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Researchers find vitamin B1 deficiency key to vascular problems for diabetic patients

Researchers at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, have discovered that deficiency of thiamine – Vitamin B1 – may be key to a range of vascular problems for people with diabetes. They have also solved the mystery as to why thiamine deficiency in diabetes had remained hidden until now.

In a paper entitled “High prevalence of low plasma thiamine concentration in diabetes linked to a marker of vascular disease”, published in Diabetologia on 4th August, the team found that thiamine concentration in blood plasma was decreased 76% in type 1 diabetic patients and 75% in type 2 diabetic patients. This significant decrease had been previously masked as the conventional way of assessing levels of thiamine status was to measure the activity of an enzyme called transketolase in red blood cells. Past studies had seen normal activity of this enzyme and assumed normal levels of thiamine when in fact the normal enzyme activity was due to increased amounts of two proteins THTR-1 and RFC-1 that help transport thiamine into red blood cells. The increased levels of these proteins were a direct response to there being a deficiency of thiamine in the body.

***Ralph’s note (meaning the current test for B-1 levels in the blood is WRONG)

The researchers found that the decreased plasma thiamine concentration in clinical diabetes was not due to a deficiency of dietary input of thiamine. Rather it was due to a profound increased rate of removal of thiamine from the blood into the urine.

***Ralph’s note (meaning the RDA for B-1 in diabetics may be critically low).

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