Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thiamine - a breakthrough in stuttering treatment?

Thiamine as seen under a microscope

NB: For an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the use of thiamine (vitamin B1) and magnesium for stuttering, click HERE. And for the latest information (updated March 2015), read the FREE 91-page online e-book, "The Thiamin Protocol", which can be downloaded HERE.  


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.

“38 male stutterers between 21 and 37 years of age were randomly divided into two groups. One group received 300 mg of thiamine per day and the other a placebo,” said Dr Martin F Schwartz, executive director of the Center.

The subjects were given standardised tests for stuttering prior to the experiment and again at its conclusion.

“The findings for the vitamin group were highly significant, with a before and after difference of such magnitude that the likelihood of it occurring by chance was less than one in a hundred.” Only 6 of the 19 subjects showed the dramatic effect, however.

“It was decided to follow these six individuals to see if the effect persisted. They continued to take what was now openly acknowledged to be the vitamin. It has been more than seven months and their speech has remained essentially free of stuttering,” said Dr Schwartz.

“If the results of this study are valid (and only replication by independent investigators will establish this), then approximately 30% of adult male stutterers can have their stuttering cured by the simple expedient of taking 300 mg of thiamine daily.”

Note that those with dietary habits that could negate the effect of thiamine, or those with a medical condition that would interfere with thiamine absorption, were excluded from the experiment.

“Fortunately the lack of toxicity for thiamine, even well in excess of the amounts used in this study, has been well documented. As with all supplements, however, those interested in trying thiamine should always first consult their doctor.”

The dosage specified is for adult males, not for children or adult females. Research on these populations is apparently underway.

Dr Schwartz said that the effects, if any, can be seen within two weeks. If no effects are seen after this period, none will occur and you can assume that thiamine will not be of benefit. Click HERE for the actual media release and HERE for the original study.

It is important to note that some conditions, foods and minerals have anti-thiamine properties. Thiamine deficiency can be caused by malnutrition, antacids, barbiturates, diuretics, a diet high in thiaminase-rich foods (raw freshwater fish, raw shellfish, ferns) and/or foods high in anti-thiamine factors (tea, coffee and carbonated beverages), tobacco and by grossly impaired nutritional status associated with chronic diseases, such as alcoholism, gastro-intestinal diseases, HIV-AIDS and persistent vomiting,” according to Dr Schwartz.

My comments:

If you are interested in starting with a daily 300 mg thiamine course for two weeks (the time needed to see if the vitamin benefits your fluency), it would make sense to also stop taking eg. tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, antacids and the other foods mentioned above for that period, as these could neutralise the thiamine taken and negate the experiment.

The study was not very big, and different results might be obtained when using larger groups of people who stutter.

If it is true that some people who stutter benefit from thiamine, it could be due to significant stress reduction. Dr Schwartz has in the past recommended vitamin B Complex (which includes vitamin B1) for lowering stress and muscle tension (so as to ultimately reduce vocal-cord muscle tension), so if he is correct it could be that vitamin B1 (thiamine) is the main stress-reducing factor in B Complex.

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.

Stuttering treatment through medication, drugs, supplements etc. has a long and complex history. Various drugs have throughout the years been tested for their effect, if any, on stuttering – Pagoclone being the latest – and up to now the results have generally been disappointing, with many stutterers complaining of negative side-effects. Others, however, have benefited to some extent. How can this be explained?

It could be that the benefits obtained in this way are simply the results of temporarily reduced stress levels. For instance, I have often found that, when suffering from the flu or a cold, certain painkillers and flu medicines improve my speech as they make me feel somewhat numb and drowsy. They anaesthetise the central nervous system and the so-called ‘mental scanner’ with which we scan for feared words. They can also reduce general tension levels and also, and more specifically, can reduce vocal cord tension. Alcohol can have a similar effect. Regrettably, some stutterers use various illegal and unhealthy drugs in an effort to improve their speech. What really happens is that some of these drugs have the effect of simply reducing stress levels. Far better to stay clear from detrimental drugs, and rather take health-promoting over-the-counter supplements that produce exactly the same effect – by reducing tension levels.     

