Navigating Thiamine Supplements

Author: 127 Comments Share:
Thiamin(e), vitamin B1, is spelled with and without an ‘e’. Originally thought to be an amine, the ‘e’ was dropped when the formula became known, but the spelling using the ‘e’ is still used in many texts and across the internet. We spell it with the ‘e’ on this site because of the enhanced search characteristics e.g. thiamine ranks higher than thiamin on search engines. In addition to the discrepancies in spelling, there is quite a bit of confusion surrounding this vitamin and its derivatives used in supplements. Even the most astute readers will find navigating the world of thiamine supplements confusing. For that reason, this post will address some of the more important issues concerning these supplements.

Thiamine Chemistry

In order to understand the writing that follows, I must try to show this formula.

thiamine chemistry

Please excuse this presentation of the thiamine formula. It was made from the Apache Open Office Drawing file. Its representation is incomplete because it does not show the “double bonds”, but it illustrates that the atoms that bind together to form thiamine are in “two rings”. The 6-sided ring on the left is called a pyrimidine ring and the 5-sided one on the right is called a thiazole ring. The CH2 that joins them is called a methylene bridge. This is the naturally occurring thiamine that we must obtain from our diet. Its deficiency causes the classical disease known as beriberi. It is important to understand the atomic construction of thiamine in the discussion that follows concerning its derivatives.


The Vitamin B Research Committee of Japan, a group of university-based researchers, set out to study beriberi in detail, trying to find the best method of treatment for this disease which had been a scourge in Japan for thousands of years. Without covering the specific details, they found that thiamine was converted to a disulfide derivative by an enzyme found in garlic. Because this occurred in other members of the allium species of plants, they called it allithiamine. Thinking at first that thiamine had lost its biologic activity, when tested in animals the new compound was found to have a greater biologic activity than the original thiamine. It was found that the thiazole ring had been opened, creating a disulfide. They began a research program to synthesize a whole group of thiamine disulfides, two of which are shown below.



Although the arrangement of the atoms is different from the thiamine diagram, the important thing to notice is that the thiazole ring (right side) has been opened, creating a disulfide, including  what is known as a prosthetic attachment (the part attached to the disulfide). A disulfide is easily reduced (S-S becomes SH) when the molecule comes into contact with the cell membrane. The result is that the prosthetic group is removed and left outside the cell. The remainder of the molecule passes through the cell membrane into the cell. The thiazole ring closes to provide an intact thiamine molecule in the cell. It is inside the cell where thiamine has its activity and so this is an important method of delivering it to where it is needed. It is this ability to pass through the lipid barrier of the cell membrane that has caused allithiamine to be called fat-soluble. It only refers to this ability, however. It is soluble in water and can be given intravenously.

This “fat solubility” is extremely important because dietary thiamine has to be attached to a genetically determined protein, known as a transporter, to gain entry to cells. There are known to be diseases where the transporter is missing. Affected individuals have thiamine deficiency that does not respond to ordinary thiamine and are usually misdiagnosed. Therefore, a disulfide derivative that does not need the transporter is a method by which thiamine can be introduced to the cell when the transporter is missing. There is no difference between allithiamine and thiamine from a biological activity standpoint. It is this ability to pass the active vitamin through the cell membrane into the cell that provides the advantage.

I performed animal and clinical studies with thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl (TTFD) for many years and found it to be an extremely valuable therapeutic nutrient. Any disease where energy deficiency is the underlying cause may respond to TTFD, unless permanent damage has accrued. Dr. Marrs and I believe that energy deficiency applies to any naturally occurring disease, even when a gene is at fault. For example, Japanese investigators found that TTFD protected mice from cyanide and carbon tetrachloride poisoning, an effect that was not shown by ordinary thiamine (Fujiwara, M. Absorption, excretion and fatal thiamine and its derivatives in the human body. In Shimazono, N, Katsura, E, eds. Beriberi and Thiamine. (pp 120-121) Tokyo, Igaku Shoin Ltd. 1965). They exposed a segment of dog’s intestine, disconnected it from its nerve supply and found that one of the disulfide derivatives stimulated peristalsis (the wavelike movement of the intestine). It is more than likely that TTFD could be used safely in patients with post operative paralysis of the intestine (paralytic ileus).

Other Derivatives

The Japanese investigators made many disulfide derivatives, testing them individually for their biologic activity. They found that thiamin propyl disulfide gave the best results, but unfortunately gave both treated animals and human subjects a pervasive body odor of garlic. They went on to create TTFD with a deliberate attempt to remove the garlic odor and the commercial product was named Alinamin F (odorless). This is by far the best of the disulfide derivatives. Besides the trade name of Alinamin, the Japanese product, TTFD is sold as Lipothiamine in the United States.

S-acyl derivatives

The Japanese investigators synthesized a whole series of thiamine derivatives where the prosthetic group was attached to the carbon atom (bottom right C on the thiazole ring). They are all so-called open ring derivatives but the prosthetic group has to be separated by an enzyme in the body for the thiazole ring to close. The best known of these is known as Benfotiamine and several papers have been published concerning its benefits in the treatment of neuropathy. It has also been published that it does not cross into the brain, whereas TTFD does and this seems to be the major difference between Benfotiamine and Lipothiamine. Benfotiamine, a synthetic S-acyl thiamine derivative, has different mechanisms of action and a different pharmacological profile than lipid-soluble thiamine disulfide derivatives. It is predictable that TTFD would be the best choice since it has beneficial effects both inside and outside the brain and it certainly needs to be explored and researched further as a very valuable therapeutic agent.

Thiamine Salts

Thiamine is found in health food stores as thiamine hydrochloride and thiamine mononitrate. These are known as “salts” of thiamine. Like dietary thiamine, they require a protein transporter to get the vitamin into the cell. Their absorption used to be thought to be extremely limited, but megadoses are effective in some situations. The absorption of salts is therefore inferior to that of the thiamine derivatives discussed above. They are all so-called “open ring (thiazole)” forms of thiamine and represent the most useful way of getting big doses of thiamine into the cell. The reader should be aware that when we talk about big doses of a vitamin, it is being used as a drug. Although they can be used for simple vitamin deficiency, their medical use goes far beyond that because they can be effective sometimes when thiamine absorption is genetically compromised.

We Need Your Help

Hormones Matter needs funding now. Our research funding was cut recently and because of our commitment to independent health research and journalism unbiased by commercial interests we allow minimal advertising on the site. That means all funding must come from you, our readers. Don’t let Hormones Matter die.

Yes, I’d like to support Hormones Matter.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Article

Post Gardasil Severe Cyclic Vomiting, Migraines, and a Long List of Other Symptoms

Next Article

Easing Endometriosis Pain and Inflammation with Nutrition

You may also like


  1. Do you have suggestions on transdermal thiamine? I haven’t been able to tolerate any thiamine or supplements for many reasons including great autonomic dysfunction and a very unhappy gut. I’ve recently found transdermal patches but the company I’ve been using groups vitamins/minerals/antioxidants/ingredients together and they do not carry patch singles but I have seen thiamine patches on the market as a mosquito repellent which is very interesting and would love to hear a post on that. But would like suggestions on a transdermal option do deal with the multitude of symptoms; the most pressing being debilitating fatigue, mitochondrial and autonomic dysfunction, blood sugar dysregulation, etc. Much appreciate and thank you so much for your articles and vital info!!

  2. Dr. Lonsdale,

    Any thoughts on thiamine supplementation in an older adult on dialysis?

    Unidentifiable micro bleeds in bowels are being attributed to the cause of dropping Hgb and subsequent blood transfusions. I think 13 L transfused in one week recently.

    I’m hopeful that thiamine will help, concerned about dosage/dialysis.

    Dialysis 2x/week 80 year old male history of T2DM.

