Neuropathy: a potentially promising treatment

By Caroltoo Latest Reply 2012-01-09 14:25:47 -0600
Started 2012-01-07 11:35:57 -0600

Clinical studies suggest use of benfotiamine (a specific form of B1) and methylcobalamine (a specific form of B12) with right alpha lipoic acid can reduce neuropathy in as little as 3 weeks.

I was personally just beginning to develop neuropathy in my left foot when I started using benfotiamine four days ago and am already noticing a significant normalization of sensation in the foot, which has not tingled during the last 24 hours. I have not added in the specific forms of B12 and ALA recommended by this information, but am using a preparation "Neuro-Vascular Support" formulated by Dr. Whittaker. His contains B12, B6, and ALA in other formulation.

This information has been excepted and adapted from the link listed at the end of the article. This information is too show us options that are based in research and not tied specifically to the product link. The link is product/sales specific and included here to acknowledge the source of this information.

Instead of thiamine use a form of vitamin B1 called benfotiamine. This molecule has a unique open-ring structure that enables benfotiamine to pass directly through cell membranes into the cell.

An important study in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Therapy found that the bioavailability of benfotiamine is 3.6 X greater than thiamine hydrochloride. That means when you take benfotiamine, you get more vitamin B delivered to your cells where it’s needed.

With benfotiamine, the sustained increase of Thiamine Pyrophosphate (TPP) can produce beneficial effects on general nerve health, neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, polyneuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and coronary health for diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

In addition, benfotiamine is less toxic than thiamine hydrochloride. And after decades of use by millions of people, there have been no adverse affects reported related to the use of vitamin B-1. There is minimal to no downside in trying benfotiamine and the individual results have the potential to be quite significant.

A German study found that benfotiamine can relieve neuropathy pain within 3 weeks.

B12 (Methylcobalamine) is absorbed and used more efficiently than B12 (cyanocobalamine), the more common form of vitamin B12 found in many supplements.

A study in the Journal of Neurological Science postulated that methylcobalamine could increase protein synthesis and help regenerate nerves. Scientists state that ultra-high doses of methylcobalamine have been proven in clinical studies to produce nerve regeneration.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is the key to significant reduction of neuropathy and nerve pain. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that is both fat and water soluble, which improves the function of cell “transporters” that carry and distribute glucose. R-ALA is also one of the few substances that can cross the blood/brain barrier to enter the brain and go directly where it is needed most.

Mostly, R-ALA is the only antioxidant that has the unique ability to regenerate itself and other antioxidants such as B vitamins. Many studies, doctors and researchers have shown R-ALA to be up to 12 times as effective as the cheaper S-ALA found in most common Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements.

R-ALA also has a specific effect on nerves which eases the burning, pain, and numbness associated with neuropathy. It promotes better blood flow and oxygen to the nerves. It also promotes the entry of glucose and the breakdown of it into cells.

Sometimes referred to as “super antioxidant,” R-ALA can regenerate other antioxidants (e.g., B vitamins), combating free radicals which are a primary cause of nerve damage.

Researcher L. Androne found that “The antioxidant therapy with r-alpha-lipoic acid improves and may prevent diabetic neuropathy.”

“Treatment with R-ALA over 3 weeks is safe and effective in reducing symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy,” reports scientist FA Gries.

And scientist D. Ziegler states: “Oral treatment with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid for 5 weeks improved neuropathic symptoms.”

Natural remedies
Our research team also found that the medical literature revealed that there are quite a few herbal remedies that reduce pain in general and nerve pain in particular.

Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Feverfew extracts have numerous clinical studies proving that they relieve pain and inflammation, Oat Straw extract also helps to sooth itchy skin, Passion flower helps reduce stress and anxiety, and
Skullcap extract increases the supply of blood to the brain and promotes a tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system

Years of clinical studies have proven that these ingredients work at eliminating unwanted symptoms from nerve pain. In fact, many of the studies conclude that these forms of B vitamins and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid actually reverse neuropathy.

