Benfotiamine Product Summary 3 of 7 – TPP: Our Hero … in Chains!
There is a nutrient that could, in theory, pack a potent wallop against the AGE onslaught: Thiamin Pyrophosphate (TPP), the active coenzyme form of the B-complex vitamin thiamin. In 1996, researchers showed that TPP could step in to stop AGE formation at the most important point in the process: the late, irreversible conversion of Amadori products into full-blown AGEs. What’s more, TPP can exert a two-pronged AGE-inhibiting effect in the body, because boosting TPP in cells stressed by high glucose concentrations opens up an important biochemical “safety valve” in the normal metabolism of blood sugar through an enzyme known as transketolase. Activating transketolase allows the body to shunt excess triosephosphates into a safe alternative metabolic pathway, preventing the logjam that leads to the buildup of triosephosphates and the formation of AGE.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that loading up on regular thiamin (vitamin B1) will free you from glycation’s sticky shackles. The problem is that your body’s ability to absorb and metabolize conventional thiamin supplements is very limited. In fact, no matter how much thiamin you take, you don’t materially increase plasma levels beyond what you get from the first 12 milligrams of the dose. And then getting thiamin into the cells to do its job is just as tricky.
You might think that you can get around this problem by taking supplements containing TPP itself, instead of plain old thiamin. Unfortunately, as part of the normal cellular absorption process, specific enzymes actually strip TPP of its phosphate groups. As a result, you get no additional AGE-battling benefit from taking preformed thiamin pyrophosphate instead of standard thiamin. In fact, when you take supplements based on TPP itself, studies show that thiamin levels and biological activity are actually lower than if you take the same amount of regular thiamin!