thiamine limbic system

How Can Something As Simple as Thiamine Cause So Many Problems?

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I have read a criticism that thiamine deficiency is “too simple” to explain the devastating nature of the post Gardasil illnesses or the systemic adverse reactions to some medications. Sometimes, it is the simple and overlooked elements that are the most problematic.

Understanding Thiamine’s Role in Complex Adverse Reactions – The Limbic System

The lower part of the brain, called the brainstem, is a like computer, controlling the most basic aspects of survival, from breathing and heart rate, hunger and satiety, to fight or flight and reproduction. This computer-like function within the brainstem is called the autonomic system (ANS). The ANS together with the limbic system act in concert to regulate our most basic survival functions and behaviors. Both require thiamine to function.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS , a type of dysautonomia (dysregulation of the autonomic system) seems to be the among the commonest manifestations of the Gardasil effect. Many cases have been diagnosed already, while others present all of the symptoms but have yet to receive a diagnosis. Dysautonomia and POTS have also been observed with adverse reactions to other medications, as well. Dysautonomia and POTS, at the most basic level, represent a chaotic state of the limbic-autonomic system. Let me explain.

Fragmented Fight or Flight

The brainstem autonomic system together with the limbic system enable us to adapt to our environment, presiding over a number of reflexes that allow us to survive. For example, fight-or-flight is a survival reflex, triggered by perception of a dangerous incident that helps us to kill the enemy or escape. This kind of “stress event” in our ancestors was different from that we experience today. Wild animal predators have been replaced by taxes/business deadlines/rush hour traffic etc. These are the sources of modern stress. The beneficial effect is that the entire brain/body is geared to physical and mental response. However, it is designed for short term action and consumes energy rapidly. Prolonged action is literally exhausting and results in the sensation of fatigue. In the world of today where dietary mayhem is widespread, this is commonly represented as Panic Attacks, usually treated as psychological. They are really fragmented fight-or-flight reflexes that are triggered too easily because of abnormal brain chemistry.

Thiamine and Oxidative Metabolism: The Missing Spark Plug

Our brain computers rely completely on oxidative metabolism represented simply thus:

Fuel + Oxygen + Catalyst = Energy

Each of our one hundred trillion body/brain cells is kept alive and functioning because of this reaction. It all takes place in micro “fireplaces” known as mitochondria. Oxygen combines with fuel (food) to cause burning or the combustion – think fuel combustion engine. We need fuel, or gasoline, to burn and spark plugs to ignite in order for the engines to run.

In our body/brain cells it is called oxidation. The catalysts are the naturally occurring chemicals we call vitamins (vital to life). Like a spark plug, they “ignite” the food (fuel). Absence of ANY of the three components spells death.

Antioxidants like vitamin C protect us from the predictable “sparks” (as a normal effect of combustion) known as “oxidative stress”.  Vitamin B1, is the spark plug, the catalyst for these reactions. As vitamin B1, thiamine, or any other vitamin deficiency continues, more and more damage occurs in the limbic system because that is where oxygen consumption has the heaviest demand in the entire body. This part of the brain is extremely sensitive to thiamine deficiency.

Why Might Gardasil Lead to Thiamine Deficiency?

We do not know for sure how Gardasil or other vaccines or medications have elicited thiamine deficiency, but they have. We have two girls and one boy, tested and confirmed so far. More testing is underway. Thiamine deficiency in these cases may not be pure dietary deficiency. It is more likely to be damage to the utilization of thiamine from as yet an unknown mechanism, affecting the balance of the autonomic (automatic) nervous system. It is certainly able to explain POTS (one of the many conditions that produce abnormal ANS function) in two Gardasil affected girls. Beriberi, the classic B1 deficiency disease, is the prototype for ANS disease. Administration of thiamine will not necessarily bring about a cure, depending on time since onset of symptoms, but it may help.

Thiamine Deficiency Appetite and Eating Disorders

Using beriberi as a model, let us take appetite as an example of one of its many symptoms. When we put food into the stomach, it automatically sends a signal to a “satiety center” in the computer. As we fill the stomach, the signals crescendo and the satiety center ultimately tells us that we have eaten enough. Thiamine deficiency affects the satiety center, wrecking its normal action. Paradoxically it can cause anorexia (loss of appetite) or the very opposite, a voracious appetite that is never satisfied and may even go on to vomiting. It can also shift from anorexia to being voracious at different times within a given patient. That is why Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia represent one disease, not two.

Thiamine Deficiency, Heart Rate and Breathing

The autonomic nervous system, responsible for fight or flight, regulates heart activity, accelerating or decelerating according to need. So heart palpitations are common in thiamine deficiency. Its most vital action is in control of automatic breathing and thiamine deficiency has long been known to cause infancy sudden death from failure of this center in brainstem.

Thiamine Deficiency and Sympathetic – Parasympathetic Regulation

The hypothalamus is in the center of the brain computer and it presides over the ANS, as well as the endocrine (hormone) system. The ANS has two channels of communication known as sympathetic (governs action) and parasympathetic (governs the body mechanisms that can be performed when we are in a safe environment: e.g. bowel activity, sleep, etc.). When the ANS system is damaged, sometimes by genetic influence, but more commonly by poor diet (fuel), our adaptive ability is impaired. A marginal energy situation might become full blown by a stress factor. In this light, we can view vaccines and medications as stress factors. From false signal interpretation, we may feel cold in a warm environment, exhibiting “goose bumps on the skin”, or we may feel hot in a cold environment and experience profuse sweating. The overriding fatigue is an exhibition of cellular energy failure in brain perception.

Sometimes, it really is the simple, overlooked, elements that cause the most devastating consequences to human health. Thiamine deficiency is one of those elements.

To learn more about thiamine testing: Thiamine Deficiency Testing: Understanding the Labs.

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Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash.

This article was published originally in October 2013.


Derrick Lonsdale M.D., is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), Fellow of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (FACAM). Though now retired, Dr. Lonsdale was a practitioner in pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic for 20 years and was Head of the Section of Biochemical Genetics at the Clinic. In 1982, Lonsdale joined the Preventive Medicine Group to specialize in nutrient-based therapy. Dr. Lonsdale has written over 100 published papers and the conclusions support the idea that healing comes from the body itself rather than from external medical interventions.


  1. I started experimenting with Thiamine and have seen some wonderful improvements (motility, warmth, energy, mood, thirst, sleep), but also am experiencing huge blood sugar spikes and burning toes…. I take this to mean the Thiamine is crashing my BGL and my body is compensating with an emergency glucose release?

    Any light to shed on this pattern I am experiencing?

      • Possibly because it re-engages your adrenal glands and you start putting out more cortisol once more. Cortisol is a steroid which can physiologically increase blood glucose. My guess is that, the sugars will improve after a while as things get back to homeostasis.

