Which dietary factors result in reduced thiamine intake leading to beriberi (thiamine deficiency)?

Updated: Mar 31, 2020
  • Author: Dieu-Thu Nguyen-Khoa, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Lack of thiamine intake can occur via diets consisting mainly of the following:

  • Food containing a high level of thiaminases, including milled rice, raw freshwater fish, raw shellfish, and ferns

  • Food high in anti-thiamine factor, such as tea, coffee, and betel nuts

  • Processed food with a content high in sulfite, which destroys thiamine

The following diet-related factors can also cause reduced thiamine intake:

  • Alcoholic state

  • Starvation state

  • Gastric bypass surgery - Due to limited caloric intake during postsurgical repair (approximately 600-900 kcal/day) [22, 23, 24]

  • Parental nutrition without adequate thiamine supplementation [25]

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