How to Prevent Beriberi in Pregnancy

Updated 5/20/2018

How to Prevent Beriberi in Pregnancy: Beriberi is a disease that causes inflammation of the heart and nerves. B Vitamins is essential for a good pregnancy. The B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that are needed during pregnancy.  A deficiency of B vitamins is associated with pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes. The only way to prevent beriberi is to get adequate Thiamine or B1. 

How to Prevent Beriberi in Pregnancy

Beriberi is prevalent in the Philippines and Japan because of the white polished rice. Sufficient B1 or thiamine (This thiamin is sold internationally) is crucial for a good pregnancy. Beriberi is not normal during pregnancy, and it can be prevented. The only home remedy for beriberi is B1 or thiamin, foods fortified in B1, or foods high in thiamine.

When alcohol is consumed, or if there is an inadequate diet, a thiamine deficiency can occur. Beriberi or Thiamine deficiency can lead to brain damage because thiamine is involved in the development of myelin.

According to Webster’s dictionary, myelin is “a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish insulating sheath around many nerve fibers, increasing the speed at which impulses are conducted”. Babies need myelin in order to develop properly.

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Thiamine deficiency occurs in populations in which the diet consists of milled white cereals. These foods include polished rice and wheat flour. A thiamine deficiency can occur within 2-3 months of inadequate thiamine intake. Following these recommendations will prevent beriberi in pregnancy.

The only way to avoid beriberi during pregnancy is to get adequate B1 or thiamin.

Vitamin B1 Thiamin Click to Purchase Internationally

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Consequences of Thiamine Deficiency in Pregnancy

Beriberi can be prevented in pregnancy when adequate B-Complex with Folic Acid is consumed. When alcohol is consumed in pregnancy, a thiamine deficiency can occur. Thiamine deficiency causes oxidative stress and nerve dysfunction which does affect fetal brain development. Not only does drinking alcohol while pregnant produce a thiamine deficiency, it results in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Consequences of Thiamine Deficiences in Infants

Infantile beriberi occurs when infants breastfed by mothers have a deficiency of thiamine. Thiamine deficiency in babies is a major cause of infant mortality. Beriberi disease has decreased in the last decades because of the increased awareness of thiamine deficiency. Beriberi is an acute illness where the symptoms have a rapid onset and death can occur within days of the onset of symptoms.

In Isreal, there was an outbreak of thiamin deficiency due to Soy formula.  This outbreak had a high fatality rate.  The French Island of Mayotte had an outbreak due to inadequate nutrition. There have been cases of infants going into cardiac failure due to thiamine deficiency.

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Signs and Symptoms of Mother and Baby Thiamine Deficiency

Thiamine deficiency in pregnant women can produce the following signs and symptoms.

  • Loss of reflexes
  • Motor deficits
  • Arm numbness or plantar pain
  • Signs of heart failure
  • Unable to rise after squatting

Signs of thiamine deficiency in babies are:

Sources of Thiamine to Prevent Beriberi in Pregnancy

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Thiamine is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs the risk. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for thiamine during pregnancy is 1.4 mg/day regardless of a woman’s age. Women carrying more than one fetus may have increased needs for thiamine”.

Mothers with a thiamine deficiency were treated with Thiamine 100mg twice a day supplements. Infants suspected of thiamine deficiency were treated with Thiamine 30mg per day for 20 days. Patients with acute symptoms were treated with intravenous thiamine.

B Vitamins (vegan)  is a good brand of B vitamins including folic acid that is vegan. Obstetricians often recommend pregnant women to take B vitamins and folic acid because it is difficult for pregnant women to get adequate amounts of these vitamins. About this product:

    • B COMPLEX VITAMINS: These vitamins are shipped internationally. Our vitamin b complex provides mental and physical energy, supports blood health, heart health, immune system health and healthy stress response
    • ENERGY SUPPLEMENT: Use our b-complex with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B-12, folate, and biotin to bump up energy and support metabolism and stress response
    • HEART HEALTH: Combine our b vitamin complex, containing 400mcg (100%DV) of folate with vitamins B6 and B-12 for a healthy heart
    • PROBIOTICS AND ENZYMES: Our plant-based b complex includes a RAW probiotic and enzyme blend for digestive support and vegetable blend for additional nutritional support
    • VEGAN B-COMPLEX: Our real food vegan b complex is RAW, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and non-GMO with No Binders or Fillers

Coenzymate B Complex is an excellent source for thiamin and it is shipped internationally.  This product is shipped to the Philippines and Japan.

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Allithiamine Vitamin B1 250 Capsules


Product Details

Cardiovascular Research

Allithiamine Vitamin B-1 (250 Capsules) Supplement Facts

Serving Size:1 CAPSULE

Serving Per Container:250

  • Amount Per Serving
  • % Daily Value
  • THIAMINE (TTFD)   (AS THIAMIN TETRAHYDROFURFURYL DISULFIDE)
  • 50 Mg
  • 2467%
  • Calcium   (As Dicalcium Phosphate)
  • 75 Mg
  • 8%
  • Phosphorous   (From Dicalcium Phosphate)
  • 58 Mg
  • 6%
OTHER INGREDIENTS:

Gelatin, microcrystalline cellulose,




Clinical Causes of Beriberi

A study was done on Cambodia women and infants who were thiamine deficit. They received thiamine for 5 days.  The thiamine treatment was effective for the women, but not the babies. The thiamine concentrations in the breast milk did increase, but it did not increase the infants’ thiamine status.

Beriberi remains prevalent in Southeast Asia where it has been associated with eating polished rice and other foods that have anti-thiamine properties such as alcohol use and betel nut use.

  • Bariatric surgery causes thiamine deficiency
  • Total parenteral nutrition  causes deficiency

Beriberi can be prevented in pregnancy. Supplementing with B complex will prevent beriberi in pregnancy.

 

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