It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a synthetic vitamin has properties that are superior in some ways to the natural vitamin.
A synthetic form of vitamin B1 (thiamine) called benfotiamine (S-benzoylthiamine-O-monophosphate) has some incredible properties that are especially beneficial for a number of neurological conditions.
Originally, this vitamin was designed by Japanese scientists to treat alcoholic neuropathy; a very painful and crippling nerve condition.
But now it is considered a superior treatment for diabetes-related polyneuropathy and other diabetic complications such as nephropathy (kidney damage), retinopathy (loss of vision) and cardiac angiopathy (heart failure).
Deficiencies of thiamine are associated with Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
Benfotiamine is more fat-soluble than natural thiamine and therefore easily enters the brain and nerves. In animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, benfotiamine was able to significantly reduce amyloid deposits in the brain.
One of the central events in the vast majority of neurological conditions is prolonged microglial activation.
Benfotiamine has been shown to inhibit microglial activation and prevent the release of damaging chemicals from microglia, such as nitric oxide, inflammatory prostaglandins, and inflammatory cytokines.
It also increases the release of a powerful anti-inflammatory cytokine called IL-10.
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