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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Vitamin B1

Written by ColleenO, FoundHealth.

Evidence suggests that the strong diuretics (technically, loop diuretics such as furosemide) commonly used to treat congestive heart failure (CHF) may interfere with the body’s metabolism of vitamin B1, also known as thiamin.14,43,44 Since the heart depends on vitamin B1 for proper function, this finding suggests that taking a supplement may be advisable.

Effect of Vitamin B1 on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Every cell in your body needs vitamin B1 to make adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the body's main energy-carrying molecule. The heart, in particular, has considerable need for vitamin B1 in order to keep up its constant work. Supplementing with vitamin B1 (thiamin) might help treat congestive heart failure by correcting a vitamin B1 deficiency that is caused by the use of some diuretics.

Read more details about Vitamin B1.

Research Evidence on Vitamin B1

Preliminary evidence suggests that vitamin B1 (thiamin) supplementation may improve heart function in individuals with congestive heart failure.15,45,46

How to Use Vitamin B1

A typical dose of vitamin B1 for therapeutic purposes is 200 mg daily, although much higher dosages have also been tried.

Some nutritional experts recommend taking B1 with other B vitamins in the form of a B-complex supplement.

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

  • Integrative MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Clinical nutritionist or registered dietitian

Safety Issues

Vitamin B1 appears to be quite safe even when taken in very high doses.

Interactions You Should Know About

If you are taking loop diuretics (eg,furosemide (Lasix) ), you may need extra vitamin B1.


  1. Brady JA, Rock CL, Horneffer MR. Thiamin status, diuretic medications, and the management of congestive heart failure. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995;95:541-544.
  2. Shimon I, Almog S, Vered Z, et al. Improved left ventricular function after thiamine supplementation in patients with congestive heart failure receiving long-term furosemide therapy. Am J Med. 1995;98:485-490.
  3. Hardig L, Daae C, Dellborg M, et al. Reduced thiamine phosphate, but not thiamine diphosphate, in erythrocytes in elderly patients with congestive heart failure treated with furosemide. J Intern Med. 2000;247:597-600.
  4. Yue QY, Beermann B, Lindstrom B, et al. No difference in blood thiamine diphosphate levels between Swedish Caucasian patients with congestive heart failure treated with furosemide and patients without heart failure. J Intern Med. 1997;242:491-495.
  5. Sole MJ, Jeejeebhoy KN. Conditioned nutritional requirements: therapeutic relevance to heart failure. Herz. 2002;27:174-178.
  6. Seligmann H, Halkin H, Rauchfleisch S, et al. Thiamine deficiency in patients with congestive heart failure receiving long-term furosemide therapy: a pilot study. Am J Med. 1991;91:151-155.

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