I have in the past taken stress-reducing supplements and they have definitely been helpful in taking the edge off stuttering. These days, however, B Complex gives me headaches so I’ve stopped this, though I still take magnesium (slow release) and potassium (slow release). The combination of these is usually recommended as a muscle relaxant, and I take them mainly because of another problem - leg muscle cramps which I get at night. They are very effective for muscle cramps, and they also seem to improve my fluency though it's difficult to prove. 

I’m sure that stress-reducing supplements can be highly beneficial for many stutterers, particularly those with high stress levels. I have found that, in combination with using a fluency technique, they are indispensable. They lower tension levels to a point where you can apply your fluency technique with success – these techniques are difficult to apply if stress levels are too high. Try it – you have nothing to lose!   

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:


  1. Have you noticed that as of October 17th, the results of the poll mirror the study? Thirty percent show dramatic improvement or increased fluency. Interesting.

  2. Further research has shown that magnesium seems to enhance the Thiamin effect and that an alkaline diet enhances magnesium uptake. So, with the OK of one's physician, I would add the RDA for magnesium appropriate to age, weight and sex and would go on a vegetarian diet during the test period.

    MF Schwartz, Ph.D.

  3. I have been taking 100mg of B-1( Thiamine) three times a day after meal for a month. However, it did not have much impact on my speech. Lately, I increased the dose to 500mg and I have been noticing change in my speech. I bought Magnesium ( 500 mg) today and will take 3 tablets a day. I guess it will take a couple of weeks to kick-off. I can assure that combination of B-1 and Magnesium will have a drastic effect to reduce my stuttering. I think its worth a try.

  4. I am at work on my next book on stuttering. My last book, Stutter No More, was published in 1991 and much has happened since. I am particularly interested in the use of anti-stuttering devices as adjuncts to therapy. When used properly, they can maximize success and speed up the process. But they are too expensive and I think they should be leased rather than purchased. I am looking into whether this can be done efficiently. I am also continuing to look at further enhancing the effectiveness of vitamin B1 and whether, from certain blood tests, likely candidates can be ascertained in advance.

    MF Schwartz, Ph.D.

  5. Combination of Thiamine-500mg and Magnesium Oratate is working great.

  6. Hi Gopes,

    Please let me know
    1. do u take 500mg of B1 3 times a day ?

    2. Plz tell me the name of medicine of B1 and magnesium, as I am from India and here the same is not available at any chemist shop.


  7. Arcalion - 1-0-0 x 30 days
    Magnical - 1-0-0 x 30 days

    Arcalion is Sulbutiamine (200mg) and should be enough.

    Magnical is Magnesium and Calcium.

    You may google to find more about the above tablets. No major side effects. Consult your physician.

  8. Hi - I have a 11 year old son with a severe stutter - he has been on lots of different nutritional supplements like zinc, b6, B12 and magnesium for many years but no improvement in his stuttering. I have just started him on B1 with extra magnesium --if there will be a positive reponse should we see it within a few days or does it take a week or so to build up in the system?

    Thanks any advise would be appreciated

  9. Note that the research only involved adults aged from 21 to 37. You should probably first get the OK from your doctor to ensure that this amount of B1 will not be detrimental for your son. The test period is two weeks, so if there is no beneficial effect at the end of this period you can conclude that unfortunately it doesn't work for your son. PS Have you checked for any stressors in your son's life? Stress can be a major factor in stuttering. There are various strategies that can be employed in managing your son's stutter. Check out my chapter on stuttering children in my book (linked to my blog). Also check out the British Stammering Association's website at as they have a lot of info on stuttering children. They also have a Facebook page, and even a special Facebook page for parents of children who stammer. Best of luck!