  2. all i can say is im amazed…..i came accross thiamine the other day by accident and then read up on it…..i took 1000mg yesterday and today i took 700mg……i dont feel depressed today….i have a lot of energy….im thinking quicker and im happier….iv also read that you need magnesium with it so iv just ordered some… very excited about this i feel fantastic for the first time since i was much youngewr

  3. Can thiamine deficiency lead to extreme coldness and not being able to get warm? I can never get warm and I am always cold… ice cold. So after reading the book and doing some research, i tried some thiamine and within the hour I warmed up. I even started to sweat and I haven’t been able to sweat in over a year. How does thiamine deficiency cause extreme coldness?

    • Any ANS damage can absolutely lead to thermoregulation problems, thiamine deficiency is not an exception.

  4. Hello Dr. Lonsdale
    I am a 77 year old woman with the paf form of dysautonomia. I have had this for 14 years. My biggest issue is with my blood pressure, fall to about 70/45 or less after being upright for a while, then can rise to 175/85 when in bed. I do have an adjustable base bed so I elevate my head. I also have brain fog, sleep issues, loss of appetite, sometimes nausea, tingling in fingers and feet. I have ordered lipothiame and wonder what does I should start with? Thank you so much ! I am desperate to get better.

    • Low blood pressure is a symptom in thiamine deficiency. Start your Likpothiamine with one tablet a day and wait to see if symptoms get temporarily worse (paradox). When paradox is over, you can increase lipothiamine and titrate the dose to symptom relief
      It seems to be possible that TD is the major cause of dysautonomia

  5. I started taking 50mg of B1 3 times a day for few days, than 100mgx3 times/day and than 200mg x3 times/day and looks like I have tension around the heart, dizziness when I stand up (POTS?), general malaise and slight palpitations when I lay down in bed on my back or on my left side. Never on my right side. I will stop for a while and try it more gradually but I am not very confident in the “lack of side effect an d no toxicity” statement regarding vitamin b1.

    • Two things to consider: 1) that is a common paradoxical reaction e.g. those who need thiamine the most, often have negative reactions when they first begin. Remember, a number of systems were regulated with the deficiency and must be once again re-regulated when thiamine is present. This takes time and doesn’t always go smoothly. 2) You went up too much and too soon for your body. There are two schools of thought on how to use thiamine. The first suggests go high early, kick the enzymes into gear and power through the initial negative reactions. The second suggests, start low and go slow and give you body a chance to adapt at each juncture. You may want to try the latter. Finally, when one supplements thiamine, it is important to have magnesium, which is necessary to activate thiamine, but also, the other minerals calcium, potassium and salt. With heart related symptoms I find that a cal/mag blend works well. I have written about the role of calcium in thiamine deficiency, relative to magnesium on a few occasions. Sufficient potassium is also important. During deficiency, there is potassium wasting. When thiamine comes back on board, one can quickly become low in potassium and thus suffer the symptoms you indicated. I would take some time to review the articles on thiamine, the paradoxical reactions, calcium and other electrolytes and case histories of individuals who were thiamine deficient and recovered. This is not as simple as taking a single nutrient. This nutrient happens to control all of mitochondrial energy production.

  6. I have a rather strange question to ask. Is it possible that Thiamine (and/ or other vital b vitamins etc) being depleted could lead to semi paralysis? I have been through a series of stressful events, both physically and mentally, and suddenly it feels as though i am physically weak on the outside and fragile internally, although this is hard to adequately explain to a Dr or an alternative specialist. My legs have partially stopped working, meaning i can walk but I trip over my own feet and i cannot run or jump; it is physically impossible for me to run after my child or to hop over an obstacle that may be in my way. This decline happened very quickly, within weeks. All my most recent blood tests, now a while ago, came back within the normal range, though my oriental medicine practitioner says i am severely yang deficient and I have very poor circulation for my age. Could my Thiamine stores be used up? I am taking a B multi vit but i am aware that normal recommended daily doses are low. Thank you.

    • This sounds very much like what I experienced over the last 9 years ago….

      After seeing dozens of specialists in various countries I was diagnosed with PLS (ALS variant) 3x by neurologists in 3 different countries. I never responded to any of their treatments. For many years I felt like a walking corpse. It was absolute hell.

      HOWEVER, you are in the right place right here!

      In my case it’s clearly thiamine deficiency (beriberi) which I started treating with thiamine TTFD and co-factors about 9 months ago and I have seen significant improvement.

      The sooner you start treating it as Dr Lonsdale describes in his books the faster you will recover!

      I study his book “Thiamine deficiency disease, dysautonomia and high calorie malnutrition “ very thoroughly as well as this website.

      It is the best and most valuable resource for any chronic condition!

      It saved my life as I am fully recovering!!

    • Yes. Read Erin’s review of Dr. Lonsdale’s book on Amazon. She took the antibiotic Metronidazole (Flagyl) and ended up in the emergency room. When she was taking the drug, she lost his ability to walk and speak but experienced a dozen other symptoms that persisted. These include difficulty in swallowing and breathing, constipation, severe anxiety, insomnia, depression, heart palpitations, chest pressure, and several other unspecified problems. some research on her own and discovered that metronidazole is a thiamine antagonist. She also reported that in the medical literature metronidazole toxicity is constantly being compared with WE. You can search Metronidazole here on You might also take a look at oxalates.

  7. you have given me hope!! I suffer with POTS like symptoms and have suffered chronic fatigue for over 10 years. Interestingly, I did receive the Gardasil vaccine approximately 12 years ago. Currently seeing a functional GP that is working with me to correct methylation issues and dysbiosis of the gut, but now I’m thinking there could be a thiamine connection. I suffer from anxiety at night, often waking up in a panic and then experiencing ‘air hunger’ like symptoms preventing restful sleep. I also have a histamine intolerance. I can reduce symptoms (not all) by taking an anti histamine, not sure how Thiamine would impact histamine? I have read that thiamine is a histamine liberator, is this accurate?

    • You need to read the many posts on this forum. Thiamine is not selective. It merely stimulates energy metabolism. You have to think differently!!

      • Not to be rude but this response is unhelpful. The person asking the question clearly has an interest and is attempting to:

        1) engage with you
        2) obtain information pertinent to thiamine, MCAS & POTS
        3) likely, be certain they won’t worsen their condition by taking HD thiamine

        This was an opportunity to empart your fantastic knowledge with research and evidence. And, to promote your site, work and good will toward the audience with a considered response. I feel it’s assumptive to tell someone they should read the site, when that’s exactly what they may have been doing. If there’s a starting point for them that would give them the info they seek, may I suggest it’s highlighted?

        Thiamine being non-selective doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being a liberator. If no one can answer if it is or isn’t, with any certainty, it might be a good time to:

        1) research
        2) make clear there’s a knowledge gap and urge caution for those with MCAS

        I’m really not trying to be a jerk. I understand that this site and the work that’s done for it is time consuming. So is the amount of engagement that happens as a consequence. It’s really just a suggestion and I want to see more people benefit from knowledge as I’m certain that’s your goal too! 🙂

        • Not to be rude, but If I were a 90+yrs doctor that retired after leaving a whole legacy of pioneering research that could potentially cure many diseases plus many posts and questions answered for free in a website for anyone to see I don’t know if I’d have that much patience to (re)explain things like he does to begin with.

