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Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By injection

Treats thiamine deficiency. This medicine is a B vitamin… Read more

Brand names include: PremierPro RX Thiamine HCl, Thiamine HCl Novaplus

By mouth

Thiamine, another name for Vitamin B-1, is used to treat thiamine-deficiency (not enough thiamine in the body)… Read more

Brand names include: Nature's Blend Vitamin B-1, Optimum Vitamin B-1

Drug classes About this
Nutriceutical, Nutritive Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Thiamine for prevention and treatment of Wernicke‐Korsakoff syndrome in people who abuse alcohol

Wernicke‐Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is a disorder of the brain caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine). It is characterised by an acute onset of some or all of an eye movement disorder, lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movement (ataxia) and confusion. Patients may die in the acute phase, and many survivors go on to develop permanent memory impairment. Alcohol abuse is an important cause of WKS, although it is not the only consideration. Heavy drinking may lead to particular problems with uptake of thiamine from the diet.

Insufficient evidence of the efficacy of thiamine for people with Alzheimer's disease

Preclinical and laboratory studies show an effect of thiamine on the release and breakdown of acetylcholine. Some intellectual functions, including attention and memory, are influenced by neurons which release acetylcholine. Cholinergic function is impaired in Alzheimer's disease. It has therefore been hypothesized that thiamine may be beneficial in Alzheimer's disease. Biochemical abnormalities in thiamine‐dependent enzymes have been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The three included randomized controlled trials totaled less than 50 participants and insufficient detail in the results did not allow combination of the data. Thus the review found no evidence of the efficacy of thiamine for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Effects of thiamine on cardiac function in patients with systolic heart failure: systematic review and metaanalysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials

BACKGROUND: Thiamine is an important micronutrient, and thiamine deficiency is prevalent in patients with congestive heart failure.

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Summaries for consumers

Thiamine for prevention and treatment of Wernicke‐Korsakoff syndrome in people who abuse alcohol

Wernicke‐Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is a disorder of the brain caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine). It is characterised by an acute onset of some or all of an eye movement disorder, lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movement (ataxia) and confusion. Patients may die in the acute phase, and many survivors go on to develop permanent memory impairment. Alcohol abuse is an important cause of WKS, although it is not the only consideration. Heavy drinking may lead to particular problems with uptake of thiamine from the diet.

Insufficient evidence of the efficacy of thiamine for people with Alzheimer's disease

Preclinical and laboratory studies show an effect of thiamine on the release and breakdown of acetylcholine. Some intellectual functions, including attention and memory, are influenced by neurons which release acetylcholine. Cholinergic function is impaired in Alzheimer's disease. It has therefore been hypothesized that thiamine may be beneficial in Alzheimer's disease. Biochemical abnormalities in thiamine‐dependent enzymes have been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The three included randomized controlled trials totaled less than 50 participants and insufficient detail in the results did not allow combination of the data. Thus the review found no evidence of the efficacy of thiamine for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Dietary supplements for pain during menstruation

Cochrane authors reviewed the evidence of the effect of dietary supplements (e.g. vitamins, minerals, herbs) on period pain (dysmenorrhoea).

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