  3. somehow my comment was not posted–so, repeat

    fast losing any nerve sensitivity in legs, brain slow, ataxia–also had optic neuritis years ago, now again and with glaucoma–
    have tried thiamine HCL with no effect

    then read Dr Lonsdale and Chandler Marrs info–got Allithiamine, severe itching all over, similar with Benfotiamine–but benefits so good, am continuing these supplements despite the itching–am also just trying sulbutiamine, so far, no bad effects–

    what could this severe itching be caused by, and is it detrimental to continue despite it??

    an very grateful for the life-changing info from Dr Lonsdale and Chandler Marrs–
    thank you

  4. Dr Londsdale,

    I am thiamine and magnesium deficient. I have been taking thiamine hcl and magnesium liquid and slowly recovering from stress, foot and wrist drop, muscle atrophy, heart palpitations and general well being.

    I have tried thiamine derivatives before and reactions are not good. Happy with hcl but slow progress. I have also been taking b5 for adrenal support.

    Is the protocol I am following good ? Is thiamine hcl effective?



  5. This is really interesting. Five years ago I went through a very traumatic event. My whole family did. We all had different symptoms. Mine was the worst. One day I just stopped going to the bathroom, anxiety, hypervigilance, mood swings, etc. I saw three gastro docs. They claimed I wasn’t following their directions and that I should come back in 6 months. I ended up in the ER. So I decided to take things into my own hands. I took classes in biology and also researched on my own. It took 2 years but I have healed most of my symptoms. I thought choline/inositol was the answer, it was helping a lot. but soon realized in my research that it was just forcing the acetylcholine. Not fixing what was wrong. The B1 has been a godsend and I believe my adrenals are working much better. I use to pass out when stressed and now I can recover better. My husband says he has more inner peace and his tremor is much better. We thought he had Parkinson’s. As a family, our symptoms were all over the map. I still have cognitive issues but have switched to allithiamine now. One cool symptom was that my eyesight is 80 percent better. I thought I was going blind. Also, I am not constipated and my muscles are tighter, hard to explain but all over my muscles have firmed. I think my boobs are getting bigger. My hormones must be working better. I had all the symptoms and I thank you for your research.

    1. It sounds like inherited mitochondrial disease. You probably know by now that mitochondria have their own genes and they are passed to children by the mother only. Dad’s Mt genes are lost at inception. Thiamine seems to be a driving force even for this inherited situation because it is the prime mover in producing cellular energy. The citric acid cycle is necessary for producing acetyl choline, hence the importance of thiamine. Allithiamine or Lipothiamine are your best bet.

  6. Hi Dr. Lonsdale,

    I’v not been taking Lipothiamine for a little over a month. I believe the main symptoms of “paradox” have resolved which were emotional volatility, extra physical anxiety and chest pains. I have now increased the dosage to 200mg lipothiamine per day split in the following manner: 100mg at breakfast, 50mg at lunch, 50mg at dinner.

    Note – I have not yet felt benefit from this regimen for my longstanding Fluoroqunolone antibiotic toxicity characterized by peripheral neuropathy and musculoskeletal pain or longstanding anxiety/OCD/insomnia.

    I have noticed that, since increasing Lipothiamine, my nasal cycle has become more balanced and the feeling of one nostril totally plugged has receded to a further degree. This is especially true when I expend energy, like taking a walk. The response is unmistakable. I should also like to add that I speak with a stutter, and I have read that thiamine may help this condition. I have not noticed improvement in this area yet.

    I do wish to get your book, and will do so when my budget allows.

    Here are further questions if you would like to entertain them.

    1. Is there a “mini” paradox associated with the raising of the dose? Perhaps I notice 1-2 days of such symptoms when I have increased.

    2. You previously advised to raise the dose “gradually” until symptoms yield. Do you ahve a general schedule to increase? For example, I waited at 150mg for a week, then I raised to 200mg.

    3. Since you indicate that TTFD is better absorbed that Thiamine HCL, I am assuming that smaller doses of TTFD are more effective that Thiamine HCL. Is there any general dose equivalent between these substances?

    Thank you for your time and attention.

  7. Geez! I found yet ANOTHER symptom of thiamine deficiency on this site as I am gobbling up this info like crazy now! I also have mitral valve prolapse which is a thiamine deficiency symptom/disease. So, I tried to search this out online but I also had hyperparathyroidism (parathyroid tumor). Is thiamine also involved in calcium metabolism? (plus, I asked earlier about Marfan Syndrome). I am 65 years old and have suffered a lot of health problems for a long time. I have seen so many doctors and sought help and only got blank looks for so long. This site is SUCH a relief!

    1. Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a very interesting modern phenomenon. Many years ago, a smart cardiologist recognized that it was associated with problems in the “brain computer”. This is the part of the brain that organizes and controls the autonomic (automatic) nervous system. The “brain computer” is very sensitive to thiamine deficiency but the connection with thiamine has not yet clicked in medical literature. Interestingly, a paper showed magnesium deficiency in pediatric MVP and Mg treatment ” relieved chest pain” but did not help other symptoms. The authors evidently were not aware that magnesium and thiamine work together in energy metabolism and that adding thiamine would have resolved the other symptoms. MVP is due to myxomatous degeneration of the valve and is evidence of connective tissue problems so that Marfan’s syndrome or Ehrlers Danlos syndrome might occur concurrenly with MVP. Everything is connected to everything else!!

  8. Hi Dr. Lonsdale;
    I just found an old online post of yours that kind of stunned me. I don’t know if I misunderstood what I read or not so I thought I’d ask you. One of my “weird” symptoms is that I get very confused, off-balance and a bit anxious if I go out into bright sunlight. I just read a post of yours where you mentioned some workers who ate their lunch outside and were fine until sunlight hit some of them and they displayed symptoms of beri-beri. I have been trying to figure out what the heck this thing is with me and going out into bright sunlight. Did I misunderstand what you were talking about or is this another beri-beri symptom? I am stunned #1 because I found this post accidently and #2 because you are so full of incredible information.

    1. Interesting question. The factories in Japan were built in blocks and the workers would take their lunch in the corridors between them in the summer. Initially in shade, as the sun came round and shone in the corridor, a group of workers would get their first symptoms of beriberi. It was natural for the investigators of that time to conclude that beriberi was due to a mysterious infection before the discovery of thiamine, the “anti-beriberi factor” that had been later discovered in rice polishings”.Now we know that thiamine deficiency is the cause of beriberi, what is the explanation??
      Sunlight stresses the human body and automatically initiates an energy requiring adaptive whole body response, organized and conducted by the brain. For the workers who were in a pre-lunch marginal state of malnutrition, the exposure to sunlight initiated a stress response and their brains could not muster the extra energy requirement to meet the demand. Thus, the symptom that you describe shows that your brain is “weighed in in the balance and found wanting”, like the Japanese workers. The reason for this kind of “mystery” in America is because of our hedonistic attachment to sweet tasting things and alcohol. Also, the highest IQs are they. greatest risk because those brains have a higher rate of metabolism and require more energy.

      1. It is amazing to me to have an answer to a symptom so weird that I doubted myself that it was actually happening. I thought I had to be imagining it! Thank you so very much! If I had not seen that post I very well could have never had an answer or any validation for that matter! And especially thank you for the last sentence of your answer where you implied I am a genius! I think you may be right! : ) I ordered that transketolase test from London a couple of weeks ago. I had it all figured out up until the couriers could not guarantee it would get there on time without getting stuck in customs. I had steroid poisoning a couple of years ago and it took me 9 months to wean off of them. I think that made things much worse. I also am heterozygous for the MTHFR gene. I assume I have some kind of thiamine issue too. Dr. Lonsdale, we have Marfan Syndrome in our family, having claimed my grandfather, mother and my little brother. Is there some way thiamine/beri-beri could be a factor here too? I know it’s an out-of-left-field question and I know it is a collagen problem but I am wondering how much B-vitamin issues have made my family sick? Thank you!

        1. Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation in a protein that has to go through a complex folding of its amino acid chain to become functional. It causes production of a substance called fibrillin, essential to the construction of connective tissue. Although 75% of cases are inherited, in another 25% the mutation is spontaneous. The interesting question has been asked as to whether Marfan syndrome can be related to thiamine deficiency. The effects of this disease get worse with aging, implying that energy metabolism gets into the act. I have just published a paper in Medical Hypotheses, proposing that thiamine initiates the energy production that enables the complex protein folding mechanism to occur

  9. Thanks for your reply, Dr. Lonsdale.

    I dropped down to 50mg for a few days. Then back to 100mg. I can report that the more balanced nostril breathing continues to arise several hours after each dose of Lipothiamine. It returns to dysfunction afterwards.

