• Thiamin Deficiency Update

    Posted June 10, 2013: by Bill Sardi

    A hidden plague in modern society has been described in an earlier report.  Not a true nutrient deficiency by lack of dietary provision or poor intake but rather by impaired absorption has lulled modern medicine into assuming beri beri has been conquered.

    Yet it appears large portions of human populations in developed nations suffer from a shortage of thiamin, vitamin B1 due to use of vitamin-blocking medications, overconsumption of refined sugar and beverages that impair B1 absorption – alcohol, tea and coffee.

    Incredulously, despite considerable evidence in the medical literature, modern medicine appears to be oblivious to this B-vitamin shortage and has concocted all manner of newly defined illnesses – irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s dementia to explain it– maladies that are clearly manifestations of a deficiency of an essential nutrient.  Modern medicine in its proclivity to treat every malady as if it were a drug deficiency cannot fathom such an epidemic. Recently published reports underscore this fact.

    Researchers in Australia provided high-dose thiamin (3 X 100 mg of vitamin B1/day) supplements to patients with elevated blood sugar levels and fasting blood sugar levels fell significantly.  High-dose thiamin may head off progression towards diabetes in adults.  In the middle of an unprecedented diabesity epidemic, this discovery is overlooked.

    Another disturbing report indicates as much as 50% of senior Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type senile dementia may actually be suffering from drug-induced delirium. Many drugs (diuretics, lanoxin) induce a B1 deficiency and are implicated.  Recently US researchers described the serious problem of delirium posed by B1 deficiency.  Their report pointed to brain pathologies known to be induced by over-consumption of alcohol.  The report did not fully recognize the broader impact of thiamin deficiency caused by drugs and B1-blocking foods.  Vitamin B1 deficiency is just now being associated with Parkinson’s disease.

    While tobacco use is known to reduce circulating levels of vitamin C, a newly recognized smoking-related vitamin deficiency is thiamin.  Healthy subjects who began smoking cigarettes lost 50% of their ability to control blood flow as their heart rate rose (a problem called flow-mediated dilatation).  Blood vessels must widen (dilate) when the heart rate increases in order to control blood pressure.  The loss of this control is considered the first sign of blood vessel disease.  When healthy smokers took a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 (benfotiamine) that does not wash out of the body as rapidly as water-soluble B1, flow-mediated dilatation was cut in half, from -50% to -25%.  ©2013 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

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