Benfotiamine and Diabetes

Diabetes and How It Affect The Body

The glucose extracted from the food we consume is carried by the bloodstream to all organs of the body. It is the source of energy that allows the body to carry out all its functions. However, for the cells in the body to be able to use the glucose, the pancreas has to supply the hormone insulin.

In an individual with diabetes, the pancreas either does not produce any insulin, produces insufficient amounts of it, or the individual can’t effectively use the insulin produced (1). When this happens, not only are the cells of the body deprived of the energy needed to do their work, but the level of glucose in the blood also rises leading to problems that effect nearly all parts of the body.

Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes – What’s The Difference?

diabetesThere are two basic types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce any insulin and individuals have to take insulin in order to survive (2). The majority of people who have diabetes, have Type 2. In this type of diabetes the pancreas initially starts producing insulin according to the body’s needs, but the cells are unable to make use of it, so the pancreas produces more of it in an effort to control the blood glucose levels.

In time, the over production of insulin burns out the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. In the beginning, this type of diabetes can be controlled by diet and exercise but eventually the individual may require medications to control the amount of glucose in their blood. Long term, uncontrolled high levels of glucose in the blood can damage the body’s organs.

When the body can’t use the glucose for energy, different hormones are used by the body to turn fat into energy and this produces toxic chemicals like acids and ketone bodies. These substances produce a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This complication of diabetes causes extreme thirst, fatigue and undue urination.

Without treatment it can lead to unconsciousness, or even death! High levels of glucose in the blood can make it difficult to totally empty the stomach (gastroparesis) and the delay further raises blood glucose levels. Diabetes is the major cause of gastroparesis, the symptoms of which include bloating, vomiting and nausea.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

According to studies carried out at the Joslin Diabetes Center, people who have diabetes risk a two to three times greater chance of being inflicted with heart disease than people who do not have diabetes. As matter of fact, diabetes is now considered to be the single leading risk factor of heart disease.

Diabetes Can Lead to Restricted Blood Flow, Even Leg Amputations

Elevated levels of glucose can also lead to the creation of fatty deposits in the walls of blood vessels. Eventually this can limit the flow of blood to the hands and feet. Diabetics are particularly in danger of developing foot problems due to narrowing of the arteries. Diabetic neuropathy reduces the feelings of sensation in extremities which can prevent a diabetic from realizing that they have an injury or infection in the feet. Restricted blood flow along with nerve damage increases the chances of foot or leg amputations.

Diabetes Can Damage Eyesight

Prolonged diabetes can cause the blood vessels in the back of the eye to balloon out. In the more serious form of the disease, called proliferative retinopathy these damaged blood vessels are closed off, and new, weaker ones form in their place. These new ones can leak blood, blocking vision in addition to making scar tissue grow which deforms the retina leading to loss of vision.

Heightened levels of glucose in blood damages blood vessels in the kidneys, and make them leak protein into urine. Over time some of these vessels collapse, putting greater stress on the ones remaining. With increased load, these also get damaged which may lead to kidney failure.

How Can Benfotiamine Help With Diabetes?

According to the latest research, the above complications can be controlled and even averted with the use of Benfotiamine. Benfotiamine, is a man-made form of vitamin B1 or thiamine. It is better suited to the body than typical vitamin B1 supplements because it is fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins like B1 are absorbed into the body without the presence of fat, but they can’t be stored, so any surplus is not stored but removed from the body during urination.

This means that that the body can become deficient of vitamin B1 very easily if it is not replenished with the nutrient on a regular basis. Thiamine deficiency can be the basis of a number of ailments.

On the other hand, the modified form of vitamin B1, Benfotiamine, enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract with greater ease, and is able to infiltrate the cells of the body more effectively and the excess amount is stored in the body’s fat for release as required over time.

In 2003 Dr. Michael Brownlee of Albert Einstein College of Medicine published results of research showing how benfotiamine obstructed the biochemical paths through which high levels of sugar causes severe diabetic impediments. This led to an increased interest in the supplement because according to 2013 estimates more than 382 million people are diabetics.

Diabetes medicines target the blood and concentrate on keeping blood sugar levels in the normal range. Benfotiamine however, works on lowering the intracellular glucose levels, and amends the way body responds to the toxic substances produced as a result of excess sugar in the body. It incites the production of the enzyme transketolase, which converts what could be toxic products from the breakdown of glucose to harmless compounds.

Benfotiamine also blocks the main pathways that produce toxic substances like advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These products are implicated in a number of disorders associated with diabetes, like diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), retinopathy (vision issues), cardiovascular disease and nephropathy (kidney problems).

Furthermore, accumulation of AGE’s is also a risk for cardiac issues for people without diabetics. It is believed that AGE’s work through different mechanisms to enhance vascular damage, inflammation and scar tissue formation, this issues are only accelerated in diabetics.

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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