Thursday, March 13, 2008

Prevent Anorexia – Protect Your Children with Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin C, and Multivitamins

I am not alone in my view that anorexia is beriberi and can be prevented by use of vitamin supplements. The world’s leading orthomolecular physicians recently issued a press release expressing the same opinion. This press release has been reposted by two alternative health websites.

Primary care physicians walked away in frustration from anorexia long ago. They refer patients to specialists who believe that anorexia is a psychiatric disorder. Don’t expect my words to influence these specialists. Try to put yourself in their place. How would you react if you were a psychiatrist specializing in anorexia and you were told that anorexia was going to disappear because it is a thiamine deficiency disease? How would you feel if you were asked to help test the hypothesis that the simple act of providing children with fat-soluble forms of thiamine in addition to vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamins would prevent the disease?

You can see for yourself the reaction of an anorexia expert by going to the talk page at the “anorexia nervosa” entry at Wikipedia. I added a section on prevention which has been deleted by this expert. I am trying to persuade this expert to undo the deletion. This exchange has proven that anorexia specialists have indeed forgotten about beriberi. This expert told me that my claim that anorexia was an acknowledged clinical marker of beriberi was incorrect. But my claim is correct – the modern medical community has genuinely forgotten.

Many primary care physicians and anorexia specialists are going to react similarly. I’m afraid that parents concerned that their daughters might be showing signs of anorexia are on their own if they are interested in trying to prevent anorexia with supplements.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fat-Soluble Thiamine, Dementia, and Other Problems of Aging

I’m going to make the case in this column that Alzheimer’s disease, senility, and dementia may be forms of beriberi, the deficiency disease caused by thiamine. Terrible diseases like MS, Parkinson’s, and ALS might also be related to thiamine. I’m going to advise everyone to take supplements containing allithiamines – fat soluble forms of thiamine that are among the known bioactive constituents of garlic.

This is going to be a short column. Thiamine is a special essential nutrient. It has not been easy for humans to reliably find enough thiamine in food. As a result, thiamine deficiency was a regular source of pandemic disease throughout the course of human history. Only three other nutrients have cause similar problems. These are vitamin C (the cause of scurvy), niacin (the cause of pellagra) and vitamin D (the cause of rickets). Thiamine is special amongst these four special vitamins because the most common forms of thiamine (thiamine hydrochloride and thiamine mononitrate) are not easily distributed throughout the body once it is ingested. The other three vitamins in their common forms freely diffuse throughout all the cells in the body. Thiamine salts require special thiamine transport proteins to cross many of the body’s membrane systems.

Slow deterioration is an inevitable part of aging. If the parts of your body that are responsible for thiamine transport start to deteriorate earlier than normal, you are in big trouble. Deprived of thiamine, deterioration is certain to accelerate.

In modern times there is a straightforward fix for this problem. The fix is to take fat-soluble forms of thiamine known as allithiamines (or eat large amounts of garlic). Allithiamines transport themselves throughout the body, and do not require the assistance of thiamine transport proteins.

If you deprive people of thiamine, they exhibit symptoms closely resembling Alzheimer’s disease. The damage is often irreversible (taking thiamine often does not reverse the symptoms), especially when thiamine deprivation is maintained for a prolong period of time. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is presently unknown. What is the harm of taking allithiamines while scientists investigate? Allithiamines are available in almost every corner store in the form of garlic tablets. I’m sorry to say that I have no idea what the concentration of allithiamines are in garlic tablets. As a result, I recommend taking benfotiamine or TTFD, two specific allithiamines that can be purchased easily enough on the internet (I have yet to personally find a bottle of either of these two supplements on the shelves of a retail store). I will shortly be posting references to scientific literature. Many of these references were the source of the logic in this column.