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B1 Thiamin deficiency & Refeeding


Shokel
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Hi all,

 

This is my first post here and I apologise I'm not much of a scientist, it is all fairly new to me.

 

Just trying to get my head around how Thiamin becomes depleted in alcoholics and why it is the most supplemented of the vitamins when it comes to alcoholism and refeeding.

 

I understand that Thiamin can become depleted in alcohol abuse since it is used in the metabolism of alcohol to convert Pyruvate to Acetyl-CoA. However, I believe that Vitamins B2, B3 and B5 are also somehow involved, so why is it that these vitamins don't also become depleted and require supplementation?

 

Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Shokel: All vitamins may be depleted to some degree but the proximate and main problem is the thiamine deficiency most common in alcoholics. All nutrients are addressed with emphasis on massive amounts of thiamine for this reason.The thiamin deficiency or kidney or liver or other failure can kill long before the other vitamins are much of a factor. Also called Korsakoff's, alcohol is not always involved. it is a form of cerebral berri berri and causes massive brain and memory loss. Permanent. Usually fatal when finally diagnosed.If not fatal the person must be cared for for life.

See "The Man Who Confused His Wife For a Hat" My feeling is that it could be largely avoided if alcoholic beverages were thiamine supplimented.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I looked into this subject briefly a few years ago, and I was not entirely convinced that the reasons were fully understood. However, I found out that decreased overall consumption of food, blocking of absorption of thiamine, or other factors might be responsible for the deficiency in thiamine. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-2/134-142.htm

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" My feeling is that it could be largely avoided if alcoholic beverages were thiamine supplimented.

Yes, I dare say it could.

What do you think the effect on consumption of alcohol would be if people somehow thought it was "safer"?

What would the overall effect on health be?

I fear that you would reduce the incidence of one comparatively rare condition but increase the number of other deaths and injuries from alcohol.

 

It's a bit like saying the best way to make cars safer is to remove the driver's seat belt and put a 15 cm spike on the steering wheel instead of the airbag.

Edited by John Cuthber
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Yes, I dare say it could.

What do you think the effect on consumption of alcohol would be if people somehow thought it was "safer"?

What would the overall effect on health be?

I fear that you would reduce the incidence of one comparatively rare condition but increase the number of other deaths and injuries from alcohol.

 

It's a bit like saying the best way to make cars safer is to remove the driver's seat belt and put a 15 cm spike on the steering wheel instead of the airbag.

Or a bit like lacing bullets with penicillin.

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I understand that Thiamin can become depleted in alcohol abuse since it is used in the metabolism of alcohol to convert Pyruvate to Acetyl-CoA. However, I believe that Vitamins B2, B3 and B5 are also somehow involved, so why is it that these vitamins don't also become depleted and require supplementation?

 

 

Alcohol may be oxidized to acetyl CoA, but pyruvate is not on this pathway. Also, coenzymes such as thiamine are not consumed in enzymatic reactions.

Edited by BabcockHall
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John Cuthbar: Colorful analogy.Spikes would kill more than they save.To be on the safe side don't suggest it to your Senator Airbags do kill some.So do seat belts but they save more than they kill.Unlike penicillin laced bullets likely. Still none of the government's business IMO.I was only suggesting thiamine supplements in relation to alcohol abuse and thiamine deficiency.You raised a good point though.. Abusers by their nature though tend to disregard the hazards and generally wouldn't drink larger quantities because the alcohol has thiamine.I have no stats or references of course.Generally habitual abusers drink as much as they can. They cant get any drunker because of the added thiamine.That would sell..I drink gallons of skim milk, not because it is vitamin supplemented. Never even think of it. Better than the spike analogy?As a former beer abuser all I cared about was cost, calories and bang for the buck.I drank as much as my body could stand.

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John Cuthbar: Colorful analogy.Spikes would kill more than they save.To be on the safe side don't suggest it to your Senator Airbags do kill some.So do seat belts but they save more than they kill.Unlike penicillin laced bullets likely. Still none of the government's business IMO.I was only suggesting thiamine supplements in relation to alcohol abuse and thiamine deficiency.You raised a good point though.. Abusers by their nature though tend to disregard the hazards and generally wouldn't drink larger quantities because the alcohol has thiamine.I have no stats or references of course.Generally habitual abusers drink as much as they can. They cant get any drunker because of the added thiamine.That would sell..I drink gallons of skim milk, not because it is vitamin supplemented. Never even think of it. Better than the spike analogy?As a former beer abuser all I cared about was cost, calories and bang for the buck.I drank as much as my body could stand.

The idea is well-intentioned but, as you realise, the consequences would probably be largely negative

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Stringjunky: "The idea is well-intentioned but, as you realise, the consequences would probably be largely negative"

 

If you are referring to the penicillin bullets and spikes instead of airbags you are correct about my realizing the largely negative consequences. Otherwise you have no idea what I realize. Thiamine supplements in alcohol should be beneficial to those with thiamine deficiencies often associated with alcohol abuse. That would only be one of millions of excuses to abuse alcohol. Actually any excuse will do. Trust me. :)

 

I wouldn't forgo thiamine supplements in alcohol that could save a few lives because it would give some people one more excuse to abuse alcohol.I doubt many would need the excuse.Alcohol shouldn't be sold because it kills so many abusers? :confused:

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