    I tried to go up to 150mg a few days ago – with the last 50mg dose at dinner – but that seemed to correlate with an increase in anxiety and insomnia. I cannot say whether this connection is real, as it could be the normal vicissitudes of my anxiety – but it has been severe.

    I do not drink alcohol or have large intakes of sugar, but will be mindful of sugar intake.

    Currently consuming 100mg Lipothiamine. I do not yet see improvement with neuropathy, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia or anxiety with this, but I only added the Thiamine on June 18.

    I have a few more questions for you:

    – Should one refrain from taking TTFD supplements in the evening. Are they known to interfere with sleep?

    – Is it okay to take 100mg at one shot with a meal?

    – Is the paradox prone to restart when one increases the dose?

    Thanks again.

    1. All very interesting! You are a good “guinea pig”. 1. TTFD is usually best taken in the morning for a one a day dose 2. It is OK to take 100 mg, usually as a daily dose. 3. paradox is caused by shifting from a catabolic to anabolic state i.e nitrogen loss to nitrogen gain. Your guidance system is the nasal cycle. The neurological benefits will come much later. I conclude hat you have a genetic risk factor, possibly a missing thiamine transporter. I was interested in the fact that the low dose gave normal nasal breathing for only a short while and wondered whether a repeated low dose would work better for you than a single daily dose. I must remind you that this is true pioneering. It is hard enough to treat long term nutritional deficiency without a genetic background, but it has seemed to me that a surprisingly common genetic defect that accelerates thiamine deficiency is in one or more of the missing transporters. We are beginning to realize that polymorphisms (look this up) are common and do not trouble us until another factor such as nutritional deficiency creates clinical manifestations. The new science of epigenetics is a very important addition to genetics. The trouble with all this is how you get the scientific knowledge to the suffering patient. This is what this website is dedicated to.

      1. Hi Dr. Lonsdale,

        Thanks very much for your continued reply. Can you please outline from your above comment what “a repeated low dose” would look like in terms of scheduling on a daily basis? If the total dose is 150mg, would it be two 50mg pills at breakfast, followed by one at lunch?

        Regarding genertic reisk factors and a missing thiamine transporter – I have my raw genetic data available through 23andme. I have not been able to locate the SNP and genotype combination to affirm this suspicion. I have researched this to no avail. Do you know if there is a specific snp/genotype I should check? If so, I can report back.

        The improved nasal cycle breathing continues some hours after each dose of thiamine. It is difficult for me to accept that this is from thiamine administration, but the effect is unmistakable and has altered how my nasal breathing has been for my life. I am still on 100mg of Lipothiamine and plan to increase to 150mg tomorrow if I can tolerate it.

        Thank you for your time

          1. Is it a bad idea to take that last dose of Lipothiamine at dinner or later in the evening? Could it cause insomnia?

            Thanks for your time.

            1. One daily dose of thiamine or one of its derivatives is all that is necessary. Although it is a vitamin, not a drug, it is being used as a drug when given in megadose. It requires a view that is completely different from present day conventional medicine, so people that want to take advantage of its benefits need to buy our book and skip the technical sections.

  10. Hi Dr. Lonsdale,

    I’ve been taking the Lipothiamine this week. I’ve altered between 100mg and 50mg per day with meals. Sometimes the 100mg dose is too powerful. I think the effect is too energetic. I noticed that I get increased chest pains and racing thoughts/anxiety with ingestion of Lipothiamine. Also, my insomnia has been very bad. I can’t tell if all of this is normal waxing and waning or if this is the “paradox” you discussed.

    Yesterday, I noticed that I was able to breath through both of my nostrils for a period of over three hours. This is highly unusual, as I have a deviated septum and one nostril is always very, very clogged. Then I saw your paper that discussed “Exaggerated Autonomic Asymmetry.” I wonder if this change in my breathing was chance coincidence or validation of the function of Lipothiamine. My breathing has since mostly returned to dominant nostril breathing.

    1. You are indeed experiencing paradox. Continue the lower dose. The nostril problem is because of a sick nasal cycle, a function of the autonomic nervous system, whose controls in the brain are highly susceptible to thiamine deficiency. Stop sugar and alcohol, both of which induce thiamine deficiency

  11. I’m sorry my first comment didn’t post so I must have made a mistake.

    Briefly, I am a 59yo, male Type 2 diabetic of 20yrs. About 8 years ago I began to develop what I think now was B3 deficieny. It was a dark area around my neck (Casal’s necklace?) and by its characteristics it did not seem to be from sun exposure. Anyway, at the time I thought something was deeply wrong with me besides, or because of my diabetes.

    I began to pay more attention to my nutrition and supplements which included the water soluable vitamins, but I was not consistent with either.

    It was later on when I was reading, really by accident, an article about Benfotiamine and the topic of B1 and the dry form of Beri Beri that the light went on for me. I had had leg weakness, the beginning of brain fog, neuropathy, and my bowel had basically stopped for a period of time.

    I have been trying to build up my Mg for a year. I take B6 with it. I am getting the multivitamin, and I get around 200mg B1 salts?a day. I have taken Benfotiamine from time to time but I tend to return to commonly available B1.

    I realize now, no sugar.

    From reading the other posts here, I wonder should I switch to Lipothiamine because I still have the brain fog? But I don’t know if it the dose is 1:1. In other words, if I was taking 200mg of the salts form, should I work up to 200-300mg (LI)? Thank you. I had posted the study regarding diabetic kidney disease, sorry this is out of order.

    1. The major clue is diabetes. Both types 1 and 2 are reportedly thiamine deficient. There is genetic risk for both. Thiamine needs a genetically determined protein transporter to pass into cells and absence of one or more of them seems to be quite common as a cause of thiamine deficiency. I suggest Lipothiamine 100 mg/day (Ecological Formulas) + magnesium taurate 250 mg + well rounded multivitamin.

  12. I am a 59 yo male, Type 2 diabetic for 20 years. I noticed about 8 years ago what, looking back on it, may have been the beginning of Casal’s necklass (B3) around my neck. Of course, I did not know the symptoms of B3 deficiency at the time, but I felt intuitively it was not just sun exposure which was causing the darkening. Did I have early symptoms of Pellegra? I don’t know, I am not a doctor.

    I knew enough about the water soluble vitamins to know I needed them. I knew I urinated more than normal and so on. So I was taking vitamins and minerals but I was not entirely consistent in use.

    The light went off for me when I was reading about Benfotiamine and the author listed the symptoms of Dry Beriberi. I was stunned. I cried. I got serious about nutrition, vitamins and minerals. This led me further into studying B1, and now to Dr. Lonsdale and his very important work.

    As I understand from above. I have neuropathy but it much improved and I am much more functional now that I make sure U get the thinks a diabetic needs. Replenish.

    Do I nderstand from the above that Allithamine may be the best form of B1 for me? I have been working to increase my Mg appropriately for a year now. I also take appropriate supplement etc. multivitamin.

    Second question, might B1 also slow down the progression of kidney disease or help prevent it. I read a study, sorry I can’t find it, that 300mg/day, divided, of B1 salts? (I’m not sure what form was used in the study) may slow progression of kidney disease? I realize this is probably a therapeutic dose and should be under supervision of a doctor. Thank you.

  13. I have just started exploring the benefits of Thiamine. I am wondering if it is something that a person with Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy. (AAG). M brother has just been diagnosed with this autoimmune disease. He, of course, has gastorpersis, low blood pressure with syncope, dry moth, low heat tolerance, brain fog, and just a host of other issues related to the disfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. If his insurance approves it, he will start IVIG infusions. Can adding the Thiamaine supplement help him at least with the fatigue and brain fog?

