Thiamine and Cardiovascular Disease: A Literature Review

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 May-Jun;61(1):27-32. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2018.01.009. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the energy metabolism in the human body. Deficiency in thiamine can lead to neurological abnormalities and congestive heart failure (HF), known as dry beriberi and wet beriberi respectively. Several populations are at higher risk for thiamine deficiency, most notably persons with chronic alcoholism. This article aims to provide a review of current literature on the role of thiamine in the human body, the current scope of thiamine deficiency, and explore the specific effects of thiamine deficiency and supplementation on the cardiovascular system. HF as a result of thiamine deficiency can have non-specific presentations, often leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Having an understanding of pathophysiology of thiamine deficiency and considering thiamine deficiency as one of the differentials in patients with new onset HF of unknown etiology with the appropriate risk factors is important in clinical practice.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Diet; Heart failure; Thiamine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prognosis
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Factors
  • Thiamine / administration & dosage*
  • Thiamine / metabolism
  • Thiamine Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Thiamine Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Thiamine Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Thiamine Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Vitamin B Complex / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B Complex / adverse effects


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Thiamine