Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vitamin Supplementation Prevents Anorexia

(OMNS February 9, 2008) Anorexia is primarily due to vitamin deficiency. Approximately one in twenty teenage girls in America is struggling with an eating disorder. Parents can help eliminate the risk of anorexia by providing their children with vitamin supplements.

Anorexia is an acknowledged clinical marker of beriberi, the disease specifically caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine). [1] Anorexia is also commonly observed as an early symptom of pellagra (niacin deficiency) [2] and is a known complication of scurvy, vitamin C deficiency. [3] Prevention is especially important, because beriberi/anorexia often does not respond well even to treatment with high doses of thiamine for months, and sometimes does not respond at all. [1] But as a rule, high potency vitamin supplements are an effective cure for the loss of muscle mass caused by beriberi and the skin lesions caused by pellagra.

The vitamin B1 in almost every multivitamin and B-complex vitamin pill is either thiamine mononitrate or thiamine hydrochloride. The body’s ability to absorb these two forms of thiamine is limited [4] by the maximum amount that can be handled by the body’s two specialized thiamine transport proteins. [5]. This means many doses per day of oral thiamine are necessary for effective treatment. Another class of thiamine molecules, called allithiamines, are much better absorbed. [6] Since allithiamines are not included in standard multivitamin preparations, we recommend their reformulation to include this specific form of B1.

The conventional medical approach to eating disorders such as anorexia typically includes psychological/behavioral treatment, medication, and food-groups dietetics. It is surprisingly rare for physicians to link eating disorders with vitamin deficiency, and few doctors recommend vitamin supplements for prevention. Continue the full article

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