  10. A couple of people may have miss read the results of that informal studywith 57 people responding. 6 people were helped a lot and 8 people helped somewhat and only 8 people who tried it got no help. So it helped 14 of the 22 people who tried it. That 29 people who hadn't tried it messed up the data.

  11. Dear Anonymous - thank you very much, that's a very good point you made! I have now recalculated the results. When leaving out the people who haven't tried it and who didn't think that it would work, the results would be as follows: Dramatic improvement - 27%
    Helped somewhat - 36%

    If all those who have been helped are totalled together, the percentage rises to 64%, with 36% who have not been helped.

    The 27% who have been helped dramatically is not far from the 30% mentioned by Dr Schwartz. Even though the number of participants is small, these figures are important. I can't understand why thiamine is not a major topic in the stuttering community. It is such an important breakthrough, and it's not getting publicity.

  12. I would like to point out that the
    study had the people taking 100mg
    three times a day. This may be verry inportant as the body can onley absorb about 5mg at any one time. I tried it before taking about 300mg once a day and it did
    help me a little bit now I take the
    100mg 3 times a day and it seems to help a lot more.

  13. I have a stutter and so does my Brother. I have ordered the B1 vitamin with magnesium 500mg. Is it 3 times a day it needs to be taken for effective results?

  14. To Anonymous: Yes, you have to take 300 mg of B1 per day for adults, spread over 3 dosages of 100 mg each. But note that unfortunately it doesn't work for everyone. So try it for two weeks, and if you don't find any improvement after the two weeks, you can conclude that you are unfortunately not one of the people for whom it is effective. For about 30% it is very effective, and some others find a mild improvement. The rest are not helped. Best of luck for you and your brother! I hope you are one of the lucky ones! Kind regards.

  15. have been on thiamine 100mg three times a day and magnesium tablets . have seen very dramatic results. my job involves a lot of interaction with people and this really helps me a lot . have tried so many medication .have even enrolled in the study of pagocolone and got no improvement .
    the thiamine effect is more than stress reducer as it eliminates by speech block . I am more confident by the day and am praying that the effect with last long .
    oh by the way I am a big drinker of tea and stopped it since starting thiamine .

  16. Dear Unknown, that's wonderful news! Let us know how you fare and whether the fluency effect continues. It may be that the effect is also due to self-suggestion and optimism, thereby being temporary; but I do hope that it is permanent for you. Stopping the caffeine in tea may also be a positive factor here, so just continue what you're doing. Do keep in touch! Kind regards.

  17. What is the difference between thiamin mononitrate and thiamin hydrochloride? does it matter what one?

  18. I have been taking taking B1(300mg) and magnesium (500mg) per day, from past 3-4 months. I am 32 yr old male.

    I have found this to be extremely useful. The improvement in my speech is dramatic. But dont know, for how long do i need to take this.

  19. Dear Anonymous, I have received a reply from Dr Schwartz regarding the suitable type of thiamine. He responds as follows:

    "The type of thiamin I recommend is thiamine hydrochloride.
    Here is the link to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regarding
    the safety of thiamine hydrochloride:

    "Combining thiamine hydrochloride with magnesium is a good idea. I
    prefer magnesium orotate because of its superior bioavailability."

  20. The brand of Thiamin Hydrochloride I have used most often in the United States is made by a company called Solgar. It is available online. The brand of Magnesium orotate I use is made by a company called Advanced Research and, it too, can be found online.

    I prefer 100mg pills of Thiamin and 500mg pills of Magnesium orotate from these manufacturers.

  21. The following study suggests why some individuals who stutter may need to supplement their Thiamin intake with magnesium to achieve an optimum response.

    Acta Med Scand. 1985;218(1):129-31.
    Aggravation of thiamine deficiency by magnesium depletion. A case report.
    Dyckner T, Ek B, Nyhlin H, Wester PO.


