Thiamine supplementation for the treatment of heart failure: a review of the literature

Congest Heart Fail. 2013 Jul-Aug;19(4):214-22. doi: 10.1111/chf.12037.


A systematic review of the literature was performed by searching Pubmed and EMBASE databases using the terms "thiamine," "vitamin B1," "heart failure," "systolic dysfunction," "ventricular dysfunction," "cardiomyopathy," "ventricular failure," and "systolic failure." Relevant trials and articles were evaluated pertaining to thiamine deficiency in patients with heart failure (HF) and references were searched for further inclusion of articles. A total of 20 articles were reviewed and summarized in detail. While more research is needed to fully elucidate the clinical thiamine deficiency in HF patients, recent evidence has indicated that supplementing with thiamine in HF patients has the potential to improve left ventricular ejection fraction. Thiamine deficiency appears to be not uncommon in patients with HF, and supplementation with thiamine has been shown to improve cardiac function, urine output, weight loss, and signs and symptoms of HF. Therefore, this simple therapy should be tested in large-scale randomized clinical trial to further determine the effects of thiamine in HF patients.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Thiamine / therapeutic use*
  • Thiamine Deficiency / blood
  • Thiamine Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Thiamine Deficiency / etiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects*
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Thiamine