    1. I have been interested in the connection between thiamine deficiency and autoimmune disease for some time. What I do recognize in your brother is the disaster of energy deficiency. His symptoms are those that occur in the classic disease beriberi, the prototype for dysautonomia. I do not understand the rationale of IVIG. I have seen many patients with this misdiagnosis and there is no doubt that it is extremely common because of our love of sugar and alcohol, both of which induce thiamine deficiency. He should respond to megadoses of thiamine but you should be aware of paradox, also known as “refeeding syndrome”, that is discussed on Hormones Matter and it should be under the care of a physician. However, I am afraid that your physician will openly scoff at this. He/she will tell you that because of vitamin enrichment by the food industry, vitamin deficiency in America simply does not occur and that your informant is an ignorant trouble maker. It is very sad for me to witness so many medical disasters. The medical literature is full of thiamine responsive cases but the papers are from countries other than America.

  14. Hi,

    Is there concise information on which thamine supplement to use and what dose? I have read through several articles by Dr. Lonsdale on this website and their comments, and a thiamine paper on pubmed. I have gleaned the following:

    1. Regular “thiamine” at 1500mg to 1800mg may have the potential to help certain pain conditions.
    2. Allthiamine and lipthiamine are a superior form as they cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
    3. Benfothiamine may help peripheral tissue but does not cross the BBB.

    What is the proper dose of allthiamine/lipothiamine and is that dose equivalent to the 1500mg regular thiamine that may help pain conditions?

    Primarily, I am looking to treat peripheral neuropathy and diverse musculoskeletal weakness secondary to a toxic reaction to a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. My neuropathy has been unresponsive to benfothiamine at 450mg, magnesium glycinate/malate at 800mg, R-ALA at 300-600mg, DHA fish oil at 3G, PQQ, B12, Vit D, and several others.

    Thanks for your time.

    1. I would suggest that you try Lipothiamine from Ecological Formulas. Start at 100 m g and increase gradually depending on response. Take with 2-3 hundred mg magnesium taurate and 1.2 hundred mg of B complex + a well rounded multivitamin.

      1. Thanks for your reply, Dr. Lonsdale. I will try the lipothiamine from Cardiovascular Research. Is there a max dose at which to stop? I see it can get pricey with this formulation.

        I have been advised by neurologist not to supplement with B6 or P5P as I previously supplemented and had B6 toxicity. Is there a B complex without B6/P5P that you recommend? I would also appreciate a multi-vitamin recommendation (also without B6).

        In addition to the neuropathy and muskoloskeletal issues from the fluoroquinolone, I have severe insomnia and anxiety/OCD, and am looking to treat those as well. I have failed several prescription medications for this. I thought to try niacinamide, but am not sure. Thank you for your time and any further response.

        1. B6 “toxicity” comes from an old paper years ago trying to wreck its therapeutic value. The maximum dose of thiamin is thousands of times the physiological dose. B complex is not toxic. Your insomnia and anxiety is the hallmark of brain energy deficiency and should respond to thiamin.

          1. Thanks, Dr. Lonsdale. I just got the Lipothiamine.

            Is there a benefit to taking benfothiamine along with Lipothiamine (perhaps continue the benfothiamine for peripheral tissue and Lipothiamine for the brain)?

            I see that you have two Thiamine books on Amazon. Which is best for the layman, and is there a source for your books that are cheaper than the prices on Amazon which are quite expensive.

            Thanks again for your time.

    2. Try Lipothiamine from Ecological Formulas. Start at 100 mg/day and increase according to whether or not you experience benefit. There is no maximum dose and there is no toxicity. If symptoms get worse temporarily, stick with it. Find the article on HM that deals with “paradox”. Your problem is mitochondrial and might be genetic in origin.

      1. Thanks, Dr. Lonsdale.

        I took 100mg of the Lipothiamine today with food.

        I did see the two Paradox articles you wrote and will be mindful of this.

        I decided to continue with the benfotiamine as well but stepped down to 300mg from 600mg.

        I did want to mention that while the fluoroquinolone resulted in immediate neuropathy and musckuloskeletal issues – now for years, I first began to notice odd health problems after taking an acid blocker over ten years ago. I think this dovetails with some of your writings. I also have been extremely sensitive to noise, getting years-long tinnitus ear damage from a single loud event even while others were unaffected. And I had a strange reaction to a short course of prednisone resulting in body-wide stiffness. This preceded the fluoroquinolone as well. In fact, I have always been unusually sensitive to both the external environment and pharmaceutical drugs.

        Conflicting with my theory, though, is that I have had the severe anxiety/ocd issues for most of my life, certainly preceding the fluoroquinolone or the acid-blocker exposure.

        I will be interested to see if Lipothiamine can help my diverse and systemic problems.

        Thanks for your time.

  15. Hello Dr. Lonsdale!
    I would like to know if you have any idea if taking steroids could impact or deplete thiamine in the body?
    Thank you,

      1. Thank you! I was on steroids (supposedly to support my adrenals) for 9 years and it was finally so bad I was suicidal and could not function. I think the drug pushed me over the edge from lifetime, sporadic (but unrecognized) B vitamin issues to full out damage. I changed doctors, not knowing what the heck was wrong with me, unable to walk, with many, many other symptoms/side effects. She discovered I was terribly overdosed on steroids and it took me a year and a ton of patience on her part to slowly, carefully wean off of them. Thinking I was better and didn’t need them anymore I stopped the vitamin IVs and supplements and now, 2 years later I am getting sick again. I saw people discussing the SLC19A1 gene and I got out an old 23&Me report. I can’t remember the verbiage anymore but I do have an issue. I think I saw in one of these posts that you told someone when they have gene issues they need to ALWAYS supplement (I also have an MTHFR issue). I am not as sick as I was on steroids but I am sick enough not to have a life so I have to fight my way back to something resembling “normal”.

        I am going to start the Allithiamine at the 50mg dose and tough it out until I can go up on it but can I do the Myer’s IVs too or should I wait until I can up the Allithiamine? I am anxious to get moving, now that I think I have a grasp of what’s been going on.

        And, oh my gosh!! Where would we all be without you? I can’t even imagine how we would ever be able to figure out what the heck is wrong with us without all of this info you provide! Even the doctor who helped me get off of steroids, as wonderful as she is, has a hard time believing I have thiamine issues and that is what my symptoms are all about. I am so glad I can handle this myself. She is happy to do the Myer’s though!


  16. Thank you so much for this informative article! What companies produce thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide? Is it available over the counter? If so what online retailer sells it?
    I have only been able to find the one supplement by the company you referenced for allithiamine and a handful for benfotiamine. I would of course prefer TTFD for many reasons as you stated.

    1. Allithiamine (AL) and Lipothiamine (LI) are both TTFD. The only differences are: AL is powdered so the dose can be split:LI is an enteric coated tablet of 50 mg TTFD to pass it through stomach acid to get to the small intestine where thiamine is absorbed. Both are available from Ecological Formulas on line.

      1. Hi Dr. Lonsdale,

        I understand that you recommend above all Lipothiamine 50mg (TTFD) manufactured by Ecological Formulas, because it is enteric-coated. However, I see that Allithiamine 50mg (TTFD) capsules also manufactured by Ecological Formulas, are much less expensive.

        In this context, can you clarify whether the Allithiamine product is an effective option for supplementation for our issues as compared to the Lipothiamine (TTFD)?

        Thanks for your insight.