          Your concern is sort of valid, but let’s just keep in mind he’s done too much already and he has absolutely no obligation to do so. It’s nice that you tried not to be a jerk about it, but still, feedback is sort of pointless in this context. Give the man some rest.

          If one is looking for tailored medical advice, deep understanding and treatment of one’s case then one should look for an MD who is not retired that goes by the same line of work and compensate him/her appropriately for his/her time and knowledge.

  8. Dr. Lonsdale, I want to ask you what happens when a patient is under Metformin treatment due to corticoid insufficiency and in addition develops Thiamine deficiency (due to a vaccination injury). Reading your books I found that metformin could wreck the thiamine pathways and supplementation benefits. Is there a safe way to combine metformin and thiamine?
    Many thanks

  9. I have been wondering if I might have a B1 deficiency but have not managed to get it tested yet. Is it always better to get tested before trying some supplemental thiamine? I intermittently have postural hypotension, and am very low in both vitamin D and ferritin in spite of the fact that I get every moment in the sun that I can (here in grey England) and eat meat (and are post menopausal). I just recently had two very badly infected root canaled teeth pulled – they were infected over a year, so I know I have been fighting that. I have been wearing a pulse ox that records overnight, and I was surprised to see that it dips below 85 every few days, and always goes between 85-90 several times a night. I wondered if it might be sleep apnea, but when started recording during the day it was the same. Could hypoxemia be linked to B1? I was thinking the low ferritin might cause this. I was thinking of trying some B1 but then I read that it is antagonistic with iron – is this correct? I wouldn’t want to make my ferritin (which is at 28 any lower). Any suggestions for taking iron and B1 both, please?

    • There is no such thing as antagonism between essential nutrients. Your postural hypotension and recurrent hypoxemia do suggest TD and there would be no harm in taking a thiamine supplement

  10. Hi Dr. Lonsdale,

    Thanks a lot for all the incredibly useful information about the sneaky but detrimental effects of systemic thiamine deficiency. This site has explained a lot of the health problems that I have been dealing with for quite some time now. After a stressful period in my life, combined with occasional binge drinking and an exchange to Australia for my studies, I think there is a big chance I could have depleted my thiamine stores. During my trip I already started to have problems with tachycardia and a massive drop in my energy levels. But it was only after I came back home that I started to develop strong fatigue, weird symptoms of dysautonomia (not being able to sweat/trouble with body temperature regulation/cardiovascular issues) and also sleep and digestive issues.

    I have been to multiple specialists for the different symptoms but most of them only look at my bloodwork and say that I am fine or only treat the symptoms instead of looking for the underlying cause.

    I started with supplementing with Sulbuthiamine for 2 weeks now (300mg/day) and am starting to see an improvement in my symptoms. I feel like it really relaxes my system which has been in overdrive for almost 3 years. I’t doesn’t really gives me energy yet though and I was wondering how long it usually takes before that begins to happen and whether I should maybe increase my dose.

    If you could find the time to answer these questions for me i would really appreciate that, thank you.

      • Dr. Lonsdale,

        I’ve been taking 500 mg 3x a day with meals for the last 2-3 weeks or so and have been sweating profusely. I typically rarely sweat, except for maybe a week or two when the weather gets hot here in Seattle.

        It’s making it very hard to sleep at night. Would this suggest perhaps I’m taking too much?

    • Hello I have the exact same issues and sumular background that you mentioned. Major binge drinker in college and several years after, over excercising and poor diet(no veggies) for many years until I started to clean up my act about 3 years ago. Years later, I have chronic insomnia, heart palpitations, digestive issues etc. Have you seen imptovements?

      • Hi Armah,

        To be honest, im still struggling with the fatigue and digestive symptoms.
        Also I have switched form taking Sulbuthiamine to Thiamine HCl (100 mg).

        Problem is that if I take B1 supplementation for too long i get problems with my electrolytes balance and i will have to quit because i feel so bad.

        I’m now gonna try to take a B complex with electrolytes attached to it.

        • Check out Elliot Overton on YouTube. He explains this reaction to thiamine supplementation and how to fix it.

  11. Hi Dr Lonsdale – you have finally given me a ray of hope. I do have a question though if you are able to reply. My daughter is now 15 and has been sick for coming up to 3 years. She is a competitive ballet dancer who is training to become professional, but has steadily declined with illness. We think it could have started with concussion, and then she started to put on weight, no matter how healthily/small she ate. She has been previously diagnosed with adrenal gland fatigue, she now has a parasite and is waiting for a diagnosis if she has SIBO – she definitely has gut issues and we think her liver is not working optimally either. One of the things we noticed as her parents but doctors never thought was interesting was that she was swollen/puffy, especially noticeable in the face (I’m reading your book now and got tearfully excited when one of the first symptoms for Beriberi was edema of the face). She is now extremely swollen all over her body, but it is super noticeable on her left side – both her face and her body. Even her dentist commented that her face/throat was swollen but more so on the left side – it is very exaggerated especially now when she is getting so big. I’m happy to now have a potential diagnosis that makes logical sense to me, but would still like to find out why the swelling is worse on her left side, if you are able to advise? Thank you for your time, Tracey

      • Thank you Dr Lonsdale for replying! We are currently waiting on Allithiamine and Lipothiamine to arrive from overseas as we can’t purchase it here in New Zealand. We are also waiting on help/advice regarding potassium intake/supplementation as well, as we’ve read that you cannot supplement potassium if there are any kidney problems, and our chiropractor said our daughter has kidney/bladder problems – we’re now trying to find out what these problems are.
        Thank you again for replying.

        • Thiamine deficiency CAUSES both low snd high potassium at different stages of the disease. No need to supplement with potassium.

    • Sounds like a goiter from hypothyroidism. Filter out her water with a fluoride water filter and switch from fluoride toothpaste to baking soda or fluoride free toothpaste or some other fluoride free means. Fluoride competes with iodine for the thyroid to make thyroid hormones. It sounds certain that it’s goiter due to iodine insufficiency, exacerbated by chronic fluoride intake (fluoride toothpaste, unfiltered tap water). Brita and such dont filter fluoride. TSH should be below 2.5, even though the range goes up to 4.5.

  12. I developed a very severe B vitamin deficiency after taking a large dose of antibiotics for SIBO. Allithiamine saved my life.

    Also, I learned from experimentation that not all brands of thiamine mononitrate are the same. You need to try multiple brands. Some are WAY more active than others.

      • Unlikely that Rifaximin caused a thiamine deficiency. It’s not absorbed systemically and mostly only works in the small intestines.

        (Flagyl) Metronidazole often prescribed for H Pylori does in fact cause thiamine deficiency. I wouldn’t say all people will get thiamine deficiency, just the ones who were already headed in that direction through various factors.

    • Can you please share which brands are more bioactive in your experience? I bought thiamine mononitrate from GNC (don’t normally shop there… but was in a pinch). Thanks for any info.

