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Benfotiamine


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#1 OneScrewLoose

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 12:34 AM


So it's been about 3 weeks to a month until I started. As far as my original purpose, helping my essential tremor, it didn't do much (maybe a little). But it's helped alot with neuropathic problems, overall energy, ability to get up in the morning, and being cold easily. In short, it's probably one of the best things I've taken. However, the new cancer studies related with thiamine in general are a bit troubling to me. Should I be worried, or is it to premature to conclude that it actually promotes cancer growth?
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#2 hamishm00

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 07:37 AM

So it's been about 3 weeks to a month until I started. As far as my original purpose, helping my essential tremor, it didn't do much (maybe a little). But it's helped alot with neuropathic problems, overall energy, ability to get up in the morning, and being cold easily. In short, it's probably one of the best things I've taken. However, the new cancer studies related with thiamine in general are a bit troubling to me. Should I be worried, or is it to premature to conclude that it actually promotes cancer growth?


I'd like to quote Paul Wafker (hope he doesn't mind) on the issue of cancer (this time in respect of whether or not folic acid supplementation promotes cancer, but I think it also applies here wrt benfo):

"With respect to cancer, it is in some ways the most difficult and
pathological of all diseases. This is because cancer cells are still
cells - merely having aberrant accelerated growth. Thus most nutrients
that benefit normal cells will also benefit cancer cells, so one major
cancer therapeutic approach is to reduce nutrients particularly needed
by dividing cells. Of course, such therapy also downregulates all healthy
cell division, including most importantly the immune system - just when
it is most needed. With cancer, one is essentially "between a rock and a
hard place". Therefore, the only rational approach to cancer is to do
everything possible to prevent the occurrence of cancerous cells in the
first place.

With respect to folic acid it is definitely beneficial for this
prevention purpose - it would only be possibly harmful (because it
promotes cell division) once you actually have a fully cancerous cell.
If I were diagnosed with a tumor, then I would likely cut my dosage to a
minimal value. Note that while some maintain that we all have some
cancerous cells and that it is only that they are not yet dividing (have
not yet formed tumors), this is incorrect. While it may be true that
most people have *pre-cancerous* cells, unless they are actually
dividing uncontrollably and on their way to forming tumors, they are not
truly cancerous. It is only the *rate* of this division that is highly
variable and modifiable by various lifestyle factors - mainly dietary."
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#3 pycnogenol

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 03:06 PM

In short, it's probably one of the best things I've taken.


Yes, its easily the very best supplement I've taken specifically for normalizing my glucose, along with diet and exercise.

I take 250 mg 1/2 hour before breakfast and dinner for a total of 500 mg per day.

Benfotiamine is a keeper in my meager supplement regimen. Costs me about $125 for a 1 year supply*

(*Life Extension "Mega Benfotiamine")

Edited by pycnogenol, 09 January 2010 - 03:17 PM.

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#4 kismet

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 03:38 PM

With respect to folic acid it is definitely beneficial for this prevention purpose - it would only be possibly harmful (because it promotes cell division) once you actually have a fully cancerous cell.

But everyone has cancer! That's exactly the reason why researchers are weighing the pros (prevention) and cons (promotion) of folic acid and many arrive at the conclusion that there's no evidence to support any benefits and that the risk is too high.

While it may be true that most people have *pre-cancerous* cells, unless they are actually dividing uncontrollably and on their way to forming tumors, they are not truly cancerous. It is only the *rate* of this division that is highly variable and modifiable by various lifestyle factors - mainly dietary."

That makes not that much sense if you think about it: Higher rate of growth equals higher/faster acquisition of mutations allowing escape from surveillance mechanisms at early stages or simply a worse prognosis once you have a dormant, but fully-blown cancer (which can happen to anyone -- that on its own is bad enough!) High growth rates are the very mechanism allowing esacpe.

Some of the "pre-cancerous" lesions you have in mind *are* real cancers, just kept in check by the immune system and other mechanisms. Higher growth rates tend to kip the scale in their favour.

No question, there is a possible risk. Now we just need data to quantify risk or lack thereof...
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#5 Lufega

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:06 PM

So the benfo. helping some parameters? That's good to hear. I forgot the mention that I used benfotiamine in moderate doses for sometime before that increased to the dose that helped the tremors.
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#6 OneScrewLoose

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:10 PM

I am currently taking 150mg 3x/day. The tremor, if I am not on any certain meds, is very small. But I am currently on Elavil. Only 25mg, but it causes a significant tremor. Any SRI, any NRI, and a variety of other medications cause this tremor. It is really a shame because I find Elavil extremely helpful for my neuropathic and stomach issues, but can't go up because of the tremor. I've been able to get off my PPI since starting it, but I might go back on because I am having some issues now that my body has adjusted to the Elavil and downregulated. Of course, the tremor is as strong as ever.

It really sucks.
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#7 Lufega

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 08:09 PM

What kind of stomach issues? Have you tried citicoline for neuropathy related issues?
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#8 OneScrewLoose

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 08:28 PM

It's just very sensitive. I easily get gas and I never go to the bathroom regularly. The Elavil helps this, and will probably help a lot more if I could go up.
Citicholine makes me feel terrible.
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#9 VespeneGas

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 10:50 PM

With respect to folic acid it is definitely beneficial for this prevention purpose - it would only be possibly harmful (because it promotes cell division) once you actually have a fully cancerous cell.

But everyone has cancer! That's exactly the reason why researchers are weighing the pros (prevention) and cons (promotion) of folic acid and many arrive at the conclusion that there's no evidence to support any benefits and that the risk is too high.

While it may be true that most people have *pre-cancerous* cells, unless they are actually dividing uncontrollably and on their way to forming tumors, they are not truly cancerous. It is only the *rate* of this division that is highly variable and modifiable by various lifestyle factors - mainly dietary."

That makes not that much sense if you think about it: Higher rate of growth equals higher/faster acquisition of mutations allowing escape from surveillance mechanisms at early stages or simply a worse prognosis once you have a dormant, but fully-blown cancer (which can happen to anyone -- that on its own is bad enough!) High growth rates are the very mechanism allowing esacpe.

Some of the "pre-cancerous" lesions you have in mind *are* real cancers, just kept in check by the immune system and other mechanisms. Higher growth rates tend to kip the scale in their favour.

No question, there is a possible risk. Now we just need data to quantify risk or lack thereof...


Yes, thiamine supplementation probably poses certain cancer risks. But the same could reasonably be said for eating a healthy ad libitum diet, since it too favors cancer promotion when compared to CRAN. In both cases the user must weigh the risks of their lifestyle choice versus the benefits they receive. Most people on these boards, including you, kismet, IIRC, eat ad lib even though they want to live forever, despite the fact that CR is the only intervention we have available which has even an arguable chance of extending maximum lifespan.

Sounds like benfotiamine is improving the OP's QoL substantially, and in this context, it may readily be argued that it's successfully being used to treat disease (or manage its side effects). If so, it probably won't be used indefinitely, and since the OP is young, this substantially cuts down on the risk of cancer promotion, which is magnified in middle to old age when the body's mechanisms for preventing and eliminating malignancies deteriorates.

Basically I would say, if it's helping a lot, keep it, but obviously continuing to pursue nonpharmacological solutions to your issues would substantially eliminate a number of health risks. I wouldn't plan on making it a lifelong supplement unless dependent on it for basic well-being.
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