  17. I would like to share my Thiamine experience: as a young woman 28 years ago, I consulted a cardiologist because of stenocardia, having had endocarditis 2 years before. I also had difficulties concentrating, always had brain fog and was not able to learn new, always had some open skin on my hands and lips, my face was red and burning, and I was no more able to practice contraception via temperature, because my curve was unphysiologically chaotic, the temperature always being close to 37.0 without a cyclic pattern. I gave up to care, but did not get pregnant. I had “irritable bowl”. I felt miserable and certainly was complaining about it; the cardiologist only gave me the address of a psychologist. I was angry and resignated, but went there out of curiosity. I actually liked to talk to her, but after only a few meetings she asked me to find myself a proper doctor. I found an endocrinologist who drew incredibly much blood, confirming sarcolemma-antibodies and thiamine deficiency! Being a neurologist myself, I could hardly believe it; never had we taken thiamin-levels for comparable complaints. Well, I started eating benfotiamine, and within one week my skin was without sores, my face smooth, my mind clear, stenocardia gone and my cyclic temperature changes became physiological again. After 3 month, I was pregnant. A few years later, I drew blood for a thiaminelevel from a severely suicidal psychiatric patient who complained about being unable to perform in her job as a simultaneous translator because of brain fog and forgetfulness; she had the same skin lesions as I knew them. Her thiamine level was low, and she profited from substitution in the same way as I had. I hardly ever had a more thankful patient!
    I ate Vitamin B1 for many years until I decided that I can do without because my irritable bowle was gone since I stopped eating whole grain stuff. Another few years, and I developed palpitations and started feeling somewhat depressed and resigned. I remembered thiamine and gave it a go – again helping me immediately. The palpitations were gone, the mood good, and in addition, an annoying achillodynia vanished. I have since been distributing thiamine among family and friends, and they confirm better mood and one colleague could – like myself – control her palpitations with it.

    1. Dear Dr Ridder. I have been trying to get physicians aware of the expected results of your own treatment. I think that you would get a big bang out of our book “Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia and High Calorie Malnutrition” available at Amazon Books. It was written primarily for physicians,but many patients are recognizing the cause of their symptoms that have defeated their own physicians, sometimes for years.

    2. Hello Maria!
      What a great story! Can you tell us please what dosage you used to achieve this incredible result? (in mgs please?)
      Thank you,

  18. Dr. Lonsdale, to add to my history, I am 37 yrs old. I have been recently diagnosed with hypothalamus hypofunction function due to high inflammation and leptin blamed by mold suceptible genetics. The doctor that I’m seeing is referring to the Shoemaker protocol for mold exposure. But to complicate my situation I had been given 5 weeks of fluoroquinolones and steroids at the same time of supposed mold sickness that started 10 years ago. I had a severe reaction to the fluoroquinolones as described by other “floxies”. I have major anxiety, low blood pressure, blurry vision, severe fatigue and muscle wasting on going for 10 years. I was perfectly healthy before 10 years ago other than chronic sinus problems. I suspect induced this one deficiency from the fluoroquinolones, although I can’t prove it. I need testing done.

  19. Dr. Lonsdale, I have read several of your articles on thiamine deficiency. I clearly have the symptoms. My biggest issue is dysautonomia. It as plagued me severely for 10 years. I was given a 5 week dose of fluoroquinolones 10 years ago and have extensive problems with my connective tissue that will not repair. My sleep is ruined. My quality of life is ruined. I have severe fatigue, high inflammation and immune system disfunction via lab tests. I’ve taken methylated b vitamins for a couple years and am intolerant. I clearly need my tissue thiamine levels checked and could use help monitoring my situation since I’m not functioning well. Which labs are currently doing the proper nutrients tests that I can have my primary doctor run to get started? Also, is there anyone in Utah or surrounding area that is competent with this issue to help me do IVs and supplements to get my health back? Supplements can only get you so far when you are as far down the rabbit hole as I am. Your help is greatly appreciated. I’m willing to drive out of state for the proper help and/ or do phone consultation with labs. If you can’t make a recommendation for someone to help me, does your latest book have all the information I need to help myself?

    1. I would certainly suggest that you get our book “Thiamine Deficiency Diseases, Dysautonomia and High Calorie Malnutrition” from Amazon books.

  20. I am in the 3rd week of taking allithiamine. I decided to repeat my blood tests. I always had low count of neutrophils (either neutropenia or close to neutropenia). I am fighting endometriosis and during childhood I had asthma – so I assume my neutrophiles issues may be from there.

    Now, my neutrophils has increased by 10 % almost. Not sure if it’s due to allithiamine as I took other supps during these 6 months but I assume it’s because of it , as my energy level increased a lot.

    Does thiamine also increase neutrophils?

    Thanks a lot!!

  21. Hello Dear dr.Lonsdale.
    I just wanted to mention a point that I think would be a great importance.
    This thiamine paradox for some people may be simply vitamin b6 toxicity because of the b complex that they’re are taking along with thiamin. Obviously there are many people who may reach toxic levels of b6 very easily and unfortunately there’s little info on this issue in the current medical world.

    1. Vitamin B6 neuropathy was reported many years ago and was particularly aimed at vitamin use in general. I have used huge doses of B complex over the years and have never seen any toxicity.

  22. Hi, Dr. Lonsdale, I need to ask something:

    Can I take sulbutiamine instead of allithiamine? Both are thiamine disulfide if I’m not wrong. Allithiamine causes me intestinal pain (I have many intolerances and gastritis frequently, maybe its for garlic, i dont know), however, sulbutiamine does not hurt me. What is the difference between the two? Have both same effective? If your answer is affirmative: do I have to take the same dose of sulbutiamine as allithiamine? That is to say 50 mg sulbutiamina rising little by little up to 200-300mg?

    In summary, my question is whether I can follow his guidelines and Dr. Lonsdale with sulbutiamine instead of allithiamine, or would have to change something

    (I am taking with breakfast, with food. My stomach is very sensitive and I usually have this type of problem. I would be very grateful if you could resolve the doubt when you know it. It is very important for me to be able to do the treatment correctly)

    Thank you very much

  23. This could be the missing link! My 11 year old son was just diagnosed with EOE today. He’s had pain after eating for a year and a half. Hes been gluten and dairy free, prior to and was eating a standard American diet (sugar). He constantly complains of “breathing issues” where he has to tell his body to breath. He has urinary frequency since almost 2 years ago, when ocd and ADD symptoms came out of the blue.
    He has the mthfr mutation and is on a ton of great supplements but I’m wondering if it’s the best thiamin. What’s your suggestion to start him on Lipothiamine? Hes 78 lbs.
    Thanks for all of your wonderful info!

  24. Dr Derrick, I wanted to supplement with Thiamine but I heard it contains Sulfur. I do react to Sulfur based foods and taking Magnesium Sulfate gives me an anxiety attack. I have gut dysbiosis and issues like Anxiety, Panic attacks, Chronic fatigue etc. I am currently taking B12, D3, B6 and Nicinamine. Is there a N1 supplement that I can take which does not contain Sulfur/Sulfate? Thanks

  25. Would Thiamin
    —(as cocarboxylase [Coenzymated]) as in a coenzymated b complex be as effective as Allithiamine or Benfotiamine? I ask because I took it before but it did not seem to help. Does the “coenzymated” part mean it wouldn’t require transporters to get into cells? Source Naturals sells coenzymated B Complex.

      1. Just clarifying that Cocarboxylase is available in a supplement Source Naturals sells as a Coenzymated B Complex. So would it be as effective at getting into the cells as Allithiamine?

  26. Hello Dr. Lonsdale,

    I understand that simple sugars are contraindicated for thiamine deficiency unless from whole foods. I wonder about the supplement D-Ribose, though, since it is supposed to assist with mitochondrial energy. Could you also comment on the use of sodium or potassium bicarbonate topically (in baths) or oral supplementation in regards to thiamine deficiency. Thank you!

    1. Terminology is important in understanding my answer. For example, what is meant by “whole foods”? It should be replaced by the term “natural foods”. But the distortions in linguistics so often confuse the issue. The food industry is using the term “all natural” that is completely meaningless within the context of its use. I see no reason for supplementing with d-ribose, sodium or potassium bicarbonate.It is very clear to me that our advance in medicine has to be by a comprehensive understanding of cellular biochemistry. It has long been said that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. It will take a very long time before the medical profession picks up the slack. Although we know a lot, it is overwhelmed by our ignorance and our progress demands sophisticated research. I read new articles in the medical literature that provide highly sophisticated nutrient based medicine every day and most of them are coming from countries other than America. Let nobody read this blog with the idea that all the answers are available. The complexity of a single cell is simply mind-boggling. In my clinical experience I have tried to keep it simple and I became aware that thiamine used as a drug rather than simple deficiency replacement was a huge advance in itself. For those reading this blog, I sincerely recommend obtaining the book by myself and Dr. Marrs. “Thiamine Deficiency Diseases, Dysautonomia and High Calorie Malnutrition”. Much of it is readable by the intelligent public and answers some of the questions that keep cropping up here. The highly technical areas can be skipped or studied, according to the experience and knowledge of the reader.