  13. This is immensely helpful information. A million thanks!
    I would agree with the postulation that thiamine mononitrate is close to useless, as I realized I had every symptom of b1 deficiency and it never helped one iota. Ttp form also useless. Hugely allergic to benfotiamine and sulbutiamine: head to toe hives that take weeks to resolve.
    Hallelujah, allithiamine works wonders! My whole life is slowly coming back online bit by bit as energy returns, mind is focused, organizational skill/drive is improving, orgasm has literally quadrupled in intensity despite postmenopausal status (nice to have those nerves firing properly–and I did not have any other symptoms of neuropathy). Respirations are effortlessly deeper.
    And lately, my once-voracious appetite has simply vanished. I have hopes this will soon be followed by weight loss and normalized blood glucose.

  14. Hello! I have POTS since I had the gardasil vaccine.
    Do you know a laboratory here in France where I can the test transkétolase erythrocytaire to know if I have a thiamine deficiency
    It’s very important please

    Thanking you

    • There is not a laboratory in the United States that does an acceptable thiamine test, let alone one in France. POTS is a form of dysautonomia and probably the commonest cause is thiamine deficiency. You will not do yourself any harm by taking megadoses of thiamine and magnesium. Try 100 mg of thiamine hydrochloride twice a day together with 125-250 mg of a magnesium salt.

  15. Dear Dr. Lonsdale,

    This website and your book have given me hope again. I want to thank you personally.

    A little about me: I am a 21 year old female engineering student (I was actually biochemistry for 2 years prior!). I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse about a year and a half ago and I have had dysautonomia symptoms for several years, the worst being extreme difficulty with regulating my electrolytes and fluids. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and keeping adequate balance for hydration has seemed so impossible, especially with the heat. I have been researching this condition since the diagnosis, reading all the available resources on Mitral Valve Prolapse I could find and I have implemented the most common recommendations (magnesium, no sugar, no caffeine, extra salt, plenty of water, etc) and the only time I have felt true relief was during a 6 month period following a ketogenic diet. I recently broke this and turned to the typical American sugar consumption party for about a week (spring break) and then resumed a low carbohydrate eating plan. This was about 2 weeks ago and I have been really struggling with a resurgence of dysautonomia symptoms. I am hoping this is just a result of re-adaptation to low carb eating and that I will get back to the good point I was at.

    For the last few days, I have spent every waking minute researching more about my condition and I realized it may be a better plan to try to find out the root cause of dysautonomia, because it simply did not make sense to me how this could be related to a “benign” heart defect. Anyways, today by pure chance I happened to watch a video about B1 deficiency and realized those were all my symptoms. I wanted to find a book about it so I looked up Vitamin B1 on Amazon books and then I stumbled on your book titled “Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition” on Amazon. I saw that the first 80 pages are available to read on Google books so I read those pages between my classes today and I am finally feeling like things make sense! Once I graduate, I will absolutely order the book and continue learning about this. After class I picked up some B1 and I took it and I know this sounds crazy but my brain fog diminished substantially after about 30 minutes. I have been smiling all day at the thought that these terrible symptoms might be reversible.

    Dr. Lonsdale, I am so unbelievably thankful for your work and I have so many questions for you. I really hope we can talk more about all these various conditions with this underlying factor. I find it so sad that there is not more communication among medical professionals about dysautonomia and what to do about it. All I was told from my doctor is too eat more salt and essentially live with it. I am very optimistic about thiamine after reading your work and if this helps reverse some of these symptoms I’ve been struggling with, I will absolutely tell everyone in the MVP online groups I’m in about this and even make an awareness video for everyone to see if I have to! The amount of research I had to do to even get to this point should not be necessary for a patient, this should be standard advice with a dysautonomia diagnosis. In one of the MVP online groups I am in (5000+ people), there are so many posts every single day about debilitating dysautonomia symptoms these people are dealing with, with absolutely no direction to follow. I am hoping thiamine is able to help us. I also hope that you can somehow reach out to cardiologists about this issue as it really truly saddens me. If I was not your typical broke college student I would be sending copies of your book to all the cardiologists I possibly could, haha!

    I would love to hear from you if you have the time and also provide you with some updates about my condition as I continue to supplement thiamine and any improvements that hopefully come my way! Thank you again.


    • I see that Emily wrote her post in March and I am afraid that I did not see it. Many years ago a cardiologist by the name of Coghlan wrote a paper in which he said that prolapsed mitral valve (PMV) was related to “the brain computer”. In other words, dysautonomia and brain dysfunction go together. This is because thiamine deficiency causes both the dysautonomia and the PMV. The reason for PMV is what is known as myxomatous degeneration of the valve, making it floppy. By giving megadose thiamine and magnesium, I have seen regeneration in the mitral file and complete relief of the dysautonomia. There are several forms of dysautonomia and one of them is known as salt wasting syndrome. Thiamine stops that too. The reason is that thiamine deficiency causes energy failure in the brain and nervous system, so many different symptoms represent chaotic changes depending on the severity of deficiency and the individual genetics.

  16. this is one of the best things i ever read
    suffering from CFS for 6 years, i think due to alcohol abuse.
    HR rising dramatically (from 60 to 100) after a high intake of sugar and fast carbs (white rice) etc.
    Body cant seem to handle the extra glucose, yet I am not diabetic.
    I have hectic adrenaline surges and panic attacks from very small triggers, yet deep down I am a calm guy. Totally bizarre.
    When I overdo the sugar loading, the CFS gets worse, and so does the periphal neuropathy. I assume the extra glucose is making extra oxidative damage to nerve ending.When I eat low carb,,,,symptoms improve dramtically.
    I just started thiamine and magnesium to see if I can get to next functional level of CFS.
    I went from function of 4/10 to 7/10 by adding ALA 1800mg and Glutathione (1000mg) daily and lowish carb ingestion.

    Thanks Derrick.
    Its a amazing resource and I do believe CFS is recoverable once person finds and removes the original immune insult.
    Warm regards.

      • Hello Dr Lonsdale:
        We have been discussing my 8 year old son on another page of this forum. I had seen improvements in coordination and longer sentences with my son on the spectrum who has a high IQ, with first high dose and I have lowered the dose of Thiamine to 15 mg. He has a problem with too much Clostridia and Thiamine seems to be exasterbating that. I am now giving the Thiamine with B2, Magnesium and Grapefruit seed extract because he is now going into rage (anger) that was not happening before Thiamine. The GSE seems to calm the rage pretty quickly.
        I had tried Allithiamine and he was zoning out in mid sentence and then not remembering what he was going to say. Any advice would be great! Thank you in advance

        • How is his diet? If it is high in conventionally grown produce, processed foods, etc., it is likely also high in glyphosate exposure and glyphosate increases clostridia infections. Similarly, diets in high in processed foods are low in nutrients, high in carbohydrates which deplete thiamine even further. 15mg is not nearly high enough and Dr. Lonsdale will agree.