So tell me about these clinical studies?
Here are just a few excerpts from the peer-reviewed clinical studies used to establish the effectiveness of these ingredients:

“These findings indicate that methyl-B12 promotes regeneration of degenerating nerve terminals” Says scientist K Yamazaki – 1994

“An overall beneficial therapeutic effect on the neuropathy status was observed in all three groups during the study, and a significant improvement in most of the parameters studied appeared already at the 3rd week of therapy. The greatest change occurred in the group of patients receiving the high dose of benfotiamine ” Researcher G Winkler – 1999

“It is quite clear that benfotiamine is absorbed much better than water-soluble thiamine salts: maximum plasma levels of thiamine are about 5 times higher after benfotiamine. The bioavailability is at maximum about 3.6 times as high as that of thiamine” D Loew – 1996

“Ultra-high dose methylcobalamine promotes nerve regeneration.”
T Watanabe – 1994

“The active group showed statistical improvement… and no side effects were encountered.” Resarchers from King Khalid University

“The antioxidant therapy with R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid improves and may prevent diabetic neuropathy.” Researcher L Androne – 2000

“Treatment with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid over 3 weeks is safe and effective in reducing symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy” FA Gries – 1997

“Oral treatment with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid for 5 weeks improved neuropathic symptoms.” D Ziegler – 2006

“The active group showed statistical improvement in the somatic and autonomic symptoms with regression of signs of diabetic neuropathy. The drug was easily tolerated by the patients and no side effects were encountered.”
R Sulimani – 1992

For information about the Complete Neuro-Vascular Support product that I am taking, see (not a link)

For full article and credits, including specific product/sales information, see:

17 replies

jayabee52 2012-01-08 03:19:07 -0600 Report

I am looking for a local (LVNV) source for benfotiamine. I already take ALA. I am up to 1800 mg of ALA. But mine does not say "r" in front of it. Does that mean I am taking the wrong stuff? (frustration!)

Caroltoo 2012-01-08 11:29:19 -0600 Report

My health food store told me a number of years ago that the r or "right" version is more bio-active. It's also a heck of a lot more expensive. I bought a bottle, got a profoundly upset stomach that stayed with me for several days until I made the connection and stopped taking it. I tossed most of the bottle. I now stick with the less bioactive version.

jayabee52 2012-01-09 02:50:00 -0600 Report

I am going to have to check it out. I want the burning pain GONE! But if I do find it, I will need to keep that little side effect in mind. Have you tried the benfotiamine yet?

Caroltoo 2012-01-09 11:15:50 -0600 Report

Yes, I started it slowly because I thought I was getting a negative reaction. Don't know yet if it was my organs just sopping up all those wonderful bio-active B vitamins or if I was having a gluten reaction to some cookies I had eaten a week or so before. Whatever, now up to 2/day and doing well. No tingling in my feet/sole or pain anywhere else.

The product I purchased from Dr. Whitaker also has the ALA, Benfotiamine, B6, and B12. I've just reduced the ALA I am taking from other sources, so that dosage is constant eventhough some now comes from my original source and some from the new capsules.

Caroltoo 2012-01-09 11:19:07 -0600 Report

Diabetics are more susceptable to infections anywhere and postmenopausal women, in particular, to increased UTIs. On the surface, that's a different type of pain, but if part of the cause is decreased blood supply/reduced circulation, I guess this could be helpful to you also.

eristar 2012-01-09 05:42:38 -0600 Report

I have gotten several in the past year as well - but started taking cranberry capsules, and have not had one since; my doctor recommended that I start on the cranberry. Good luck!

jayabee52 2012-01-09 03:55:32 -0600 Report

I think I get it Jackie, You clued in to my "burning pain"comment, as I wasn't clear about the burning pain to which I was referring. I was referring to my burning pain of diabetic neuropathy starting at my knees and continuing down through my toes.

It is actually just a bit off topic here, but since you asked Jackie I looked up an article on possible causes of Urinary tract infections (UTIs) including the bladder. You can find the article here ~

Unfortunately women get UTIs more frequently than men and some women, according to the article, seem to get UTIs more frequently as they age and some more than others.

pixsidust 2012-01-07 18:27:54 -0600 Report

This is timely for me. I am starting to have some symptoms.
Where to you get benfotiamine?

Caroltoo 2012-01-07 18:55:31 -0600 Report

I ordered mine online from and it's called Complete Neuro-Vascular Support. It is a blend of Benfotiamine, B6, B12, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and a proprietary blend of Lychee and Green Tea. It suggests 2-4 capsules/day. I'm taking 1 and working up slowly. It says it gives a boost to your metabolism and my first two capsule dose made me very aware of the boost, so I slowed down.

A few weeks ago Hugh mentioned as his source. I like Whitaker's because I know I'm probably B deficient because of my gluten-intolerance, and this way I get more than just the B1 (Benfotiamine). In the amount I ordered, it was about 31 cents/capsule.

Here is his website:
If this doesn't take you to the correct page, then use the search engine on the home page and look for neurovascular support.

pixsidust 2012-01-07 19:30:05 -0600 Report

Thank You!

Caroltoo 2012-01-07 19:37:49 -0600 Report

You are very welcome. I find his site a bit difficult to navigate at times because of the way things are grouped. I enjoy his online newsletter and will get that when my one by snail mail expires.