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.


At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, Very good article linking
thiamine to many neurological disorders! ive had M.S. for many years and am trying to keep it at bay to continue mobile enough to stave off disability. im trying to follow the concept of the kenner protocal but dont know if i can do the vitamin b1 shots every day. could an Allithiamine be as effective as a b1 shot?? I didnt know this existed till i just recently discovered this web site.
Very good job with this article, and will be waiting for your reply!
thanks much, dave

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Steve said...


Sorry for the slow reply.

I believe the allithiamine is more effective than shots of water soluble vitamin B1. Special proteins are required to get water soluble vitamin B1 into regular cells from the blood.

I rub TTFD powder from TTFD gelcaps onto my feet and rub it in with water. Apparently time-release tablets are available, but I haven't bought them yet and they are not readily available.

I strongly recommend that you give fat soluble thiamine, TTFD specifically, a try. Let me know if you want help finding TTFD or setting a dose.

At 1:44 AM, Anonymous ch234 said...

It was good news to hear you refer to Benfotiamine, the fat soluble vitamin B1 tht I have been taking for the past 2 or so years.
At first I didn't take it often enough or in large enough doses. but now I do and am having better results. My feet are not hurting and burning as much as before.
I'm on pretty large doses, 600mg or more a day. I buy it on line from Neuropathy Support Formula. It also has 300mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid. , a builder and repairer of damaged nerves. Good luck and healing. ch234

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benfotiamine is not an Allithiamine, but TTFD is. TTFD is sold on the front label as Allithiamine. Benfotiamine is not lipid soluble in the ways Allithiamine / TTFD is. You want to get Allithiamine and not this newly hyped Benfotiamine, from what I've read.

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not have good results with Benfotiamine. But large doses of thiamine hydrochloride taken 2-3x daily did wonders for me. You really have to get a lot of this stuff to repair the damage, like 1,500 - 3,000 mg per day!

At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you're allergic to garlic?

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Could TTFD be poorly tolerated by those who have problems with sulfur?


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