If there is a single common denominator in poor health & disease, it’s low energy.
Fatigue, trouble focusing, trouble executing, “wired but tired”, poor sleep, brain fog, slowed thinking, forgetfulness, etc. are all very common symptoms.
People often think tiredness, fatigue or lethargy are not very serious health issues (perhaps because it IS so common), so it’s often attributed to simply not sleeping well.
But actually, the inability to fall into a deep sleep stems from the result of chronic low energy and is itself serious, because it (fatigue) is both a symptom and cause in almost every disease state.
Fatigue is a common after strokes and some studies show it’s so severe that it’s linked to a high mortality rate.
So, although coffee and other things can be helpful for energy, regular fatigue shouldn’t be ignored and brushed aside, because it is an important signal from the body that something is off.
And that is why it’s worth considering thiamine for overall health, because not only can it help almost anyone with energy issues, but it actually helps the body create energy and achieve homeostasis sustainably.
There is also strong evidence that a thiamine deficiency is itself part of the problem in many health issues……for instance, some studies have indicated that 75% of diabetics have a deficiency.
A study on cancer patients who had various types of cancers showed that more than 1/2 of them had a thiamine deficiency. The study concluded that thiamine deficiency is highly prevalent among inpatients with cancer, even in the absence of other vitamin deficiencies, and while receiving multivitamins.
Most oncologists do not check for this deficiency, so it is often ignored as a contributing factor to declining health.
In a study on fibromyalgia, it was noted that many symptoms are likely are caused by a thiamine deficiency and after the patients took high doses of thiamine there was significant improvement in their symptoms.
In a study on post-stroke fatigue it is suggested that post-stroke fatigue and related disorders could be the manifestation of a mild thiamine deficiency (since supplementation improved fatigue).
In a study on IBS 10 out of 12 patients showed complete regression of fatigue, while the remaining two showed nearly complete regression of fatigue compared to the chronic fatigue syndrome scale scores before therapy.
In a study on MS (even though blood levels of thiamine were normal) administration of large quantities of thiamine was effective in reversing fatigue.
In a study on hashimotos administration of thiamine led to a partial or complete regression of fatigue and related disorders
In a study on a infant with diabetes, thiamine (benfotiamine) sustained improvement in all haematological parameters and the insulin requirement was able to be progressively reduced and the disease was put in remission for at least 2 years.
A study on seizures shows a link between low B1 and the frequency of seizures or epileptic fits.
Even when blood levels of thiamine are normal, taking higher doses can improve many symptoms, likely due to a dysfunction of the intracellular (inside the cell) transport of thiamine.
Abnormalities in thiamine-dependent processes appear to be overcome by thiamine when it’ dosed at supra-physiological levels, causing high concentrations to enter the body.
You might have plenty of thiamine, but not be able to use it, and this is when high doses can often override a potential dysfunction and improve energy production.
Benefits of thiamine
It improves oxidative metabolism (which means it helps cells throughout the body create more energy, with less stress).
It is especially useful for brain function, by preventing too much ammonia (a cause of brain fog)
It facilitates overall energy function for the whole body, not just the brain
It improves the ability of your cells to utilize sugar (glucose) instead of storing it as fat, or causing high blood sugar.
It helps your liver detoxify estrogen to protect against estrogen dominance (which is one of the causes of autoimmunity).
Because of those benefits it helps your body use thyroid hormone (t3) better.
It lowers lactic acid (a cause of fatigue and soreness).
It helps with nerve pain (sciatica, back pain, tooth pain, shooting pains).
It helps to reduce physiological stress by up-regulating energy production. This alone can be cancer-protective as cells under stress slow down and start to malfunction.
Other signs/reasons to suspect you need more thiamine…
Frequent alcohol usage (it depletes B vitamins)…
You notice mosquitoes biting you, even though others around you aren’t getting bitten….B1 is great as a mosquito repellant.
Your vision is blurry (multiple studies have linked this to B1 deficiency).
HOW to use:
Use for at least 2-3 weeks to judge affects
Dosages in studies normally range from 250 mg to as much as 3,000 mg daily (not mcg).
If you use high doses (over 500mg) it’s usually best to spread it throughout the day, every 3-4 hours, and to take it with food.
Make sure you have your basics covered (eating enough carbohydrates and calories and salt), otherwise B1 can’t help you with energy if you don’t have the fuel to support it’s use.
Use food in addition to supplementation (liver is a GREAT source of B1). The body assimilates vitamins from food much better than from supplements.
Use a clean supplement, without many additives (like silica or heavy metals). I use this one, or this one when traveling. It is very bitter, so if you use the powder, be prepared to chase it with something.
Always listen to your body, even if your labs are normal.
If you’ve covered the basics and still have energy issues, it would be smart to experiment with Thiamine (B1) because it is very safe in high doses, is natural, water-soluble (no concern about long term storage issues) and has very little risk as there are no reports of adverse effects from consumption of excess thiamine.
Also, if you don’t know how to eat for energy check out my training below on a metabolic approach and learn how eat and live in a way that’s focused on improved energy function.
Hope this brings you one step closer to your best life yet!