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Clinician’s Corner: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)  (also spelled “thiamin”)

Function of Thiamine: Function: plays in carbohydrate breakdown and nerve conduction.

Deficiency States: Also associated with malabsorption, dialysis, and protein-calorie under nutrition. In addition to insufficient intakes of thiamin from the diet, the causes of thiamin deficiency include lower absorption or higher excretion rates than normal due, for example, to certain conditions (such as alcohol dependence or HIV/AIDS) or use of some medications

  • Dry beriberi:  nervous system deficiency resulting in a degenerating neuropathy characterized by neuritis, paralysis, and atrophy of muscle.  Heavy alcohol intake may cause Wernicke’ encephalopathy & Korsakoff’s psychosis.
  • Wet beriberi: involves cardiovascular system, resulting in swelling, partly due to heart insufficiency.

Alcoholics: Most thiamine deficiencies in the US are due to alcoholism. Chronic alcohol use disorders appear to be the most common cause of thiamin deficiency.

Other patient groups prone to thiamine deficiency:

  • Patients with HIV/AIDS
  • People with Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes have 75% less thiamine levels (increase renal clearance)
  • People with gastric bypass surgery
  • Other intake deficiencies: dieting, starvation hyperemesis of pregnancy

How much Thiamine should take? Dosing of Thiamine (Vitamin B-1):

  • Dietary requirements for thiamine are only 1 to 2 mg daily, absorption and utilization of thiamine are incomplete, and some patients have genetically determined requirements for much larger dose. Most over the counter once daily vitamins contain 1.5 mg of thiamine.
  • Most patients are started on IV thiamine in the hospital, after discharge daily oral administration of 100 mg of thiamine Vitamin B-1, is recommended until the patient is no longer at risk.

Your Thompson Pharmacist is a great resource for your vitamin needs.  Go ahead and ASK…at Thompson Pharmacy it’s all for YOU!