Using Benfotiamine to Improve Your Eyesight

Benfotiamine or S-benzoylthiamine O-monophosphate, is a form of vitamin B1 (thiamine). It has been used for many years as a prescription drug in Europe for treating disorders linked to low levels of thiamine, and for averting complications arising out of extended hyperglyceria.

Since it (benfotiamine) is better absorbed by the body than thiamine, because it is ‘fat-based’, it more easily enhances the levels of thiamine in the body.

Diabetics are at risk of having the whole body threatened by complications of diabetes, and the eyes especially vulnerable. Diabetes damages the small blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue in the retina of the eye leading to retinopathy or even blindness.

Benfotiamine Can Protect Your Eyes

In studies, scientists found that benfotiamine was useful in preventing retinopathy in diabetics. In a thirty-six week long study, subjects were given benfotiamine and it was found that the damage-causing, high levels of AGE’s (advanced glycation endproducts) in the retina were normalized. This led to the conclusion that benfotiamine may delay or slow down the progression of the condition (1)(2).

The usefulness of benfotiamine relating to retinopathy led scientists to investigate it further for other eye related problems. Uveitis is a condition which causes inflammation and affects every 4 people in a 1000. It is an autoimmune disease but can also be caused by bacterial infection.

While the condition can normally be resolved in a number of weeks, it can become a persistent issue developing into conditions like glaucoma or cataracts. The current treatment for uveitis has several negative side-effects associated with it, but benfotiamine has no side effects.

Hence, University of Texas researchers used benfotiamine to prevent uveitis in rats. Since the rat and human variety of uveitis are very close, it offered a comparison. It was found that benfotiamine prevented the condition in rats. While this research is limited to rats, it is very promising for humans (3).


1 – Hammes HP, Du X, Edelstein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic retinopathy. Nat Med. 2003 Mar; 9(3):294-9.
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3 – Yadav UCS, Subramanyan S, Ramana KV. Prevention of endotoxin-induced uveitis in rats by benfotiamine, a lipophilic analogue of vitamin B1. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science. 2009. 50(5): 2276-2282.

About Andy James

Having poor health as a child, contracting a rare form of diabetes (diabetes insipidus) when he was just seven years old, and having been in a near fatal car wreck at the age of 33, Andy now focuses his mind on all things to do with improving ones health. The Benfotiamine Project was set up to explore benfotiamine, which helps the body to absorb Thiamine (vitamin B1). You can find out more about Andy on his Google plus profile, where you read his other health projects.

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