          • Chandler Marrs, thank you for your input, I have a child not on the spectrum that eats a healthy Whole Foods diet including sugar. His twin brother on the spectrum eats a Whole Foods diet with NO SUGAR. People who eat with us are shocked. BUT CHANDLER that 7 year diet has not cured his autism. He is very recovered but on the onset of his situation Clostridia and yeast became high. I had the yeast totally in control UNTIL I ADDED Thiamine. It seemed to make yeast bloom. Am I incorrect?
            I think possibly Clostridia can only be corrected with a fecal transplant

            • Whole foods are great, but are they organic? The herbicide glyphosate used on all non-organic produce and eaten by non-organically raised livestock and in all non-organic wheat etc. makes the clostridia grow. It is not the cure all that folks would have us believe. Clostridia is a bacteria. Does he have a yeast issue too? Clostridia in thiamine deficient environments. The antibiotics used to clear it leech thiamine and so it becomes a reinforcing cycle.
              If he has yeast infections, thiamine also helps with yeast, but so too does high dose biotin.

              Question: Did you ever use trehalose as a supplement? A while back that was promoted in the Autism community. It too increases clostridia infections, and in fact, makes the more virulent. Again, thrives in thiamine deficient environments.

              Fecal transplant comes with a host of side effects that are only now beginning to be understood. I would not consider that except as an absolute last resort.

              I am sure Dr. Lonsdale will weigh in tomorrow as well.

              • These comments are interesting. ! 1. An organic diet WITH SUGAR is NOT an organic diet. The reason has been posted before now. 2. Why do you conclude that thiamine “caused yeast to flourish”? Read on Hormones Matter about “paradox” also known as “refeeding syndome” . The idea that suddenly taking a supplement of thiamine will produce cure is obviously a pipe dream. 3. Taking an “organic diet” will not CURE autism. The balance between the calorie load and the necessary introduction of the thiamine/magnesium supplement will take time.

                • Agreed, but I was commenting about the fact that non-organic foods come with herbicides that directly induce gut microbiome changes that include increased clostridia. So even if the diet contains ‘whole foods’ as was indicated and even if sugars are removed from the diet, if those whole foods come from conventionally grown processes, gut bacteria will be altered negatively. With a child or adult who already has altered gut microbiota, the diet will have to be cleaned even further. To boot, conventionally grown foods contain markedly less micro and macronutrients than their organic counterparts. Having said that, thiamine has to be added, at higher doses than currently being used. The paradoxical reactions endured and time taken to see the effects.

                • I may have confused the subject. I have 2 eight year olds (fraternal twins) and as I say above only my Neurotypical child eats sugar.
                  I am seeing that the Thiamine has already completely irradiated my Spectrum son’s wiggling and movement disorders, that has happened very quickly. His recall of information seems quicker already also. There has been a lot of caughing during this healing process, something in his lungs is loosening up! I will continue this protocol and yes I do give magnesium!!! Thank you Dr. Lonsdale!!! I appreciate your spotlighting this dangerous deficiency!

              • Chandler, yes our whole family eats organic , grass fed organic beef being our favorite, but we also eat chicken, eggs, and vegetables, all organic. I am very aware of glyphosate. My son has seen improvements with Thiamine, I am still wondering if Thiamine usually increases Clostridia? I’m trying to make sure I have a strategy to not increase Clostridia, right now I am using Grapefruit seed extract to contain that. I am wondering what Dr Lonsdale thinks about Clostridia while dosing Thiamine.Also I never use the product you mention. Thank you for your input.

                • Good.
                  No, thiamine will not increase clostridia per se. It will however, re-balance the gut ecosystem, allowing the other bacterial strains that compete with clostridia to grow and tamp down the more pathological ones. All bacteria need nutrients and most share similar pathways for processing them. It seems though that the species that are most competent at surviving nutrient deprived environments are also the ones that become the most virulent/pathological. If you rebalance the environment by providing the essential nutrients, the ‘good’ bacteria, can take over again, so to speak. The bad bacteria are always already there, but they are kept in check by the others. It’s only when the environment becomes so starved of nutrients that they can then thrive. This is a gross oversimplification, but the gist is that thiamine is needed for all bacteria, but the ecosystem favors the good bacteria with optimal nutrients and the bad bacteria with suboptimal nutrition. If you supply the body with sufficient energy, which is thiamine’s major role, then the body does what it needs to do to survive and health largely happens. If you don’t, then all sorts of adaptive processes develop. In the gut, the lack of energy/fuel = dysbiosis.

                  • Chandler, thank you for the explanation, my son’s autism symptoms started with very bad stomach problems, vomiting and diarrhea that persisted for months, at that same time his back legs were not working when he was crawling. He somehow learned to walk and During a stomach problem hospitalization the IV may have had Thiamine in it he was doing better when he was released. But I was NEVER told to give him Thiamine. We went to a specialist who put him on p5p and b-12. We were giving those for 2 years And they really didn’t help. We went to another specialist and still he was never put on Thiamine. I am glad that I found Dr.Lonsdales papers on Beriberi. My son had ever symptom of dry and wet Beriberi when he was very little. He must have picked up some Thiamine from his very healthy diet because half of his symptoms resolved. He was already getting magnesium and Now with the addition of Thiamine the change in his gate is very noticeable and there is a change in his vocal tone and a nice calmness too. We are at 2 weeks of dosing Thiamine plus his usual magnesium.

                    • That is entirely possible. Thiamine is never considered, even in cases of clear deficiency. For reason, everyone is under the assumption that we resolved thiamine deficiency in the population with modern food technologies when in fact, it is exactly the opposite. There are so many hits to the mitochondria, by medication, diet and general everyday exposure to pollutants that thiamine insufficiency is rampant and when it becomes severe, neurological symptoms ensue.
                      You might also consider getting our book. It will provide further insight. There are hundreds of case studies as well as a complete guide to the chemistry so that educated parents like yourself can navigate these processes and recovery.

            • Thiamine is sometimes added to wine to accelerate yeast production. If you take too much orally you can trigger a nasty yeast (candida) infection. The solution is topical allithiamine, or sublingual active B1 (cocarboxylase).

              • Rich, there is no scientific evidence AT ALL to back up your claim that thiamine causes candida infections.

                The solution is to stop comparing wine-making to human biology.

            • Renee, I have sons with autism with the same issue – low thiamine, clostridia overgrowth. Did you ever have an Organic Acid test with high urinary branched chain amino acids – leucine, methylglutaric acid? I’ve found with this imbalance and a thiamine deficiency that you can’t get the thiamine up and the clostridia down until you correct calcium dysregulation and this requires something like Respen A before you can give calcium. Would love your thoughts on this.

    • Thiamine improves cellular energy, increasing efficiency of action. Therefore it can be expected that Allithiamine might increase the effectiveness of the drug and produce ??more side effects or toxicity by the equivalent of increasing the dose of the drug. Vitamins have been called “prodrugs” because of this.

        • Fat solubility is a technical error. It refers to the ability of TTFD to pass through the lipid barrier in cell membranes. No need to take oil

  17. Hi Dr. Lonsdale,

    I wanted to ask you what the relation of thiamine is to collagen deficiency and connective tissue disorders.

    I have been talking to my doctor lately about my POTS syndrome and if it could be related to a connective tissue disorder called Ehler Danlos Syndrome where the body does not produce collagen correctly.

    I’ve been taking thiamine and magnesium for several years now, since 2013 and have had great results, but never seem to get 100% better.

    Is there a relation to thiamine and collagen production or connective tissue disorders?

    Thank you and God bless.

