Diabetics have poor outcomes from heart attacks, respond poorly to treatments of heart attacks, and have higher risk of heart failure. Benfotiamine (BFT), a form of thiamine (vitamin B-1) reduces the circulatory problems of diabetes and can reduce the damage to the heart. There is evidence that BFT protects heart muscle cells after heart attack.
Mice were rendered diabetic chemically in this study. Some of the mice received BFT in their drinking water and some did not. The dose of BFT used here increases the blood levels of thiamine 400%. Some of the animals had a coronary artery tied off to cause a heart attack, and some did not. Extensive blood testing was done, and slides of sections of the heart were made after the animals were sacrificed for study.
Before treatment with BFT, the survival rates for non-diabetic and diabetic mice were 50% and 25%. After treatment the survival rates were improved to 80% and 50%. Heart function and heart blood supply were significantly improved with BFT in both groups. There was improved angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels) in the area of heart damage of both groups with BFT treatment for better wound healing. BFT reduced oxidative damage, apoptosis (cell death), and heart scarring in both groups.
CONCLUSION: Following heart attack, BFT was of great benefit to both diabetic and non-diabetic mice.
NOTE: Benfotiamine is an analog of thiamine, but, it can have very different properties. Whereas thiamine deficiency (beriberi) results in increased angiogenesis, benfotiamine treatment results in increased angiogenesis. Thiamine does little for Alzheimer’s disease. Benfotiamine helps Alzheimer’s disease and reduces amyloid formation.
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