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Benfotiamine and Your Neurocognitive Health


Benfotiamine converts to thiamine in the body and enters cells more easily than does thiamine. It serves as a key factor for the three enzymes involved in generating energy from glucose. It is commonly used to help with diabetic neuropathy and alcohol use disorder. 

Key Benefits

  • Supports glucose metabolism
  • Promotes nerve health
  • Helps restore thiamine levels
  • May provide cognitive improvement
  • May provide relief for diabetic neuropathy
  • Supports psychological support in alcoholics since they are typically deficient in thiamine.
  • May benefit cognition

History of Usage

Benfotiamine was developed and invented in Japan and reported internationally in 1961 by Wada, Takagi, and Minakami. It is marketed as an over-the-counter medicine to help diabetic neuropathy and, since 2017, it’s been marketed as a pharmaceutical drug in numerous countries. 


Benfotiamine activates the enzyme transketolase, a part of the pentose phosphate pathway that turns sugars into sources of energy instead of harmful glycation end products (AGEs). It changes the production of the enzymes Nos3 and PKB/Akt to increase cell regeneration and reduce cellular death. It inhibits the NOX4 gene, improving the breakdown of sugar in muscles, and inhibits the GSK3b gene, improving brain health.

Recent Trends

Benfotiamine B1 which supports neurocognitive health is likely to get included in memory formulas, glucose support supplements, and nerve support supplements in the form of capsules, creams, tinctures, and powders.


  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with a healthcare professional before taking benfotiamine.
  • When taken in standard doses, benfotiamine is generally considered safe for the majority of people, though its long-term safety has not been studied. The adverse effects observed in clinical trials were mild and included gastrointestinal problems and skin reactions.
  • Because benfotiamine is converted to thiamine (vitamin B1), and thiamine may cause low blood pressure or low blood glucose, individuals taking medications or herbs to lower blood pressure or blood glucose should proceed with caution.
  • Individuals who are sulfur sensitive should avoid benfotiamine.
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