    • Hi Rachael, both POTS and Ehrlers Danlos syndrome are examples of a complex of conditions that come under the heading of dysautonomia. The trouble with answering your question is that dysautonomia is an example of energy deficiency in the lower brain and in the nervous system as well. To make collagen requires energy and the only reason for taking megadoses of thiamin and magnesium is that both are essential components of energy synthesis. Of course, thiamin and magnesium are not the only stimulants in the synthesis of energy so you will need to add at least B complex and a multivitamin to your regimen. It demands a completely different perspective on the cause and treatment of disease.

  18. An interesting connection between thiamin and many of the symptoms you mention is D-lactic acid. The D form of lactic acid is a neurotoxin. Thiamin helps the body convert it. Without enough thiamin, it builds up and causes transient symptoms until the body can clear it through the liver. The D form of lactic acid can be increased in the body with too many probiotic bacteria that produce D-lactic acid (Different probiotic bacteria produce different forms of lactic acid – the L form is not toxic, the D form is)

    • This is more complex than it looks. Diabetics produce a substance called methylglyoxal from which d lactic acid forms. The reason that thiamine is effective is because it stimulates the anaerobic pentosephosphate pathway and maximizes the enzyme transketolase. This results in preventing the accumulation of methylglyoxal and other toxic compounds that are responsible for some of the complications in diabetes. Yes, d lactic acid is indeed toxic but is not normally formed in the human body. It is the result of abnormal metabolism.

  19. Thanks a lot for all these good articles about thiamine! They are eye-opening for many people with different health issues.
    I took thiamine (HCl form) as a child at the recommendation of my pediatrician. I had asthma at that time along with a lot of issues (night terrors, high fever episodes, was underweight ..). Took lot of prednisone..
    I have to say that I had poor diet and lived in an industrial area (with increased pollution) which probably caused a lot of my health issues;
    I also had issues with vaccines so my doctor gave me only few of them.
    However at 15 (after a Flixotide treatment prescribed by a pneumologist in the city) my asthma has turned off forever. No crises episode since then.
    Later I went to university and due to intense learning , felt very tired. Doctors again said to take vitamins. Among others I took again thiamine (HCl). It helped tremendously. During exam sessions I was eating even 1 kilo of chocolate per week (needed to help me stay awake and learn 🙂 ). I was also taking my thiamine pills..for me they were like food..I felt like eating them..Now looking at this information I understand that my high carbs intake made me feel like eating B1 vitamins..I didn’t have this information then but my body just knew.
    After graduating, got hired and observed thiamine get out of the market so I forgot about it. Remembered again after I discovered I had endometriosis and had a lap. After the lap I had all kind of my brain was not functioning same anymore. Discovered I was compond heterozygous on MTHFR. Doctor told me that should have had another type of anesthesia ..but didn’t have that information before the lap.
    Now I fight with seems it came back. Started to take again thaimine (allithiamine form) and it helps a lot with pain and mental clarity..but I am afraid it will stimulate endometriosis tissues to grow as B1 stimulates all cells mitochondria (including tumors’s mito). Shall I respect any dosage?

    (I am also deficient in vitamin D. Blood tests show that 25-h D form is minimum after 1 week vacation at the sea. I assume that in the winter it will drop below minimum level necessary for a good functioning. So I plan to take Lipo vitamin D too to help me with inflammation)

  20. I’ve been extremely sick since January. Severe anxiety but I know it’s not anxiety, it’s something else. Food just ‘sits’ in my stomach, and I get severe fatigue, sleep and wake up panicking, sweating, face flushing. Had my gallbladder out in June. When doctors check my reflexes in my knees, it never works, and barely works in my ankles. My b12 is 380 and doctors say its normal. I can’t afford a b1 test and all the doctors say its all anxiety. I’ve been told I chase diagnoses…No, I don’t. I researched until I presented with my doctor that I may have hypermobility as my family does and I was diagnosed by a geneticist. He said I needed to fix whats in my head to fix “Ibs” Told me to do hypnosis for the severely painful fissue in my anus. All the doctors in my town (Ellensburg) Are like this, they blame everything on my anxiety. My ferritin is at 28, hair is falling out “Its just stress” I have severe motility issues where anything I eat causes severe face flushing and profound fatigue. I’m bedridden and I have suicidal thoughts (When my heart rate is fast which is usually always) but especially after I eat. I wish someone could help me with this.

    • I have never seen a better example of medical ignorance. In spite of the fact that Caila states that she has been severely ill since January, her physicians fail to recognize that she clearly has a metabolic disease. Anxiety, fast heart rate, fatigue, panic, sweating, failure of knee reflexes are ALL due to unbalanced action of the autonomic nervous system and the high B12 level is typical of cellular energy failure. Hypermobility is also related to dysautonomia (Ehrlers Danlos Syndrome). This is a dangerous state to be in and needs urgent therapy with intravenous vitamins, including thiamine. You must find a physician that understands mitochondrial disease because beginning thiamine may initially make symptoms worse and is known as ” refeeding syndrome”. This utterly tragic situation is all too common in America. Please get our book, Lonsdale and Marrs, “Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia and High Calorie Malnutrition” (available on Amazon) and SHOW it to your physicians.

      • Hi Doctor Lonsdale, I too have the same issues as Caila and underwent the same ignorance from the medical community. I am living in Europe and I don’t think we have doctors willing to do intravenous vitamins. Would OTC B1 supplement still be effective?

    • Endometriosis responds very well to oral administration of approximately 1 part GLA (omega 6) to 8 parts EPA(omega 3) fatty acids. Set the dose of GLA and derive dose of EPA from it.

  21. My daughter’s blood test showed low B1. She started taking thiamine hcl and symptoms improved a lot – her bad digestion, terrible sleep apnea and fatigue improved, but unfortunately she is experiencing urinary retention. In your experience, Dr. Lonsdale, can urinary retention be caused when starting B1 supplementation? Is it because there could be a deficiency of another vitamin or mineral as well? Thank you for your help Dr. Lonsdale. I hope we find a solution to the urinary retention because the B1 has helped her so much.

    • Try adding 300 mg of magnesium a day plus a multivitamin. Thiamin does not work on its own. Stop all intake of sugar in all its different forms

      • Our son as a history of anxiety, night terrors, etc. He also has a history of ear infections, sore throats, fevers, and a lymph node that was surgically drained due to a large infection. At his 11 year old well visit he was vaccinated (TDap and Meningitis). Three days later he had a fever, headache, and extreme anxiety. We asked for a full blood work up. His Viramin B1 levels were 14 nmol /L (flagged critical) and Folate was >24 MG/ML (flagged high). No one has consulted with us about these levels. How do I further pursue

        • Oh my goodness, a vitamin B1 level described as critical. The folate in the blood increased. He has rampant beriberi and the thiamine replacement is urgent. When he had anxiety, night terrors, ear infections, headaches and fever, he was already thiamine deficient. The vaccination precipitated worsening of the deficiency. How can a physician possibly ignore such severe symptoms?

