by Dr. Alan Inglis

Diabetics are plagued with health problems resulting from damage to their kidneys, retinas, and the nerves in their arms and legs – and it could all boil down to a deficiency in one vital nutrient: vitamin B1.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. And according to a recent study, diabetics are in short supply. The problem is, loading up on thiamin-rich foods, such as navy beans, spinach, and peas, doesn't do diabetics a darn bit of good.

In this study, researchers discovered that the concentration of thiamin in blood plasma was decreased 76 percent for type 1 diabetics and 75 percent in type 2 patients. But the problem wasn't caused by a lack of thiamin-rich foods in the diet. Instead, the researchers found that diabetics excrete thiamin from through the urine at a rate 15 times greater than normal.

So if eating more thiamin-rich foods won't help, how about oral thiamin supplements? Well, they're no good, either. Since thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin, whatever your body doesn't take up will get excreted in the urine. The good news is that there is a fat a fat-soluble form of thiamin, called benfotiamine, which does not have this problem. Nutrition-savvy doctors and patients with diabetes frequently use this form to get vitamin B1 levels back to where they belong.

Benfotiamine is used to treat diabetic neuropathy, which is painful nerve damage. Most studies on benfotiamine for diabetics use 150 mg twice per day, although you can use as little as 80 mg a few times per week and still enjoy some benefit. By the same token, doses of up to 1,200 mg per day have been used to treat more severe case of diabetic neuropathy.

Many nutritional doctors work with specialty supplement companies that offer high-quality benfotiamine, and many special combination supplements that are designed specifically for diabetics will include benfotiamine. You can directly purchase high-quality benfotiamine from Life Extension at 800-544-4440.