(Natural News) Thiamin, also called vitamin B1 or thiamine, is one of the “essential vitamins” – substances that the body needs to work properly. It’s mainly responsible for converting carbohydrates into energy and metabolizing pyruvate, a naturally occurring compound known for its fat-burning properties. Aside from breaking down sugars, thiamin also helps with muscle contraction and the conduction of nerve signals.
For the most part, thiamin deficiency is considered rare in the U.S. and other developed countries. However, that doesn’t mean that we should take our thiamin intake for granted. People suffering from autoimmune diseases, for one, could benefit from vitamin B supplementation. Case studies, in particular, reveal that thiamin can improve fatigue in patients in a matter of days – even hours.
Thiamin benefits those with autoimmune diseases
Supplementing with thiamin is highly beneficial for those suffering from Hashimoto’s disease. If a person has Hashimoto’s disease, their immune system attacks their thyroid gland, impairing its function and increasing their risk of developing heart problems, goiter, and mental disorders. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine looked at the effects of thiamin in patients with Hashimoto’s disease who were also suffering from fatigue. The researchers found that increasing thiamin had a positive effect on the patients: They experienced either partial or complete regression of fatigue a few hours after treatment.
Despite the study’s sample size, the researchers highlighted the relationship between thiamin and thyroid function.
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“Treatment with thiamine led to partial or complete regression of the fatigue within a few hours or days,” they wrote in their report. “It is reasonable to infer that the administration of large quantities of thiamine restores thiamine-dependent processes.”
Another study, this time by researchers from Italy, had similar results. Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease exhibited notable improvements after taking thiamin, in particular, when it came to chronic fatigue from autoimmune diseases. In the study, the researchers noted that this could potentially be a novel treatment for these diseases.
Thiamin deficiency linked to cardiovascular disease
Recent studies have also established a pathway between thiamin deficiency and cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. A review in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases identified the role of thiamin in the development of cardiovascular disease and how this condition is attenuated by supplementation.
“Future studies should focus on the impact of thiamine supplementation on reversing CVDs and risk factors associated with its deficiency,” the study concluded.
In another review, a team from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston noted that thiamin deficiency could play an important role in how congestive heart failure develops in people with chronic alcoholism. They noted that heart failure brought about by alcohol-related thiamin deficiency exhibits nonspecific symptoms and makes diagnosing the disease a challenge.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that over a third of heart failure patients admitted to hospitals are deficient in thiamin. Like other B-vitamins, the body does not store thiamin; according to the researchers, the dietary restrictions that people with heart conditions have could make getting the essential vitamin much more difficult and contribute to a worsening of their current illness. In addition, they pointed out that thiamin deficiency is not an isolated case, as it could indicate a shortage of other micronutrients.
“Deficiency in one dietary component, such as thiamin, is unlikely to occur in isolation and might be a marker for shortages of other micronutrients,” explained Dr. John Cleland, a professor from the University of Hull in the U.K. who wasn’t connected to the study. “Recent research suggests that targeted multi-micronutrient supplementation may improve quality of life and left ventricular function in elderly patients with heart failure.”
Want to learn more about thiamine? Learn more about this essential vitamin.