The truth is that many of us do not get enough B vitamins from the food sources we eat. Not many of us are even aware of the consequences a deficiency in B vitamins can have on our bodies. B vitamins play a crucial role in essential bodily functions, help form red blood cells, protect our nerves and tissue, and aid the body in converting food into energy.
Common signs of deficiency include:
- Hair Loss
- Weight Loss
- Skin Problems
- Memory Problems
- Digestive Problems
- Muscle Weakness
- Problems with Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
Many of us have heard about Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and how crucial it is for our body. It enhances cardiovascular function and aids the body in converting carbs into glucose for energy. Vitamin B1 is a key nutrient that boosts energy production and protects the body from aging. Other benefits include protecting the nervous system in order to ensure that it stays healthy. A healthy nervous system ultimately results in a healthy brain. Thiamine facilitates proper development of the myelin sheaths around nerves. Deterioration of those coverings can lead to nerve damage and negatively affect the brain. Thiamine also plays an essential role in enhancing memory. This is also why vitamin B1 is known for slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the main problem with vitamin B1 is that it is water soluble. This essentially means that it does not stay in the body long enough. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body long enough, are quickly excreted through urine, and need to constantly be replaced every day. However, there is a fat-soluble form of Vitamin B1, called benfotiamine. Benfotiamine has been found to be 5 times more efficacious than thiamine and helps with carb conversion, energy, and regulates blood sugar. Fat soluble vitamins do not need to be replenished as often.
Benfotiamine also has the ability to stop age-related disturbances in the brain tissue as cognition tends to slow down with age. It can prevent disorders like beriberi and prevent the loss of motor and sensory functions. Benfotiamine helps protect the brain by preventing neurodegeneration and ensuring that the brain is constantly getting enough energy in order to send and accept signals between the brain and central nervous system.
In addition to those brain benefits, it has the ability to help diabetics control their blood sugar and manage the effects a high glucose level can have on the brain. There is a link between blood sugar and cognition as enough glucose has to pass the blood-brain barrier in order for the brain to function optimally. It is important to prevent a progression of age-related symptoms of the brain associated with high glucose levels. The progression of the symptoms includes things like neuropathy, paralysis, and advanced neurological issues.
The benefits of benfotiamine on the body are numerous. A deficiency can lead to a multitude of symptoms which is why it can be beneficial to take a b-complex vitamin as part of a wellness routine if a deficiency is suspected. As always, consult with your doctor to check and see if this is an appropriate health measure for you.