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Kidney Int. 1993 Jun;43(6):1319-28.

Water soluble vitamins in chronic hemodialysis patients and need for supplementation.

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Department of Medicine, Hôpital Cantonal, Fribourg, Switzerland.


Forty-three patients on chronic hemodialysis who before the present study had only received a low-dose supplement of folic and ascorbic acid were studied prospectively for one year. After baseline values were obtained in month one, increasing doses of postdialysis vitamin supplements were prescribed for the vitamins which were found to be insufficient in order to determine the minimal amount of oral postdialysis supplement necessary to normalize vitamin levels. According to our results no systematic supplement was indicated for biotin, riboflavin or vitamin B12. For folic acid and vitamin C, supplementation with lower doses than those prescribed in many dialysis units allowed optimal vitamin levels in the majority of patients; 2 to 3 mg/week (300 to 400 micrograms/day) of folic acid and of 1000 to 1500 mg/week (150 to 200 mg/day) of vitamin C was considered sufficient. A severe pyridoxine deficiency was present in most (> 80%) unsupplemented patients, either as judged by pyridoxal-5-phosphate determinations in plasma or determination of specific enzyme activation in erythrocytes (EGOTo and alpha-EGOT); a postdialysis supplement of at least 100 to 150 mg/week of pyridoxine hydrochloride (> 15 to 20 mg/day) corrects this deficiency. The activity of the thiamine-dependent enzyme transketolase in erythrocytes (ETKo) was insufficient in 35% and marginal in 21% of the patients, while whole blood thiamine determined simultaneously in 10 of the ETKo-deficient patients was within the normal range. These results suggest that in uremia insufficient transketolase activity may be related to inhibition of the enzymatic system rather than to true vitamin deficiency. On a long-term basis a supplement of 200 to 300 mg/week of thiamine hydrochloride (30 to 45 mg/day) restored ETKo to satisfactory levels in most patients; whether this supplement is to be recommended warrants further studies.

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