Vitamin B1 May Prevent Brain Damage in Alcoholics

August 1, 2000

1 Min Read
Vitamin B1 May Prevent Brain Damage in Alcoholics

Vitamin B1 May Prevent Brain Damage in Alcoholics

SAN DIEGO--In a new study published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, it appears that vitamin B1 [better known as thiamine] may prevent brain damage in an alcoholic. Research found that chronic alcohol use depletes B1, causing far more brain damage than what was previously believed.

The study divided rats into four groups: one with high alcohol and low B1 levels; one with high alcohol but normal B1 levels; one with low B1 levels but no alcohol; and one control group with normal B1 levels and no alcohol. The ability to critically think [such as learning new skills] seemed to suffer the most due to heavy alcoholic intake and a lack of B1. However, even when rats maintained normal B1 levels, short-term memory was affected after alcohol abuse.

The study raised more questions: would B1 supplements eliminate short- and long-term brain damage in alcoholics? If so, how much would be enough and how much would be too much? Previous studies have found that too much B1 could lead to a lack of magnesium, making alcohol even more potent in a person's system. Human clinical trials are planned for the near future. For a copy of this study, contact Carl Erickson at[email protected].

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