Endothelial Dysfunction and How Benfotiamine Can Help

What is the Endothelium?

human heartThe fine, delicate membrane lining the inside of blood vessels and the heart is known as the endothelium. Cells of the endothelium discharge substances which do a lot of work (1).

They help regulate contraction and relaxation of blood vessels. They release enzymes that control blood clotting, aide the body’s immune system, maintain the body’s fluid volume, electrolytes and other substances passing from the blood to various tissues of the body.

What is Endothelial dysfunction?

Endothelial dysfunction is when any one or more of these jobs is either not being carried out, or is carried out to a limited degree. It is also considered to be a major factor in atherosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the blood vessels with a loss of elasticity) which can lead to lead to heart attack or stroke.

Additionally, endothelial dysfunction is believed to be a forerunner in damage linked with complications associated with diabetes, especially peripheral vascular disease (where blood flow to the legs and arms is hampered). Endothelial dysfunction is brought on due to a number of conditions like hypertension, lack of exercise, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and smoking.

Could Benfotiamine Help Relieve Symptoms of Endothelial Dysfunction?

Benfotiamine has been studied in conjunction with healthy endothelial function and peripheral blood flow, by German scientists. Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s) are created by cooking food at high temperatures and they are a significant factor in endothelial dysfunction.

Participants in the German study were given AGE loaded meals, prior to and following a three day benfotiamine treatment. Oxidative stress and AGE’s, indicators of endothelial function were measured periodically. It was found that the negative changes like diminished blood flow to arms and legs, higher levels of AGE’s, elevated oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction brought on by the AGE rich meals were prevented when benfotiamine was taken with the same meal.

According to an Italian study, benfotiamine can benefit endothelial function even when blood glucose levels are elevated. Also, the same study showed that benfotiamine not only aids the mature endothelial cells but progenitor cells, which develop into mature endothelial cells (2).

These progenitor cells are crucial to maintenance and repair of healthy endothelial cells. Even though hyperglycaemia and high sugar levels in the blood impede natural development of progenitor cells, the damage can be reverted by using benfotiamine (3).

Beware, if You Are a Smoker!

Smoking promotes endothelial dysfunction by aggravating oxidative stress and inflammation. In a study using cross-over and investigator-blinded techniques twenty volunteers were used to investigate the effect of benfotiamine on vascular function. Ten patients asked to smoke only while the other ten were asked to smoke and take a supplement of benfotiamine. Various markers were measured and it was found that benfotiamine provided protective vascular properties (4).

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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