Thiamin supplementation does not improve left ventricular ejection fraction in ambulatory heart failure patients: a randomized controlled trial Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Thiamin, a water-soluble B-complex vitamin, functions as a coenzyme in macronutrient oxidation and in the production of cellular ATP. Data suggest that thiamin depletion occurs in heart failure (HF). Therefore, thiamin supplementation in HF patients may improve cardiac function. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether oral thiamin supplementation improves left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), exercise tolerance, and quality of life among patients with HF and reduced LVEF. METHODS: In this prospective, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial, eligible ambulatory patients with HF and reduced LVEF were recruited from 4 academic and community hospitals between 2010 and 2015. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 200 mg oral thiamin mononitrate per day or placebo for 6 mo. RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients (mean ± SD age: 64 ± 12 y; 83% men; LVEF: 37% ± 11%) were randomly assigned: 34 received placebo and 35 received thiamin supplementation. Erythrocyte thiamin pyrophosphate and urine thiamin concentrations were significantly higher in the supplemented group than in the placebo group at 6 mo (P = 0.02 and <0.001, respectively). At 6 mo, LVEF was significantly higher in the placebo group than in the thiamin group (38%; 95% CI: 36%, 39% compared with 35%; 95% CI: 33%, 37%, P = 0.047) after adjusting for baseline measurements. There were no significant differences in Minnesota Living with Heart Failure score, distance walked in 6 min, and N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide concentrations between the 2 groups. One patient (2.9%) in the thiamin-supplemented group and none in the control group died at 6 mo. CONCLUSIONS: In ambulatory patients with HF and reduced LVEF, thiamin supplementation for 6 mo did not improve LVEF, quality of life, or exercise capacity, despite increases in thiamin concentrations. These findings do not support routine thiamin supplementation in the treatment of HF and reduced LVEF.This trial was registered at as NCT00959075.


  • Keith, Mary
  • Quach, Shirley
  • Ahmed, Mavra
  • Azizi-Namini, Parastoo
  • Al-Hesayen, Abdul
  • Azevedo, Eduardo
  • James, Richard
  • Leong-Poi, Howard
  • Ong, Geraldine
  • Desjardins, Sarah
  • Lee, Paul J
  • Ravamehr-Lake, Dorna
  • Yan, Andrew T

publication date

  • December 2019