Benfotiamine is marketed as a dietary supplement in most of the developed world and labeled as a pharmaceutical drug in some countries under the trade name of Milgamma (1). It is a derivative of thiamine (Vitamin B1). Benfotiamine is more bioavailable then thiamine salts, providing higher levels of thiamine in muscle, brain, liver, and kidney (2).
Benfotiamine is primarily used as an antioxidant in the supplement world. It is also marketed as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy. Benfotiamine has been studied in laboratory models of diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy with some positive results (3).
- Scientific Opinion of the Panel on food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food on benfotiamine, thiamine monophosphate chloride and thiamine pyrophophate chloride, as sources of vitamin B1. The EFSA journal. 2008;864:1-31.
Loew D1. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996;34(2):47-50.
- Balakumar P, Rohilla A, Krishan P, Solairaj P, Thangathirupathi A. The multifaceted therapeutic potential of benfotiamine. Pharmacol Res. 2010;61(6):482-8. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2010.02.008.