    A patient with Crohn's disease and long-standing diarrhea resulting in a combined thiamine and magnesium deficiency is presented. Despite massive doses of thiamine i.v., the symptoms of thiamine deficiency could not be suppressed until the magnesium deficiency was corrected as well. This case report emphasizes the dependence of thiamine on magnesium for an adequate function in the body.

  22. I'm having a difficult time knowing if thiamin hydrocholoride is the same as B-1. Some things I read it is, somethings I read, it is not. Looking at Amazon, I found Solgar - Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin), 500 mg, 100 tablets. Is that correct? I can't tell if that's hydrocholoride. Please let me know if this is correct, or if not then can you include a link.


  23. That is what I am taking right now.

  24. Gopes, how is this working for you?

  25. It basically helps you to relax and calm your brain muscles, as simple as that.

    Take the medication prescribed above, and practice consonant sound like T, M, B and so on as much as you can, I mean at least 1 hour a day (min).I guarantee you will be stutter free within a couple of months. I have been practicing this techniques for a while and I am noticing a dramatic improvement in my speech.

  26. Dear Dr Schwartz, many thanks for your comment. I think you are onto something big here - note the results of my new poll above: out of the 11 votes cast who have tried thiamine, 5 are showing a dramatic improvement, 4 are showing some improvement and 2 find that thiamine makes no difference. I think these results are very, very promising and I will put them on various Facebook pages. Do continue with the good work! Kind regards, Peter

  27. For those for whom it is of benefit, my findings indicate that the results are permanent, as long as they continue to take the vitamin. In a sense, its like people with type 1 diabetes who have to take insulin each day. Only, in this case, there have been no reported side effects associated with taking this amount of thiamin on a daily basis. As usual, though, check with your physician before starting because you may be taking a medication or have a medical problem which precludes taking Thiamin.

  28. With your physician's approval, individuals (adults) should start with 300mg of thiamin per day. If their speech is improved dramatically, they should take nothing else. If they see no improvement, they can try 2000mg of magnesium orotate per day in addition to the 300mg of thaimin each day. If they see no improvement, they should discontinue everything because the supplements are of no value to them. But if they see an improvement when they add the magnesium orotate to the thiamin, they can then add an additional 300mg of thiamin. So what they would be taking would be 600mg of Thiamin plus 2000mg of magnesium orotate. And that would be the maximum.

    Reread what I have just written. In no instance do I recommend above 600mg of Thiamin. And that would be only after trying the sequence I have just outlined.

    As usual, keep your physician apprised of what you are doing to get his/her OK.

  29. Here is the US FDA (food and drug administration) opinion on Thiamin:

    Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Thiamine hydrochloride

    SCOGS Opinion:

    Thiamin (thiamine) salts have been administered to man (orally) for months in daily doses up to 1 g (1000 mg) or more without reported adverse effects.

    Similarly, mice and rats fed daily for three generations with several hundred times their normal requirements of thiamin showed no adverse effects.

    Absorption of orally administered thiamin is regulated by a transport mechanism which offers an effective protection against overdosage. Excess thiamin in the tissues is rapidly excreted in the urine.

    In view of the above considerations, the Select Committee concludes that:

    There is no evidence in the available information on thiamin hydrochloride or thiamin mononitrate that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public.

  30. I will get back with the results in two weeks time. So far, I see much of an improvement in my speech.

  31. I do not know if there are any articles published regarding high intake of Magnesium ( >= to 2000 mg/day). Please shed us light on this if you happen to have any related findings.

  32. The most common expression of too much magnesium is diarrhea. If it occurs, you should reduce the amount. As always, find out from you physician whether you are taking too much or should take any at all. For example, those with impaired kidney function should avoid magnesium supplementation.

  33. I am a energetic type person. But after taking 1000 mg of Magnesium Orotate per day ( one at lunch and one at dinner), I sort of get tired and don't feel like doing things as I used to do. It simply makes me very tired and lousy. However, I don't have diarrhea symptoms yet.

