A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Tim Jackson about thiamine on his podcast, Boss Body. We talked about why everyone likely needs more than we are getting through diet. Of course, I have spoken and written about this for years now. We have hundreds of posts and case stories on this website, along with an entire book on the topic called: Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition and a journal article: Hiding in Plain Sight: Modern Thiamine Deficiency.
What Is Thiamine?
Thiamine is vitamin B1 and it is essential to mitochondrial energy or ATP production. It is a gatekeeper of sorts, with the thiamine dependent enzymes regulating whether and how we convert the foods we eat into the energy that cells use to survive. When thiamine is low, everything else suffers. Most notably, the ability to produce ATP declines and with it the ability to utilize oxygen in the cells diminishes. The cell level hypoxia then drives all sorts of compensatory reactions that, when left unchecked, lead to chronic inflammation and the other dysfunctional states of health that are endemic to modern man. Sadly, there are multitudes of threats to thiamine sufficiency in the modern environment. Diets of highly processed foods is one threat and medications and pollutants another. Even stress itself can drain thiamine reserves.
Why Do I Spend So Much Time Talking About It?
Before publishing the book 6 years ago, no one, save except Dr. Lonsdale, was talking about thiamine. Thiamine deficiency was considered solved. Food fortification and enrichment programs were believed to supply everyone with sufficient thiamine to remain healthy. Little did anyone know that those very same foods, because of the high fructose corn syrup, the seeds oils, additives and preservatives, and even the chemicals uses in growing the raw products, demanded more thiamine than they provided. The modern diet is essentially a net negative nutritionally, even with food fortification, and so slowly but surely, anyone who consumes those diets with regularity struggles with thiamine sufficiency and the litany of chronic illnesses that come with it.
Increasingly, after publishing the book and continuing to write and speak on the topic, awareness is growing. It is still not there though. Thiamine remains the absolute last thing a conventional practitioner will consider when addressing illness, any illness, even those clearly within the realm of thiamine deficiency, and sometimes even despite laboratory confirmation. Awareness and treatment of modern thiamine deficiency has not yet made its way into conventional medicine. And so, I continue to talk and write. Below is a link to the latest podcast on the topic. Enjoy and share.
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