Alpha Lipoic Acid or Benfotiamine Better For Diabetes

ALA and benfotiamine to prevent diabetic complications

Benfotiamine vs Alpha Lipoic Acid: Which Is Better?

Long-term high blood sugar levels cause typical diabetic chronic health conditions as well as serious long-term diabetes damage. Diabetic polyneuropathy refers to the death of several peripheral nerves that are responsible for sensory sensations (eg. diabetic neuropathy in the feet), movement, and organ control. Other diabetic comorbidities can result in the loss of individual limbs (diabetic foot) or become apparent as a result of arteriosclerosis, such as heart attack and stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss. In this blog, you will learn what causes diabetes long-term damage and how it can be avoided by taking the biofactors benfotiamine and alpha-lipoic acid on a regular basis and whether benfotiamine or alpha-lipoic acid is better for your diabetes.

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid is not a vitamin, but rather a water- and fat-soluble sulfurous fatty acid that the body produces naturally. It is involved in the production of mitochondrial energy in each cell, which our bodies rely on to stay alive. Furthermore, lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can bind not only free radicals but also heavy metals, aiding in detoxification. Furthermore, it can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10 to restore the balance so that they can resume their antioxidative function. Because alpha-lipoic acid is both fat- and water-soluble, it can enter all cells and body fluids and even cross the blood-brain barrier to exert its effect.

A 2008 study found that short-term treatment with alpha-lipoic acid can alleviate polyneuropathy symptoms. The NATHAN II study, for example, found improvements in nerve function after four years as part of the neurological study, as well as some neuropathic symptoms in the alpha-lipoic acid group. Their potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties aid in the binding of harmful oxygen radicals, reducing the load on the bloodstream and nerves. This also helps to reduce the dangers of damaged blood vessels, such as arteriosclerosis, and the risk of heart attack and stroke. The alpha lipoic acid can be used both symptomatically (to relieve pain and paresthesia symptoms) and pathogenetically (i.e. to stop disease progression). To learn more about alpha lipoic acid read this article we have posted before.

What is Thiamine or B1?

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is essential in the long-term effects of diabetes, particularly diabetic polyneuropathy.

When the biofactor thiamine is deficient, carbohydrate metabolism becomes unbalanced and the damaging degradation products of sugar metabolism, the Advanced glycation end products, also know as AGEs, begin to accumulate. They contribute to the appearance and progression of diabetic polyneuropathy by interfering with nerve function. A healthy thiamine balance helps to regulate the AGEs in the blood by reducing their production via the support of certain glucose metabolic pathways – and normal nerve function benefits as a result. If someone wants to specifically regulate his vitamin B1 balance, thiamine derivatives are recommended. Several medical studies have shown that fat-soluble benfotiamine, a vitamin B1 precursor, is well absorbed by the body and can help to prevent the formation of harmful sugar degradation products. A study conducted at the University of Bad Kissingen found that subjects who took benfotiamine to relieve nerve pain and improve sensory nerve functions were able to perceive fine sensory stimuli like vibration better than the control group. To learn more about benfotiamine read this article. 

In summary: Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and benfotiamine are two popular supplements for neuropathy. Though they work in different ways, both have been shown to be effective in relieving neuropathic pain.

SugarMD Neuropathy Support
SugarMD Neuropathy Support

What Is The Difference Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and Benfotiamine?

Alpha lipic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect nerves from damage. It also helps to improve blood sugar levels, which can help to reduce neuropathic pain. Benfotiamine, on the other hand, helps to break down advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are damaging compounds that build up in nerves and can contribute to neuropathic pain. By breaking down AGEs, benfotiamine can help to relieve neuropathic pain.

There is some evidence that ALA and benfotiamine may work synergistically to provide greater relief from neuropathic pain than either supplement alone. That is why we put them together in our sugarmd neuropathy support supplement and even added L carnitine and B complex vitamins. If you’re considering taking ALA or benfotiamine for neuropathy, be sure to check our website first.

Thanks for reading. See you in the next blog.

About the author: Dr. Ahmet Ergin is the author of The Ultimate Diabetes Book and the Founder of the SugarMD youtube channel. He practices in Port Saint Lucie, FL as an endocrinologist physician.


2 thoughts on “Alpha Lipoic Acid or Benfotiamine Better For Diabetes

  1. Mrs Brigitte Zammit says:

    It is very interesting subject, I am a diabetic and I am taking Befothiamine and B6, should I look for alpha lipoic acid as well. As you don’t ship to Australia. Can you guide me.

    Thank you
    Regards Brigitte

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