Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Vitamin B1 v heart attacks.

A particular form of vitamin B1 called benfotiamine has been found to protect against heart attacks and aid recovery from heart attacks.

Vitamin B1 is also called thiamine and thiamin. It is water soluble. Benfotiamine is an analog of B1 (has the same action) but it is fat-soluble.

A team reported a study of heart attacks in mice with and without diabetes, in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. The aim was to find out whether a supplement of benfotiamine improved the chances of surviving a heart attack in diabetic mice. It turned out that the supplement improved the chance of survival of both diabetic and non-diabetic mice.

The mice study was backed up by a lab dish study of human heart cells. This showed that benfotiamine cut the risk of cell death when the cells were starved of oxygen, as happens in a heart attack.

There were other benefits, such as reduced diastolic blood pressure in diabetics before a heart attack, reduced blood pressure in both groups after a heart attack and growth of new blood vessels in the damaged area of the heart.

The levels at which the mice were supplemented, 70mg/kilo, is far in excess of the human bodies normal storage capacity for water soluble B1 – about 30mg – which may be why the researchers chose the fat-soluble version.

Benfotiamine is available as a supplement for humans, while good sources of vitamin B1 are Quorn (30mg/100g), pork, milk, cheese, eggs, peas, beans, fish, wholegrain pasta and wholegrain bread.

Deficiency is rare in the developed world – it leads to beriberi – but studies have found that benfotiamine helps prevent other complications of diabetes.


December 7, 2010 - Posted by | CVD - cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Fish, Health, High blood pressure, Success, Vitamin B1 - thiamine, Whole grain

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