  27. Dr. Londsdale,

    What can be the negative effects of taking Allithiamine with an SSRI?

    I can’t stop the SSRI right now and need the Thiamine, what am I to I do?

    Would Lipothimaine be better as I’d prefer this due to it coming in tablet form so I can cut it down and start small. The Allithiamine only comes in capsules.

    I see you and poster “Jason” mentioned Refeeding Syndrome. This is what I am trying to treat per se with the Thiamine. I posted those articles in my post below that state that Thiamine deficiency during refeeding a malnourished patient could cause similar symptoms to Refeeding Syndrome. Are you stating that taking Thiamine for a severe Thiamine deficiency causes Refeeding Syndrome?? In these articles it states Thiamine supplementation resolved their electrolyte loses and other clinical Refeeding Syndrome symptoms.

  28. Dr Lonsdale, when you say remove sugar in all its forms could you specify? Does that mean fruit as well? Does it mean all starches even vegetables? I looked up foods with high b1 and have been eating more red lentils, oatmeal, etc, but these foods are high in carbohydrates.

    1. I mean the products of the food industry. Of course sugar is found in fruits and vegetables and that is the way that we should be taking it. We have become extraordinarily artificial in life and the further we get from our own biology the more dangerous it becomes. It is probably the fiber in the fruits and vegetables that modifies the way the sugar is metabolized. That is why the food industry has produced products that contain fiber and they do not work. Civilization is virtually our enemy. Any food that God has made is okay. Man is an omnivore, meaning that he can eat meat as well as vegetables and fruit. All you have to do is to look at our teeth. We have “cutters” to cut food, in company with pointed teeth, designed for tearing chunks out of a carcase and “grinders” to grind down plant products. This is how our ancestors were equipped as they emerged as Homo sapiens. Mcdonalds and Coca-Cola were in the future and represent the modifications that appeal to our hedonistic side.

      1. I was eating a lot of watermelon over the summer because it was in season and low in oxalate. I started noticing that I would get burning sensations in my feet and legs after eating it so I stopped.

    1. Charlotte are you referring the thiamine transporters or other nutrient transporters? If so, they are called solute carriers, SLC for short, there are almost 400 in total. The ones involved with thiamine and other B vitamins are the SLC19A2 and SLC19A3, folate uses the SLC19A1.

    1. Thank you for your response to my original post.

      Another question though: A
      re there any contraindications to taking Allithiamine if one is also taking an SSRI like Lexapro?

  29. Chronic B1 and B3 deficiency

    I have chronic functional B1 and B3 deficiency per SpectraCell Micronutrient Panel. I have tried multi and B-complex, but these didn’t help improve B1 and B3 per follow-up SpectraCell testing. I have started reading many of your articles about B1 and have started taking Lipothiamine 10 days ago to cover B1 along with multi w/ B’s, B-complex, electrolytes and magnesium.

    Any special considerations for B3 deficiency? Is Multi w/ B’s and B-complex enough? Is there a special B3 form I need to take to overcome possible genetic or transport issues?

    My current oral B3 dosage is 150 mg per day via 35 mg Niacin and 115 mg niacinamide.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. You are doing alright. It would be helpful to others on this website to describe your symptoms and why you had the tests done in the first place

      1. It’s been a long 3 year journey, but my symptoms are best summarized as POST/CFS.

        In early 2014 I started experiencing fatigue, aches, and sinus issues. I assumed allergies, infection or cold, but it never went away. Just waxed and waned. I bounced around doctors trying to figure it out, but no doctor could find anything and many just wanted to manage symptoms. About 6 months into this I started having anxiety, depression and panic attacks which I had never experienced ever in my life.

        Eventually, doctors started saying it was all in my head and I need to see a psychiatrist. I stumbled into a Functional Medicine psychiatrist office and she was big on nutrition and other less than main steam illnesses. She ran more tests than all of my other doctors combined. Through this testing we suspected a nutrient deficiency component, but struggled to nail it down. One and half years later I stumbled across a very experienced nutritionist and he recommended SpectraCell Micronutrient testing. As a result, we now know that I have low levels of B1, B3, and borderline B6 and B9 deficiencies. Also, a methylation pathways panel has confirmed low cysteine, taurine, and glutathione.

        We are trying to fix these deficiencies, but we are struggling. I started Lipothiamine 2 weeks ago, because Thiamine HCl and sublingual cocarboxylase didn’t help my B1 deficiency. It’s been a difficult start. Increased energy, slight POTS and IBS reduction; however, restlessness and anxiety has increased significantly. Also, increased pins and needles, and poor sleep. Maybe this is the paradox that is mentioned in several articles. This paradox is incredibly unpleasant and I understand why people stop treatment.

        I wish there were more stories on the paradox. I feel like I am flying blind.

        1. You ARE “flying blind” because very few physicians know about “paradox”. It also has been mentioned on this website as “refeeding syndrome”. When you have been deficient in thiamin, in particular, for a long time, the paradox is apt to be prolonged because you are resuscitating a mechanism that has been broken. It is too difficult at a technical level to explain refeeding syndrome or paradox. It is to do with an explosion in oxygen utilization. The longer you have been deficient, the longer the paradox and it is entirely and completely unpredictable. My experience over many years is that it is the best prediction of ultimate success. It is encoded in the saying “there is no gain without pain”. Jason has evidence of multiple B complex vitamin deficiencies and he would benefit best from intravenous vitamins or multiple injections of B complex.

          1. Thanks Dr. Lonsdale for your reply. Would it be possible to post one or two new articles on the “paradox” and “refeeding syndrome.” One article could focus on educating us on the science behind paradox and refeeding syndrome. a second article providing deeper and more detailed examples of patient experience during paradox and refeeding syndrome.

            I found two articles on refeeding syndrome which may be helpful for others:

            Thanks in advance.

            1. Jason, that is a great idea. Much of this is covered in the book and encourage everyone to purchase and read the book. Nevertheless, a few more posts on the topic would be useful.
              I wonder, if also, you might consider pulling all of your comments together into a post about your experience. Include your symptoms, the tests, what you’ve learned, etc. These case stories are critically important to build awareness, and frankly, to build the knowledge base regarding this issue. Please let me know if you will write your story. I will help edit. Here’s the link to contact me.

            2. See my post from August 3rd below. I posted links to several medical articles stating Thiamine supplementation resolved symptoms of Refeeding Syndrome in patients.

            3. Jason,

              See my post from August 3rd below. I posted links to several medical articles stating Thiamine supplementation resolved symptoms of Refeeding Syndrome in patients.

          2. Hello Dr. Lonsdale,

            What are your thoughts on anticholinergic drugs in relation to thiamine deficiency? I currently take two, sertraline and doxylamine succinate. It appears that anticholinergic drugs and thiamine affect acetylcholine levels.

            1. I don’t know anything about the drugs because I never used them. Thiamin deficiency will result in loss of cholinergic neurotransmitter drive. I cannot think of anything less likely to help you by taking an “anti-cholinergic drug” because cholinergic drive is extremely important in many aspects of brain metabolism

  30. Dr. Lonsdale:

    I am experiencing an electrolyte imbalance (low phosphorus and potassium) after a period of fasting during Lent. I began eating normally again and experienced what I originally thought was Refeeding Syndrome. I had been diagnosed with this in the past and like this time, despite treatment and supplementing with up to 3,000 mg of Phosphorus and 160 mEq of Potassium, my blood levels are still low.

    I have weak, heavy muscles, edema and can’t walk more than 50 feet without resting or else my body feels like heavy jelly. Last time I had this issue in 2015 I tested very high for urinary loss of Phosphorus and Potassium. My Nephrologist thought I had kidney damage from a toxin but he also thought it could be the massive amounts of supplements I was taking for the Refeeding Syndrome. This time around my urine was not tested.