  22. Hi Dr Lonsdale,

    You can refer back in our thread for my case, but i have been taking lipothiamine since August after suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity and beriberi and have been getting better and better and better since! I had some bloodwork done in October and my thyroid numbers were moving in the right direction which made me so excited. I have had CBC several times over the last year and my eosinophils were high for the first time on this round of blood work. Is this related to the thiamine supplementation?

    This month i was feeling so fantastic, i felt better and healthier than i did BEFORE taking Cipro and my health crash! I cried tears of joys because i felt healed and free. I applied for life insurance and received the top rating that only a few clients receive and the lowest premium.

    Last December, after taking Cipro, a holistic Dr ordered a ton of lab work trying to figure out what was wrong with me. He ordered many random tests including a full allergy panel. I was shocked when the report came back that i was allergic to almost everything they tested. The results were very low to low level allergies but still why so many that i never knew about. Nonetheless i cut out all of the foods it listed. I often asked if the test could be replicated, if it was valid or if allergies could change over time. He never was able to give me an answer.

    Fast back forward to this month, I’m feeling better than ever. I’m working out 3 times a week, going to bible study and church, taking care of my kids and home, living a full life. My thyroid has gotten better, all my symptoms have either disappeared completely or are almost gone. I ask my dr to reorder that allergy panel to see if the allergies went away. I get my blood drawn on November 10th and leave for vacation to the Colorado mountains on November 13th.

    While I’m in Colorado, I am having a great time but feeling the effects of the high altitude. The first day i arrive i take my thiamine with lunch and feel my heart beating faster. This also happens on the second day and i felt car sick while driving up the mountain to look at a lake called the Maroon Bells. On the third day, we drive to Vail. I skipped my thiamine that day to see if it was related to the heart racing. That night i started having a strange sensation that i was suffocating even though i was breathing. I felt ok when i woke up on the 4th day. I was eating lunch outside surrounded by mountains and trees when i got my allergy report in. Not only did my allergies get tremendously worse, i gained new allergies! How could this be, i thought? I’m surrounded by trees and am completely fine. This doesn’t make any sense. I was feeling better and healthier than i had in years. I rarely ever have to take an antihistamine. Is this test just being interpreted incorrectly, something is not adding up. Could the high eosinophils give a false positive?

    Anyway, on the 5th day I fly back home and have still been having the air hunger sensation off and on despite living at almost sea level. I’ve been home from almost two days and can tell something is off. I’ve been tripping over words and caught myself slurring. The air hunger sensation is unsettling and scares me as does the cognitive issues. My beriberi symptoms before included foot numbness, neuropathy, feeling strange and out of it. It is different symptoms this time. Have i relapsed due to the stressor of the altitude? I also broke my very strict diet while traveling due to lack of food options and had some candy and an oatmeal bar that had added sugar which I know now is a big no no. Should i up my thiamine dose? I’m heartbroken to have this set back after getting my life back. I have worked so hard for an entire year to get healthy after taking Cipro.

    What should i do about the allergy testing? Should i be worried about it? First one was taken last December when i was VERY sick and the current one was taken when I was feeling better than I ever have.

    Thank you for your time reading this long message.

    • Although this post was written last November, I came across it only recently and wish to make a reply because it contains important truths. Notice that this individual experienced typical symptoms, that, if they had been more severe, they would have been referred to as “mountain sickness”. What it means is this: her brain cells were not getting enough oxygen at altitude, inducing low-grade hypoxia (insufficient oxygen) required for oxidation (metabolic use of oxygen). In addition she took some sugar that would raise the bar for oxidation. There are three aspects in this individual to be noted. 1. She would be expected to be of superior intelligence. An intelligent brain requires more energy than a less intelligent one, just like the difference between a high-grade sports car and a less powerful one. 2. She already knew that she had a problem with thiamin that had been a necessary treatment for her original symptoms. Thiamin guarantees oxygen utilization in much the same way as a spark plug guarantees gasoline use.3. Sugar tends to induce thiamin deficiency and my analogy is again in a car. Too much gasoline in a cylinder overwhelms the spark plug and is known as a choked engine.
      Turning this into a metabolic process, absorption of thiamin into body cells, particularly those of the brain, is under genetic control and this may be defective so that she has a difficulty in absorbing the vitamin. On the other hand, not realizing the importance of pristine nutrition for a high IQ brain, she may have been experiencing high calorie malnutrition, referred to above as “a choked engine”.

  23. Dear Dr. Lonsdale… I appreciate this article so much… I was “floxed” 5 months ago. I am 73 year old female.. so a bitter result from taking Cipro for a simple U.T.I. Other than thyroid problems I was exceptionally healthy and fit for my age or for the age of 40 for that matter. I now have symptoms of Chronic Fatigue among other issues. My research (about 50 hours I think) led me to your article as I was learning about the mitochondria, which brought me to Hormone Matters and some of Lisa Bloomquist’s articles (also reading Floxie Hope). When I read about Thiamine I wanted to know how much to take and if it was safe… some online searching brought me to the information below which I think you will find of interest:

    “Then a little over a month ago, a new fibromyalgia study caught my eye – “High-dose thiamine improves the symptoms of fibromyalgia.” It was a very small study conducted by a group of researchers in Italy.* In fact, the study was so small – only three FM patients – that I normally wouldn’t give it much weight. But the dramatic improvement in fatigue and pain levels experienced by all three participants piqued my interest. ” Link –
    Suggest reading right through comments below the adverts.

    After reading the article above, I decided to try Thiamine – 6 days now.. experimenting with dosage along with magnesium and COQ10. Immediate results were more energy and feeling better in many ways, including improved brain fog.. But I do think the thiamine is now having an affect on dosage of Levothyroxine now and not feeling so great… still I remain hopeful on B1.

    * Dr. Antonio Costantini has also been doing research and testing (small samplings) on thiamine and I think you will find some of his work of interest if you are unaware of this Italian doctor.
    (his other work definitely suggests that the thiamine is affecting my thyroid meds)

    Thank you for all your fine work and articles.

  24. I found an interesting study thar showed that quinolines turn off SLC19A3, which seems to explain my horrendous symptoms after taking Cipro. Thiamin seems to be helping. Thank you for this article.

  25. Hi, I had an article that I wanted to share with you about thiamine mononitrate.

    “The Journal of Nutrition reported in 1985 that diets fortified with thiamine mononitrate do not compensate for lower thiamine levels in rats that were thiamine deficient. Therefore, you may want to seek a more natural source of thiamine.” ( )

    If modern methods of food production of mainly wheat and rice involves the removal of natural thiamine and replaces it with a synthetic form that is not usable to the body, this means that all foods in the US that are fortified with thiamine mononitrate are essentially creating a thiamine deficiency. Would you agree with this assessment?

    Thank you so much for your time and research. You are the only person that I have found in the last 3-4 years now that is actively trying to research the importance of thiamine in our modern diets. 🙂

    • Sounds like BS to me but I have never used thiamine mononitrate. As for the color of urine as a mark of toxicity from vitamin B, I have never experienced it in anybody and I have used vitamin B in literally thousands of patients.

      • Dr Derrick. For what it’s worth, I’ll tell you that the first thiamine I took was mononitrate, 300mg a day. In a few days I got out of depression, mental fog, etc, etc. I imagine the great deficiency that would have. Greetings and thanks for your time and great work. I love your theory.

