Lack of Thiamin = Lack of Attention


Nick is elated. He has just landed an internship with a prestigious national daily. In addition, he is already daydreaming about the time when he will be interviewing top officials, writing stinging reports and seeing his by-line appear every morning.
However, Janet, Nick’s mother, is a worried woman. She feels that Nick might not be able to execute his tasks efficiently. This is because right from his childhood, Nick has suffered from low levels of concentration. He is also very forgetful. During his school days, Nick was labelled as ‘Irritable brat’. This is because Nick used to get irritated at the slightest of things. However, what his teachers and co-students failed to realize was that Nick was suffering from ADD-ADHD [Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity]
ADD-ADHD is a neurological ailment wherein the sufferer finds it difficult to concentrate on his work. He is restless and finds it very difficult to concentrate on a single task. ADD-ADHD sufferers also become irritated very often and this can cause tensions in one’s workplace as well as on the personal front.
Modern science has come up with many curative medicines for treading ADD-ADHD. However, most of these medicines damage the brain and might also lead to death….
So, if you are interested in adopting a natural cure, you should aim to increase your vitamin intake. And Thiamin [Vitamin B1] should be accorded a place of prime importance.
Now, you will wonder, “ How can vitamins help in curing ADD-ADHD?” Research has proved that vitamins have a vital say in our behavior. So, you can safely assume that a deficiency of vitamins can be blamed for Nick’s low levels of concentration.
When one talks about vitamins, Thiamin [Vitamin B1] assumes a place of great importance. The brain derives its energy by the metabolism of glucose. The metabolism takes place inside the tiny cells of the brain and the entire process is divided into three stages. Various enzymes are responsible for carrying out the metabolism of sugar. However, these enzymes require a partner or an ‘activating enzyme’. Thiamin happens to be one of the main partners that aid the production of energy required by the brain.[1]
Thiamin also aids in the production of chemicals that help in synthesizing chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.[2] While the deficiency of dopamine can lead to ADD-ADHD related symptoms; the lack of norepinephrine can lead to the occurrence of depression. [3]
Medical practitioners believe that the deficiency of Thiamin can aggravate ADD-ADHD conditions. For instance, lack of thiamin inhibits the production of Myelin, which is nothing but a protective cover around the nerves. Lack of Thiamin can make the nerves hypersensitive and in case of human beings, this hypersensitiveness gets displayed in the form of increased frequency of irritation. A person becomes more listless and finds it difficult to remember things. [4]
Research conducted by L. Langseth in his study titled ‘Glucose tolerance and hyperkinesis. Food and Cosm Toxicology’ establishes the fact that insufficient quantities of Thiamin can increase irritability and a person might become hypersensitive to noise.[5]
The effects of lack of sufficient quantities of Thiamin can be gauged by a report published by the WHO [World Health Organization]. The report titled ‘Thiamine Deficiency And Its Prevention And Control In Major Emergencies’ states that, “Williams (1961) reported that thiamine deficiency usually presented a symptom complex with three main features: (1) those of peripheral neuritis; (2) those of cardiac insufficiency; and (3) a generalized tendency to oedema. Among a large number of cases of thiamine deficiency every possible blend of these three sets of symptoms were encountered. Important additional signs accompanying the peripheral neuropathy are fatigue, decreased attention span and impaired capacity to work.[6]
Sufficient quantities of Thiamin will ensure an adequate production of Myelin that can reduce the hypersensitivity of the nerves. In a research conducted by Lonsdale and Shamberger, lack of thiamin deficiency was the main cause for the presence of ‘symptoms similar to ADHD’ in patients who consumed junk food. However, a dosage of 150-300 mg/day did improve the behavior of the patients. [7]
The use of Thiamin to treat ADD-ADHD has also been endorsed by Dr. Derrick Lonsdale. In his book titled, ‘Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine’, he states that doses of thiamin did bring a change in the ADD-ADHD symptoms displayed by young children and the situation did improve.[8]
However, according to Dr. Leo Galland, “Children with ADHD reacted variably to different B vitamins. Some children became more hyperactive with pyridoxine [vitamin B6] but became calmer when thiamine [vitamin B1] was administered. Some children whose behavior improved with pyridoxine supplementation, deteriorated when thiamine was administered. These differences appeared to be stable over time.” [9]
Thus, if you or anyone from your family suffers from ADD-ADHD, just ensure that you eat a healthy diet that supplies your body with the much-needed vitamins.