    I researched online and believe God led me to several medical articles stating that Thiamine deficiency during the refeeding phase could cause renal tubular dysfunction resulting in electrolyte losses via the kidneys. So electrolyte values during the refeeding phase after fasting could be Refeeding Syndrome’s intracellular losses -OR- urinary losses from Thiamine Deficiency.

    I decided to purchase B1 tablets in the form of Thiamine Hydrochloride and started 8 days of 100 mg. I also took Mg 400mg and a multivitamin. On day 6 I experienced increased energy as well as complete resolution of (8 weeks of!) extreme muscle weakness and heaviness, shortness of breath on exertion, absolutely no energy to walk more than 50 feet, as well as edema. I had energy into late into the night.

    That only lasted for 2 days and then I experienced extreme tiredness and symptoms returned, albeit not as bad as before. Once I stopped the B1 the extreme tiredness left. I tried it again and the tiredness returned. I know that B vitamins can cause unusual tiredness in some people.

    I really believe I am onto something here though. I have decided to try an active form of B1 and am not sure if I should go with Alltiamine or Coenzymated B-1? Do you have any suggestions?

    The patients in the articles were repleted after a short period of days to weeks and had resolution of their electrolyte imbalances. I am concerned though because I have been in this condition for over 2 months now and if it is in fact Thiamine deficiency I worry that maybe there is permanent damage to my kidneys.

    The medical articles are pasted below if anyone is interested in reading about this.

    “Thiamin and folic acid deficiency accompanied by resistant electrolyte imbalance in the re-feeding syndrome in an elderly patient”

    “Thiamine Therapy and Refeeding Syndrome in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants”

    “Acute thiamine deficiency and refeeding syndrome: Similar findings but different pathogenesis”

    1. Low potassium occurs in thiamin deficiency. I would advise you to keep up with Allithiamin, magnesium and a multivitamin on an indefinite basis

  31. Could any of the forms of thiamine be applied topically with either water of fat mixed with it if one could not tolerate the oral forms i.e.: due to digestive issues like chronic malabsorption and diarrhea.

    Are there any companies that make thiamine as a cream or transdermal gel? Everytime I take b-vitamins orally, I get serious diarrhea that last very long, and eventually it makes my b1 deficiency, along with other b deficiencies, worse.

  32. I’ve been having problems waking up with a dry mouth for years, and recently air hunger, I thought was due to apena, however ENT could not diagnose me with sleep apnea after reading sleep study. He could not figure out way I was suffocating at night as he never had a skinny patient before. I found your article about pusedo-hypoxia after I talked to the ENT.

    This spring I was diagnosed with a B1 genetic deficiency homozygous SLC19. I ordered B1 Benfotiamine, HCI, and sulbtiamine and have been experimenting in dosages up to 500 mg with regular dosing of the other multi- B’s. I just ordered the TPP form. The 500 mg B1 dose was recommended by a hypothyroid clinician, who has seen marvelous energy improvements. At this large dose my suffocating went away immediately on the first night, and now I wake up only 2 times a night instead of 6 times. I have been on this protocol for only 7 days and surprised with the fast results.

    I have Hashimoto’s and have not felt well under all the different meds I’ve tried over the past 5 years. I believe my condition is due to B1 deficiency, and the symptoms are getting more severe now that I’m 52.

    I would like to try IV injections until my breathing problem is cured. There isn’t a lot of information on B1 IVs. Is there a therapeutic dose or IV drip to start with muscle shots as maintenance to continue? Or would you just recommend I use oral B1? I eventually develop tolerance to oral supplements and they stop working all together.

    Thank you for sharing your work with us all.

    1. This is a marvelous example of thiamine deficiency. Notice that the symptoms were confused with sleep apnea and probably with Hashimoto. If you read and understand the post above, you will come to the conclusion that the best supplement is the one that has the chemical name of thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD) and sold in the United States as Lipothiamine available from Ecological Formulas. Notice also that Karen got immediate relief for some of her symptoms but not all.She expected her “breathing problem” to be relieved. All she needs to do is continue with the large doses of oral thiamine derivatives because they do not need the transporter protein that she tells us is missing. She should also add large doses of magnesium because that works with thiamine. A well-rounded multivitamin is also a good idea because thiamine does not work on its own. It is a team member. I must emphasize here that the compromise of automatic breathing is due to thiamine deficiency in the lower part of the brain. The dry mouth in the morning is almost certainly because thiamine deficiency stimulates the sympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system so I would expect some components of the fight or flight reflex.Treatment of long-term thiamine deficiency is quite different from the use of a pharmaceutical drug. It is relatively slow as the system reconstitute itself and patience is required

      1. I read you comments on increasing magnesium potassium aspartate and magnesium salt.

        Could you comment on foods and supplements that destroys B1 transport? My lab cited blueberries and raw fish as antithiminase. I was eating berries everyday because of low sugar content and taking resveratrol and 88% dark chocolate, which happen to be the only two of the few foods that I like that I’m not allergic to. I do not eat sushi anymore, because of toxins and white rice. I have an intolerance or sensitivity to many common foods. I’m paleo 80% of the time and do not eat dairy or gluten. Whenever I eat too much of one food, I develop a IGE or IGG response, I’m sure this is due to the B1 deficiency and hoping the inflammation will go down in time. I don’t have enzyme activity to breakdown sulfur, SOD and histamine nor transport folate, so vegetable nutrients aren’t being absorbed. I read
        Vitamin C foods help with absorbstion, but I’m allergic to citrus fruits and nightshades. Would something like Perque Vitamin C powder compensate for times I ingest polyphenols?

        I try to stay at 20-25 grams of sugar a day, I have insulin resistance. Is this still too high?

        I was able to wipe out Candida Krusei but I do still have yeast overgrowth (white toungue) due to IBS-C. I had elevated oxalates but not sure if I still have it. Would taking calcium citrate help breakdown oxalate foods? It’s been extremely difficult eradicating my yeast infections.

        An interesting topic would be the quality of lab testing available. I have taken Genova OAT and Great Plains labs in the past, I took the Spectrecell lab most recently which was the one that measured my B1 and aspartate deficiency and low glutathione, big markers in my case.

        I will be taking your articles to my Orthomolecular doctor that is out of state in a few months, and he will be extremely pleased at the information available here. My GP is excited to monitor this new way of treating my thyroid problem.

        1. Point number 1: there is obvious confusion here. Thiaminase is an enzyme that occurs in certain bacteria that live in the human intestine. It has the capacity to break down dietary thiamine. It has nothing to do with transporters. Thiaminase also occurs in the intestines of fish and in several plants. Note that when we eat sushi we do not consume the intestines of a fish. As far as I know blueberries do not contain thiaminase. Point number 2. There are several proteins known as transporters, several of which transport thiamine into our cells. They are made in the body and are under genetic control. If one or more of the thiamine transporters is missing, it is a source of body and brain cellular thiamine deficiency.Point number 3. A level teaspoonful of sugar would be 5 g. So taking 20 to 25 g would be the equal of 4 to 5 teaspoonfuls. This would easily be the cause of thiamine deficiency, particularly if there is a transporter problem.Point number 4. For those interested, there are many posts on this website that discuss various aspects of thiamine metabolism and I do not need to repeat them here.

        2. Karen,

          I wanted to share some info based on your second post, where you mentioned blueberries. In 1999, The World Health Organization published a report on thiamine, which indicates that polyphenols in blueberries are thiamine-antagonists (or anti-thiamine factors), which is different from a thiaminase found in raw fish. these thiamine-antagonists are found in other foods, such as red cabbage, tea, red beets and others. Quercitin is another thiamine-antagonist that is used that is used as a supplement. It was recommended to me years ago for allergies, and I know recognize that some of the symptoms I experienced while taking it were likely due to thiamine deficiency.

          I would be interested to know if large doses of the polyphenol resveratrol is an anti-thiamine antagonist. I don’t believe it was used as such when the WHO published that report in 1999. Perhaps, Dr. Lonsdale could answer that.

