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     & Diabetes

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Thiamine Deficits in Diabetics 

In diabetics, kidney function is altered which decreases thiamine reabsorption while increasing thiamine excretion. In some people, diabetic and non-diabetic alike, thiamine deficiency can be exacerbated even further by a mutation in the thiamine transporter protein that brings thiamine into the cells.

What is Vitamin         (Thiamine)

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Vitamin B1 fulfills important functions in our body in carbohydrate metabolism. It helps break down carbohydrates ingested with food and convert them into energy. In addition, vitamin B1 affects the release of certain messengers, and thus performs important tasks in the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Since vitamin B1 can be stored in the body only for a 7- 10 days, it should be consumed daily. Vitamin B1 is needed for the breakdown of glucose – thus if a particularly large amount of carbohydrates needs to be metabolized, there may be an increased need for vitamin B1. This can also occur in diabetes patients in a hyperglycemic state. The correspondingly higher vitamin B1 need can often not be covered by the “normal” daily intake as recommended by the Nutrition Society for healthy adults.

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Why Thiamine?

Thiamine is water-soluble. Absorption from the gut takes place mainly from the proximal small intestine primarily via an energy-dependent active transport system. Only about 5% of ingested thiamine is absorbed.

Even with a balanced diet, there are certain factors which can promote a vitamin B1 deficiency. Substances such as alcohol, coffee, or black tea can inhibit the absorption and/or use of vitamin B1 when they are consumed regularly or in large quantities.


But metabolic diseases such as diabetes may also be responsible for a thiamine deficiency. One scientific study shows that diabetics frequently struggle with low vitamin B1 levels. The cause of this is the increased need due to the disrupted glucose metabolism on the one hand, but also the increased excretion of the water-soluble vitamin via the kidneys. Because of these sources of risk, diabetics are particularly affected frequently by vitamin B1 deficiency. Vitamin B1 deficiency has serious consequences for diabetics, therefore effective preventive measures should be taken.

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