfotiamine supplement is to help maintain thiamine levels in the body already within the normal range. When the body needs thiamine, it is readily accessible as benfotiamine in fat cells. This bioavailability helps to fill gaps in nutrition and may provide support for peripheral circulation, may provide temporary relief from occasional nerve pain, and may support a healthy nervous system. Additionally, benfotiamine may help to maintain glucose levels already within the normal range, including support for glucose metabolism, and healthy kidney function.
When searching for benfotiamine supplement, it is common to find benfotiamine mixed with thiamine. This method of delivery helps to make thiamine readily available during digestion as the body moves benfotiamine into fats cells in the body. These supplements may also be found with other vitamin and minerals to deliver a more complete profile of nutrients to provide feelings of healthy and wellness in the body.
You may be wondering about benfotiamine dosage details. It differs between products.
Benfotiamine with Thiamine 100 Mg from Life Extension provides both fat and water soluble versions of vitamin B1. This formula includes 25 mg of thiamine mixed with 100 mg of benfotiamine. This balance of vitamin B1 may provide optimal support for the normal regulation of blood glucose, endothelial function, and more. For added support, try Mega Benfotiamine, which is the same version of this supplement but with 10 mg of thiamin and 250 mg benfotiamine.
Benfotiamine + from KAL includes vitamins B6, B12, biotin and chromium picolinate which work to support healthy looking skin, hair, and nails and to promote healthy energy levels. Taking a benfotiamine supplement with added B vitamins may be ideal to help meet your daily needs.
Benfotiamine 150 + Alpha Lipoic Acid 300 from Dr’s Best provides potential support for the body’s defense against free radicals and includes lipoic acid and leucine, which are believed to help recycle antioxidants and promote optimal detoxification in the body.
Shop for benfotiamine supplement, find what helps to fill your needs, and see if it makes a difference in your life!