  26. Several questions, kind sir.

    Do you have a preference between Allithiamine and Lipothiamine? If so, please explain why.

    Since they are fat soluble, are they effective if taken on an empty stomach, or should they be taken with a fat-containing meal?

    If taking one of those two, would there be any reason to concomitantly take Benfotiamine, regular B-1 (Thiamine HCl), or sublingual cocarboxylase?

    Could Authia cream be beneficial for peripheral (diabetic) neuropathy if applied to the feet? Would adding DMSO to the topical application enhance any possible benefit?

    Thank you so much.

    • Both of them are thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD). Lipothiamine was a later development than Allithiamine and both are sold by the same company. Lipothiamine is enteric coated so that it passes more easily through stomach acid. Thiamine is absorbed in the jejunum. TTFD is called “fat soluble” only because it passes through the lipid barrier of the cell membrane. It is actually soluble in water and can be given intravenously. Benfotiamine is not a disulfide and the prosthetic group has to be removed by an enzyme in the liver or kidney. Neither does it cross the blood brain barrier. It has been used with success in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In my view, TTFD is the best of all the thiamine derivatives that have been synthesized and there is no need for combinations.

        • Unfortunately, there is a colossal amount of ignorance that surrounds substances that are referred to as thiamine derivatives. All of them are dependent on the discovery that a disulfide derivative of thiamine occurs naturally in garlic and other species of the allium plants. All these synthetic derivatives can be divided into two groups. One group is known as the disulfides. Sulbutiamine is a member of this group. Fursultiamine, Lipothiamine, Alinamin and perhaps others are all disulfides. The formula of thiamine in chemical terms consists of a pyrimidine ring joined to a thiazolium ring by a methylene bridge. All thiamine derivatives are created by attaching what is known as a prosthetic group to the thiazolium ring. The disulfide acts as the attaching mechanism. At the cell membrane, the disulfide is reduced non-enzymatically and allows the intact thiamine molecule to pass through the cell membrane into the cell. Because of this ability for the intact thiamine molecule to pass through the lipid barrier of the cell membrane, all thiamine derivatives are known as “fat-soluble”.It does not mean that they have to be dissolved in fat. The other group of derivatives, known as the S acyl group require an enzyme in the liver or kidney to separate the prosthetic group from the thiamine molecule. Benfotiamine is a member of this group. I am sorry to be highly technical but there is so much mystery surrounding these derivatives, that I want people to understand one simple thing. All of them deliver thiamine into the cell and therefore are exactly the same as naturally occurring thiamine. It is just a manner of delivery that counts. This is very important because the disulfide derivatives are soluble in water and can be given intravenously. Benfotiamine is not soluble in water and cannot be given intravenously. An announcement on the Internet says that Sulbutiamine “has to be dissolved in fat”, a statement that is inaccurate and ridiculous. The derivative that I have studied in detail and used to treat many many patients has the chemical name of thiamin tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD), sold under two trade names, Lipothiamine and Fursultiamine. Both of them are TTFD.

    • I have been studying thiamine for 35 years. I have taken hundreds if not thousands of doses of B complex with or without thiamine as an extra. I have never seen colored urine and I have never seen the symptoms described as a toxic reaction. In fact, they are the typical symptoms of thiamine deficiency as described in beriberi. I have never used the mononitrate and believe that the symptoms ol thiamin deficiency are because of a huge intake of empty calories.

      • Dr. Lonsdale,

        This is the link to the LiveStrong article that I sent to you a while ago. For some odd reason it posted incorrectly to your comments section of your website. >>>> <<<<

        The article says that, "The Journal of Nutrition reported in 1985 that diets fortified with thiamine mononitrate do not compensate for lower thiamine levels in rats that were thiamine deficient. Therefore, you may want to seek a more natural source of thiamine.”

        So does this mean that thiamine mononitrate is creating a deficiency in processed foods?

        Thanks for your time and help. 🙂

  27. Just read your article for the fifth time and wanted to outline all the symptoms of b1 deficiency that either my daughter with apraxia, and my older daughter (who was also affected by magnesium deficiency and b1 deficiency, but in completely different ways), experienced that are also outlined in your article: older daughter has shown signs of POTS once, she stood up then fell over, it was scary, this could have been increased heart rate when standing, then the drop in blood pressure, typical of POTS, which caused her to fall for no apparent reason (at the time). Older daughter has had the panic attacks. Younger daughter shows signs of impaired oxidative metabolism. Low b1 affected my younger one’s satiety center for sure, she had low appetite most of the time, then suddenly such high appetite she would gorge herself and throw up. Bowel activity was affected for sure, she was constipated, and she had very poor sleep.

  28. Sorry also wanted to add just how b1 deficiency in a very young child would cause a gray tone in the area where the eyes should be white. b1 is required for the production of collagen, and a lack of collagen would prevent the white of the eyes from developing properly (as well as preventing bones from growing properly). Hope this helps someone out there. This is somewhat related to a genetic condition called Osteogenesis imperfecta, which prevents collagen from being used by the body, however, I don’t think my daughter has that condition, I think it was the magnesium deficiency, accompanying vitamin b1 deficiency, then the collagen issue.

  29. I appreciate this post. My four year old girl never took Gardasil, however I believe she has been suffering from thiamine or b1 deficiency because of my calcium supplementation while breastfeeding her. I believe that too much calcium in the breastmilk caused a magnesium deficiency, and since magnesium is the cofactor for b1, this caused the b1 deficiency. Since she was younger, she had different symptoms, including complete regression of speech at 11 months, not speaking again until 18 months, apraxia (still persisting), ataxia, loss of eye contact, repetition of same phrase for one year, symptoms of autism, constipation, nystagmus, mini-coma, gray where her eyes should have been white, low muscle tone, malabsorption, very low appetite most of the time, inability to tan, inability to fall asleep and stay alseep. Not sure which symptoms would be attributable to the b1 deficiency, or the magnesium deficiency, or other issue. Just posting this information in case another parent is trying to connect the dots too. Also, want to point out, in my daughter’s case, she needed magnesium and b1, not just the b1.

  30. Unfortunately this information is too late for my friend who is passed now. He was prescribed a course of Cipro for a sinus infection which resulted in a syndrome of fatigue, insatiable hunger, pain and difficulty breathing. He went to multiple doctors none of whom gave him an accurate diagnosis, while he himself was mistakenly convinced it was a yeast infection.

  31. Unfortunately, prolonged deficiency or abnormal thiamine metabolism leaves its mark and I don’t want to give false hope. There is, however, no alternative to using thiamine supplementation since it is safe.

  32. Thank you very much for the article, Dr. Lonsdale! I have been eating a couple cloves of crushed raw garlic every day since I read your last post on HormonesMatter. I hope that it helps me to resolve some of my last remaining ANS issues that are a result of an adverse reaction to Cipro. Your articles on Thiamine make me hopeful that the damage done by cipro is a result of Thiamine deficiency, not DNA damage. Thank you for both the insight and the hope!

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