Is This the Answer to Alzheimer’s?

I probably don’t need to tell you how frightening a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be. Almost everyone knows someone suffering with this degenerative disease.

Alzheimer’s researchers have more questions than answers. We’re not sure exactly what causes it… whether certain conditions linked to the disease are symptoms or our bodies’ defenses… and there’s no cure.

The latest breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research may finally offer real hope to sufferers. But it’s not some fancy new drug. It’s not an ancient secret unearthed from the past. And doctors in Europe have been prescribing it for years… for a disease closely linked to Alzheimer’s risk.

This breakthrough is derived from vitamin B1. It’s known as benfotiamine (BFT).

The Diabetes “Un-Drug” That Works Better Than Drugs

Diabetes drugs can do a good job controlling blood sugar. But most don’t fight Type II diabetes’ complications. The nerve damage, blindness, circulation problems, etc. BFT does both.

Unlike its parent, thiamine, BFT is fat-soluble. So where vitamin B1 is washed out of your system quickly, BFT isn’t. And it passes into cells more easily.

Studies show BFT…

  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory in the central nervous system
  • Boosts antioxidant activity
  • Blocks a common form of diabetic damage to blood vessels

Depending on your definition, BFT is or isn’t a drug. It’s derived from vitamin B1, which is natural. But BFT itself is technically synthetic. In the U.S., BFT is marketed as a dietary supplement. And it’s remarkably inexpensive.

Which is great news, because what makes BFT a good choice for Type II diabetes also makes it a potent defense against Alzheimer’s disease.

We don’t have the full story yet, but it’s pretty clear there’s a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

In 2013, Epidemiologic Reviews published an analysis of 15 studies looking at diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Fourteen of those studies found a link between the two diseases. Nine found a significant link.

The studies found Type II diabetes raised the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 245%. The average risk, though, came out at 157%. That’s still a big jump… and a good reason to get your blood sugar under control.

BFT seems to be an excellent choice to do just that. Plus, cut your risk of Alzheimer’s.

How well does BFT work? I’m glad you asked.

Powerful Defenses Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Studies on BFT range from test-tube research to animal studies to human trials. Let’s look at a few of them in that order…

  • Neuroscience Bulletin published a Chinese study that found BFT helps block formation of Beta-amyloid plaques – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
  • In a 2010 model of Alzheimer’s disease, 8 weeks of BFT treatment improved memory and lowered levels of Alzheimer’s-linked Beta-amyloid plaques and tau protein “tangles.”
  • A paper presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience backed these findings. BFT eased cognitive decline, slowed build-up of plaques and tau tangles, and blocked inflammation and free radical damage.
  • A 2014 international study found animals treated with BFT for just two weeks showed better memory, learning ability, and mood.

Human studies are just getting under way. But we have results from one small study. And the results are promising.

Chinese doctors tested BFT on 5 Alzheimer’s patients for 18 months. They found BFT slowed cognitive decline and disease progression. Including in one patient who took no other medications.

Finally, here’s the bottom line…

Should You Take Benfotiamine?

If you’re at risk of Type II diabetes and/or Alzheimer’s disease, taking BFT may make sense. Moderate doses appear to be safe, and its effects are proven in Type II diabetes.

The evidence is less clear for Alzheimer’s disease. But we know this…

  • Type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease appear to be closely linked
  • Type II diabetes raises your risk for Alzheimer’s – by an average 157%
  • Studies so far suggest BFT may ease key effects of Alzheimer’s

Of course, you should talk to your doctor. But keep in mind most doctors have been trained to focus on drugs and downplay supplements. So you may want to focus on “what is the potential harm?” rather than “will it help?”

Also, if you’re taking any drugs, check with your pharmacist to ensure BFT won’t interfere with their activity. Chances are slim – since it’s a form of a common vitamin – but better safe than sorry.

We still don’t have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But we may now have the next best thing. And – until there is a cure – that’s about as good as news can get.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


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Bozic, I., et al, “Benfotiamine Attenuates Inflammatory Response in LPS Stimulated BV-2 Microglia,” PLOSOne. Feb 19, 2015; 10(2): e0118372.

Harisa, G.I., “Benfotiamine Enhances Antioxidant Defenses and Protects against Cisplatin‐Induced DNA Damage in Nephrotoxic Rats,” Aug 2013; 27(8): 398-405.

Stirban, A., et al, “Benfotiamine Prevents Macro- and Microvascular Endothelial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress…” Diabetes Care. Sep 2006; 29(9): 2064-2071.

Vagelatos, N.T. and Eslick, G.D., “Type 2 Diabetes as a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease…” Epidemiologic Reviews. Jan 2013; 35(1): 152-160.

Sun, X.J., et al, “Benfotiamine prevents increased β- amyloid production in HEK cells induced by high glucose,” Neuroscience Bulletin. Oct 2012; 28(5): 561-566.

Tapias, V., et al, “Benfotiamine Treatment Activates Nrf2/ARE Pathway and is Neuroprotective in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Tauopathy,” Society for Neuroscience. Nov 2017.

Markova, N., et al, “Thiamine and benfotiamine improve memory, decrease depressive-like behavior and reduce brain expression of GSK3 beta in mice,” 8th International Conference on Thiamine. May 2014.

Zhong, C., “Benfotiamine Improves Cognitive Ability of Alzheimer’s Patients…” Alzheier’s & Dementia. Jul 2016; 12(7): P429.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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