This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Vitamin B1 deficiency

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Thiamine, in its active form as thiamine pyrophosphate, acts as a co-factor for three enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates:

  • pyruvate dehydrogenase, in glycolysis
  • alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, in the citric acid cycle
  • transketolase, in the pentose phosphate pathway

Consequently, deficiency tends to affect organs dependent on carboyhdrates e.g. the CNS, liver, heart and skeletal muscle.

Body stores of thiamine are small, so a deficiency state appears rapidly if dietary intake is inadequate.

Thiamine is ubiquitous, hence deficiency is only encountered in the following circumstances:

  • in countries where the only food is polished rice; this is called beri-beri
  • amongst alcoholics who eat almost nothing
  • in a starved patient, for example with carcinoma of the stomach

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.