Prevalence of thiamin deficiency in anorexia nervosa.Int J Eat Disord 2000; 28(4):451-4IJ
Deficiency of thiamin (vitamin B1) causes a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms that resemble those reported in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) but the prevalence of thiamin deficiency in AN has not been reliably established. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of thiamin deficiency in AN.
Thirty-seven patients attending a specialist eating disorders unit and meeting all or some of the DSM-IV criteria for AN were compared with 50 blood donor controls. All subjects underwent measurement of erythrocyte transketolase activation following the addition of thiamin pyrophosphate, the standard biochemical test for thiamin deficiency. Deficiency was defined as a result more than 2 SD above the mean of the control population.
Fourteen patients (38%) had results in the deficient range; 7 (19%) met the most stringent published criterion for deficiency. Deficiency was not related to duration of eating restraint, frequency of vomiting, or alcohol consumption.
Thiamin deficiency may account for some of the neuropsychiatric symptoms of AN and routine screening or supplementation may be indicated.