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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 175-182

Thiamine deficiency in alcoholics with normal body mass index

Tamilnadu Dr. MGR University, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shanmugiah Arumugam
Department of Psychiatry, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Ethanol consumption leads to nutritional deficiency due to various causes. Well known theoretical as well as literature supports the hypothesis on dietary factors, metabolic derangement and alcohol per se produces empty calories. In this study completed in 2000 go hand in hand with the earlier observations and the available literature after 2000. Nutritional deficiency in turn leads to Alcoholic brain damage which is reversible if identified early. Among the nutritional deficiency Thiamine deficiency (Vitamin B6) appears as the most common findings across the studies. Aim: To find out the nutritional deficiency in otherwise normal healthy males who consume alcohol amounting to dependence. Materials and Methods: In this study, 40 males who were moderate drinkers, diagnosed as Alcohol dependence syndrome according to ICD-10 DCR-criteria with no indicators of overt nutritional deficiency on clinical assessment by ICMR Scale, Biochemical assessment and anthropometric assessment were included for the study. All the study subjects were subjected to detailed diet history by 24 hours recall, clinical assessment, biochemical investigations, anthropometric assessment along with demographic data and drinking history. Results: All the samples were clinically healthy and the BMI was 19.4 which fall under normal BMI. Anorexia was the predominant clinical symptom (45 percent). Biochemical and anthropometric assessment were within normal limits for an average Indian Males. But, serum Pyrophosphate was 318.47 mmol per litre (Normal value is 0.08 to 0.16 mmol per litre), which is an indirect indicator of thiamine deficiency. Conclusion: Though very preliminary and cross sectional analysis, sub-clinical thiamine deficiency was found in this study and corroborate with the previous observations. Hence, thiamine supplementation of all the drinkers irrespective of the clinical and biochemical nutritional deficiency will prevent at large both acute and chronic alcoholic brain damage.

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