|Thiamine as seen under a microscope|
URGENT NOTE: PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT POST ANY MORE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS IN THIS THREAD AS IT HAS BECOME MUCH TOO LONG! BEFORE COMMENTING OR ASKING, PLEASE STUDY THE FAQ WHICH YOU WILL FIND HERE. IF THIAMINE, WITH OR WITHOUT MAGNESIUM, HAS HELPED YOUR SPEECH, PLEASE PROVIDE FEEDBACK BY READING THIS POST AND ADDING YOUR FEEDBACK AS A COMMENT BELOW THAT POST.
About 30% of adult males who stutter may significantly benefit from taking 300 mg of thiamine (ordinary vitamin B1) per day, according to a recent study at the National Center for Stuttering.
Update April 2013: Read THIS POST for Dr Schwartz's latest thinking on the cause of stuttering and how thiamine may help in assisting the basal ganglia in the brain to better coordinate the vocal cords.
Postscript - results of my informal 2011 survey on this blog:
The question was: Does 300 mg of vitamin B1 (thiamine) per day improve your fluency? 57 people responded as follows:
"Dramatic improvement!" - 6 people (10%)
"Has helped somewhat" - 8 people (14%)
"Hasn't helped at all" - 8 people (14%)
"Haven't tried it yet" - 29 people (50%)
"Don't believe that it will work" - 6 people (10%).
Note that, as at the end of 2011, 24% of the respondents indicated that thiamine helped them, either "dramatically" or "somewhat". This is not far from the 30% mentioned in Dr Schwartz's findings - my poll was far from being scientific. Even so it is a further indication that people who stutter should seriously consider trying out thiamine to see if it improves their fluency.
Second postscript, October 2012: A reader (Anonymous - see below) has kindly pointed out that the results above are distorted by the people who didn't think that it would work and who haven't tried it! Anonymous is of course absolutely correct. If these two groups are discounted, the results are as follows:
Dramatic improvement - 27%
Helped somewhat - 36%
If all the people who have been helped are totalled, it means that no less than 64% of those who have tried thiamine have benefited to some extent, with 27% having experienced a dramatic improvement.
Even though relatively few people participated in the poll, these figures are impressive; bearing in mind, however, that suggestion and the placebo effect may also be at work here and that such polls are in no way scientific. The 27% is very close to Dr Schwartz's figure of 30%. It at least indicates that people who stutter should seriously try thiamine to see if it benefits them. I find it amazing why this potential breakthrough is not publicized widely.
Third postscript, December 2012:
Dr Schwartz has sent me the following relevant email:
"I have also just submitted a report on thiamine and stuttering to the
New England Journal of Medicine, our most prestigious medical journal in the US. In it, as part of the study, I report a follow-up on some individuals who reported success in terms of long-term daily usage. It would appear that as long as they continue to take the vitamin, they remain fluent. As you may know, several national organizations have reported no upper limit of toxicity for thiamine taken when taken orally and some studies, for example, as a treatment for Alzheimers, have reported subjects taking as much as 9 g daily (that's 9 000 mg) for a year or longer with no observable side effects. Thus thiamine is one of the vitamins that is generally recognized as safe. However, it may interact with some medications so it is best to check with a physician first. Interestingly, it has been shown that the amount of thiamine in the bloodstream continues to rise up to a certain level and then rises no further. That level coincides with the ingestion of 1 200 mg per day. So if one were to ask if there was an upper limit to check if thiamine could produce enhanced fluency, I would peg it at 1 200 mg per day."
And another message from Dr Schwartz on 22 January 2013:
"I have now followed five original subjects that showed a remission of symptoms when taking thiamin - for over 2 years. The follow-up was by telephone on a bi-weekly basis. The results indicate that as long as they continued to take the thiamin, they remained symptom free. This result comes close to a definition of a cure and clearly suggests that for these individuals, at least, stuttering represents a thiamin deficiency disorder. Also, there were no reported side effects
associated with taking 300 mg of thiamin daily over the two-year
period. Even though these observations were not made within the
protocol of a scientific study, nevertheless I feel encouraged by
this finding and will continue to follow these subjects."
Update January 2013: Dr Schwartz has brought to our attention that in 1951 a similar study (the Hale trial) on 30 mg of thiamine given to children produced interesting results. People who stutter are greatly indebted to Dr Schwartz for revisiting the Hale trial and its important results, and making people aware of its implications. Check out this article by Thomas David Kehoe, the owner of Casa Futura which manufactures appliances aimed at improving fluency. Mr Kehoe's fluency has benefited significantly from the thiamine-magnesium regimen.
Update 31 January 2013: Thiamine hydrochloride is recommended
If you take thiamine for your stutter, thiamine hydrochloride is the recommended type of thiamine, according to Dr Martin Schwartz.
For more information on the safety of this type of thiamine, check out the following link to the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration): CLICK HERE. "Combining thiamine hydrochloride with magnesium is a good idea," Dr Schwartz adds. "I prefer magnesium orotate because of its superior bioavailability."
New informal poll started 30 December 2012 - please participate, but remember that the placebo effect (self-suggestion) is also a factor, so before stating that thiamine is helping you, make sure that the effect is permanent, i.e. that the two-week trial period has passed and that you are still benefiting from the thiamine: