Thiamin (Vitamin B1) Deficiency and Carbohydrate Consumption

A study published in the International Journal of Vitamin Nutrition Research (2001;71(4):217-221) reveals that an increase in the consumption of total carbohydrates to 55%, 65% and 75% of total calories induces a progressive deficiency of vitamin B1. The deficiency is directly proportional to the percentage of total calories derived from carbohydrates. This study does not imply that all carbohydrates should be avoided, only that high-carbohydrate diets trigger this vitamin deficiency. The reason is that thiamin is used up in the body to break down carbohydrates and it is not adequately replenished by any amounts of this vitamin, whether the vitamin occurs naturally or whether it has been added to “enriched” carbohydrate products. This study is particularly interesting for several reasons. First, our diet has been progressively shifting towards higher carbohydrate consumption, and this is especially true in children’s diets. In addition, thiamin deficiency is associated with high anxiety and many of the symptoms of ADHD. Derrick Lonsdale, MD, a proponent of natural treatments for
ADHD, recently published a paper in which he describes successful treatment of many children with ADHD using significant doses of thiamin in addition to dietary management
(Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine; Volume 2, Number 3, Fall 2001; pages 196-203).

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