Benfotiamine or S-benzoylthiamine O-monophosphate has been used for many years as a prescription drug in Europe, for treating eyesight disorders like extended hyerglyceria (as well as other health concerns) which are linked to low levels vitamin B1 (thiamine).
Since benfotiamine is better absorbed by the body than vitamin B1 in it’s usual form, because it is fat-based, it more easily enhances the levels of thiamine in the body.
This is a very important health factor.
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.
The health benefits 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.
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.
2 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_glycation_end-product
3 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039400/
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.