Thursday, August 03, 2006

Multivitamins protect against B1 deficiency and may decrease severity of congestive heart failure

More than one-third of heart patients hospitalized for heart failure are deficient in thiamin (vitamin B1). Regular use of a multivitamin can protect against thiamin deficiency and may reduce the severity of congestive heart failure.

It has been recently reported that approximately one out of three patients hospitalized with heart failure have deficient levels of thiamin, also known as vitamin B1. The cause and effect relationships are complex. Congestive heart failure patients may be at increased risk for thiamin deficiency due to increased urine thiamin excretion, disease severity, malnutrition, and advanced age. In turn, thiamin deficiency itself may worsen existing heart failure. Researchers measured thiamin levels among 100 heart failure patients and compared them with measurements of 50 healthy subjects. They found a deficiency of the vitamin in 33 percent of the heart failure patients compared to 12 percent of those without the disease. It has been observed that heart failure may increase the body's need for certain nutrients, so even individuals with healthy diets may still come up short on vitamin B1. Researchers noted that a relatively small dose of thiamin from a multivitamin was protective against developing thiamin deficiency and may decrease disease severity in those with congestive heart failure.

Source: The Prevalence of Thiamin Deficiency in Hospitalized Patients With Congestive Heart Failure, Stacy A. Hanninen, Pauline B. Darling, Michael J. Sole, Aiala Barr and Mary E. Keith, J Am Coll Cardiol, 2006; 47:354-361.