Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative

Ann Nutr Metab. 1991;35(5):292-6. doi: 10.1159/000177659.


The bioequivalence of thiamin in 2 therapeutically used preparations was tested in 10 healthy young men. Thiamin was orally administered either as lipophilic benfotiamine or as water-soluble thiamin mononitrate. Biokinetic data, measured as area under the curve and maximal concentration in plasma and hemolysate after ingestion, demonstrated a significantly improved bioavailability from the lipophilic derivative despite an ingested dose of only 40% as compared with the water-soluble salt. A superior cellular efficacy of benfotiamine was also concluded from the short-term stimulation of the thiamin-dependent transketolase activity in erythrocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Availability
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Solubility
  • Thiamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thiamine / blood*
  • Thiamine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Transketolase / blood
  • Water


  • Water
  • Transketolase
  • Thiamine
  • benphothiamine