          Not sure if I can share the WHO link to thiamine here. I’ll try:

          1. Let me make it as clear as possible. Natural, edible foods provide the correct fuel to the human body. Resveratrol is a substance contained in some foods and is part of the genius of that food. If you remove an active principle from a herb it has an entirely different action from that of the whole herb. This is the frightening mistake of the food industry. Of course, we know only too well that not everything created by Mother Nature is good for us. Some berries and mushrooms are frankly poisonous and we had to learn that the hard way as a species. I keep seeing posts, saying that taking B1 “upsets me”. This has given rise to a post called the “refeeding syndrome”. If you have been deficient in vitamin B1 for a lengthy period, you have to be very cautious in replacing it. It requires very small doses to begin with and you build up as the adverse symptoms gradually cease. Unfortunately, because of the ignorance in the medical profession concerning the basics of normal nutrition, it is difficult to find a physician who understands the problem and how to correct it.

            1. I am struggling to understand all the information about thiamine and how to supplement it etc so please forgive me if I’m asking what seems obvious. I am trying very hard to educate myself but I don’t seem able to retain information very well at the moment. I believe I am deficient in thiamine (POTS, CFS, more recently apathy, nausea and lack of appetite and lack of cognition that had me fear that I was losing my mind). I struggle to supplement orally because I get increasing gut pain from this. Is this what you mean by people saying B1 “upsets me”? You mention a post called “refeeding syndrome” are you referring to comments by site users or a post written by a site contributor? I tried to search for it but came up empty.
              At the moment I can only manage oral supplementation every 5 or more days without getting worsening stomach pains. This has taken the edge off the worst of my symptoms but is not really enough to replete me I suspect. I don’t know how to proceed. I am in the UK and cant source all forms of B1 that have been mentioned. I have Benfothiamine and the HCl form. When you mention starting with very small doses what sort of doses do you mean? Also what are the typical adverse symptoms? Would my gut pain be one such symptom? I do get similar gut pain from other supplements and many foods so it is not only B1 that causes it.
              Are there key posts that would be most helpful for me to read? A lot of questions I know.
              My main difficulty is how to get the B1 inside me in a consistent way. Any help or guidance you can give would be most appreciated.

              1. I need to know your age and a history of your illness. I also need to know your intake of sugar and whether alcohol is an important item.

                1. I don’t drink alcohol at all. I was low carb for several years but in an effort to put on weight and stimulate my metabolism I started increasing carbs. Mostly potatoes since I cant eat grains at the moment and sugar. For a few weeks I was probably eating 60 – 80g sugar per day (previously none except occasional honey).
                  In fact it was upping the carbs that caused the nausea, loss of appetite, apathy and cognition problems. I stumbled across an article about B1 and it seemed to fit.
                  Once I realised what was going on I cut the sugar down to 10 – 20g per day. I haven’t cut it out completely at the moment since I struggle to eat enough on a pretty limited diet.
                  I’m 48 and have had chronic fatigue since 2004. Major worsening 2008 – virtually bed ridden. Slowly gained some strength back but still pretty severe.
                  Prior to 2004 had anorexia (including binging and purging for 10 years or so) and severe depression.
                  Diagnosed with POTS 2012 though largely resolved now.
                  Have had low blood pressure since at least mid 20’s Typically around 90 / 60 though has been lower.
                  Many thanks

                  1. I don’t know if it’s of any relevance but I was diagnosed with Hereditary Haemochromatosis 2 years ago. I am now in maintenance so venesections are less frequent. I’ve had 12 or so units of blood removed over the last 2 years.

                  2. Sugar is your undoing! I would expect that you have extremely severe thiamin deficiency because you have some of the symptoms of beriberi. You have to give up sugar absolutely completely in all its forms and you will need large doses of thiamin and magnesium and a multivitamin to recover

                    1. Thank you so much for replying.
                      I must admit I suspected that adding in the carbs was revealing a B1 deficiency that I previously wasn’t aware off. When you say large doses, what sort of figures are we talking about? This is my problem because I get stomach pain when I take oral B1 several days in a row (it gets progressively worse each day) and I am worried that if it is inflaming an already highly sensitive gut will I even absorb the B1? Is there another way of getting it in me? I have a similar problem with magnesium. At the moment I have epsom salt baths most days in an effort to get magnesium in me.
                      Could I dissolve the B1 in water or DMSO and rub it on my skin?
                      I feel stuck in a catch 22, I know I need the B1, but taking it makes my gut worse.

                    2. Dr Lonsdale

                      I have recently had the transkelotase test done at Biolab

                      My test result is 1.09 which is the ratio of activated to basal activity. Anything below 1.15 is considered normal. I am now totally confused because everything I have been experiencing leads me to believe I have a thiamine deficiency and this test seems to be saying otherwise.

                      When I first came across all this info on thiamine I started supplementing and the worst of my mental confusion, nausea, loss of appetite went away within a few days. I stopped the B1 because of gut pain and the symptoms increased again, I then restarted the B1 and they decreased again. (Unfortunately I had been supplementing for a bit before performing the test but intermittently) I am now using the Authia cream since I struggle with oral supplementation. I have noticed that I feel really tired after applying the cream for most of the day. I seem to remember reading that this would also suggest deficiency as otherwise supplementing would have no effect.

                      I’m inclined to believe my response to thiamine rather that the test result but I was wondering if there is any explanation that would explain the result.

                      I had a RBC mg test run at the same time and that showed a slight mg deficiency (1.92 with a ref range of 2.08 – 3.00 mmol/l). Again I struggle to supplement with mg as I can’t take it orally. I rely on epsom salt baths and in the past mg oil on my skin.

                      I would be very grateful for any insight or advice you have to offer.
                      Many thanks

              2. Nicky since you are in the UK – you have access to which make Thiamine Pyrophosphate TPP which is a very bioavailable form of Thiamine. You can buy the liquid form or capsules. The product is the cleanest you can find and I buy it all the way from the UK – I’m from Australia. You might want to ask Dr Lonsdale about dosing. I would also love to know. This type of Thiamine seems to suit my 10year old son as he does not tolerate any sulfur supplements. I do have an order in for Authia cream which i’m hoping will help him. My son I believe is extremely Thiamine deficient and symptoms started showing as young as 12 months – no dr has ever pointed me in this direction – he had classic symptoms , chronic vomiting, stiff neck, dilated pupils and a drunken sailor walk when he was learning to walk at 14 months. He has a severe autism diagnosis. I’m hoping it is not too late to reverse the damage completely..

    2. Hi Karen,

      I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing these problems. Your post caught my attention because you mentioned that you were diagnosed with a B1 genetic deficiency homozygous SLC19. If you see my post, please explain how you got that diagnosis and what doctor you worked with to discover it. I have my raw data from 23 & Me, but I’m looking for someone to advise me on it.

      I discovered that I was thiamine deficient a few years ago and it’s likely a genetic issue. I don’t respond well to the usual forms found in supplements, like thiamine mononitrate. I take Lipothiamine, magnesium and a B-complex. Currently, I’m “experimenting” with intra-muscular thiamine injections, too. IV’s tend to be a lot more expensive.

      I wish you good health!

      1. Run the 23andMe reports through They do a more comprehensive SNP report. It’s a little complicated by provides a wealth of information, including defects in the SLCs. It cost an additional $20.

        1. snpedia, and promethease only have slc19a1, and 2 but not disease causing mutations in them. I will try live wello thanks.

        2. Realised I did it a while ago. They have only one of the transporters, and likely 0 of the known pathogenic mutations in it. It is a rare disease so that is not surprising.

  33. Dr. Lonsdale, your blog changed my life – and probably extended it. Thiamine deficiency plagued me for many years and supplementation with Benfotiamine was a rapid miracle cure for me. By chance, a person mentioned Sulbutiamine to me today. Apparently, it’s benefits are getting attention from doctors. You may wish to add it to this important article.

  34. Dr. Lonsdale, your blog changed my life – and probably extended it. Thiamine deficiency plagued me for many years and supplementation with Benfotiamine was a rapid miracle cure for me. This is another important post. By chance, a person mentioned Sulbutiamine to me today. Apparently, it’s benefits are getting attention from doctors.

    1. Sulbutiamine is a disulfide derivative of thiamine. I recommend reading the post above carefully to see why the disulfide derivatives are the best

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × 3 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.