Even if you eat a healthy diet you may still have LowB1–especially if you have numbness, tingling, burning, and pains in your feet and legs.  The problem is not the availability of Vitamin B1 in the diet.  The problem is generally associated with the absorption and retention of Vitamin B1.

The following conditions have been shown to cause LowB1


Diabetics have 75% less Vitamin B1 circulating in their blood than people without diabetes.  This has been shown to be from excessive urination of Vitamin B1.  Diabetics on metformin are at even greater risk of Vitamin B1 deficiency because metformin blocks the absorption of Vitamin B1 from the intestines.

Alcohol abuse.

Alcoholics have long been known to suffer from Vitamin B1 deficiency. Until recently, this deficiency was thought to be from poor nutrition.  But new research has shown that alcohol damages the mechanism in the intestines by which Vitamin B1 is absorbed–causing LowB1.


Many medications can cause LowB1.  Some medications to be concerned about are:

Advanced age.

Advanced age is known to cause many vitamin deficiencies including LowB1.  It is likely due to impaired absorption.


Obesity may cause LowB1.  A recent study found that 15-29% of obese people seeking weight loss surgery have LowB1.  It is thought that this may be due to impaired absorption.

Bariatric/weight loss surgery.

It has been found that many people who have undergone surgery for weight loss are unable to properly absorb Vitamin B1 from the intestines. This often causes LowB1.  

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