Thiamine treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection

Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Mar;96(3):864-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2001.03635.x.


Objective: Chronic hepatitis B is an international health concern that causes cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver failure, and death. Current treatment options are expensive and associated with side effects; however, indirect evidence suggests a relationship between relative thiamine deficiency and chronic hepatitis B infection.

Methods: The authors present three case studies wherein multiple crossovers of daily thiamine administration were used to evaluate a hypothesized association between thiamine treatment and aminotransferase levels.

Results: In each case study, thiamine administration was associated with reduction in aminotransferase levels and the fall of HBV DNA to undetectable levels. Analyses by t test demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in aminotransferase levels in all three cases.

Conclusions: The relationship between thiamine administration and chronic hepatitis B infection warrants further study. If proven effective in reducing liver damage or inducing remission of the hepatitis B virus in larger trials, thiamine will offer obvious advantages over the current treatments for chronic viral hepatitis B infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Over Studies
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thiamine / therapeutic use*
  • Transaminases / blood


  • DNA, Viral
  • Transaminases
  • Thiamine