  34. One more thing, regarding speech, when I am taking 1000 mg, my speech does not get any better. However, my stress level gets reduced to some level than normal.

  35. Gopes, thank you for your comments. Do you find that the thiamine is still improving your speech?

    1. Thiamine is absolutely improving my speech, and I have been taking it for over 2 years now.

  36. The general rule is that when any supplement degrades any aspect of your well being, stop taking it.

  37. I tried thiamine after reading this blog. Within 2 days of taking 200mg of B1, I noticed a market improvement in fluency, and a reduction of vocal cord tension. However, there wer side effects - within 30-40 mins of taking 100mg after a meal, I felt dizziness, and a general sense of being 'drugged up'. Also, there were little mild sensations of panic coming in every so often. I continued taking 200mg for 5 days and the fluency was there. However, I didn't like the side effects and then stopped the vitamin and my speech reverted back to normal. So, the proc for me are (1)- yes, it gives greater fluency (2) very cheap and accessible. But the side effects make this unviable - I'll come back to B1 in a couple of weeks time and try a different dose etc.

    I'm amazed that a simple vitamin acts like a powerful tranquiliser for me. In fact, I wasn't expectign very much change, but it was almost like taking a prescription valium tablet!

    Thanks for the great blog, BTW.

  38. Harry:

    Two things. Make certain that it is vitamin B1 you are taking and that the compound is Thiamin Hydrochloride. Make certain you are only taking 200mg each day. If the above all checks out, then switch brands. Sometimes certain brands contain additives which cause allergic reactions. If you have any other illness or are taking any medications or other supplements, then you must see your physician. There could be an interaction with some of these. It is very rare to have the kind of reaction you are experiencing, so check everything out.

  39. Dear Harry, many thanks for your kind comment. From my side, I have great respect for the fantastic work I believe you are doing in London in heading the King's Speakers Toastmasters unit for people who stammer ( From my own experience such opportunities for public speaking are incredibly helpful. Regarding your comment on the mild sensations of panic - it could be that these are responses to your fluency improvement and not to the B1 as such. Sudden fluency can cause feelings of panic. I experienced that myself at the time when I achieved much success with the passive airflow fluency technique. My success was of a zig-zag nature, two steps forward followed by one step backward. One must keep in mind that a person who has stammered for some years has a "stammerer's subconscious", and the mind needs lots of time to adjust to improved fluency. So one has not only to work on one's speech - we have to take our subconscious mind with us on the road to improved fluency. I wrote about that in my book Coping With Stuttering, in particular the following chapter: Many relapses are the result of this subconscious backlash. My answer for this problem was to manage my improved speech very carefully and gently, to be patient with myself, and to gradually get used to improved fluency while still continuing my treatment. It takes lots of time to assuage the subconscious stammerer and to assure the inner stammerer that "all is well". Regarding the feeling of being "drugged up" - that could be your experience of being more relaxed generally, and initially it may not be a pleasant feeling because it may be that you are not used to feeling relaxed. A high baseline stress can become a way of life, and lowering baseline stress could feel strange. I can't explain the dizziness. I hope that the above comments will be of help. Kind regards and all the best.

  40. Peter:

    You are quite correct. In one of my books I call it the Assault Of The Subconscious and it is precisely as you describe. That may be what is occurring here.

    On the other hand, one cannot be entirely certain - so the recommendation I made for switching the form or brand of B1 and checking for interactions must also be assessed.

    If everything seems to be in order, I would suggest trying 100 milligrams per day, 50 with breakfast and 50 with dinner and then assessing things.

  41. Hi,

    I've started on 300mg of Thiamin Hydrochoride and have felt a reduction in stress levels which has helped my speech. However, its not dramatic, although I'm only in the second day.

    Regarding the magnesium: if I get 500mg tablets, do I take the 2000mg in one dose, or over several does? If several doses, how many?

    Many thanks!

  42. Start with 1000mg , 500 mg with lunch and 500 mg with dinner with an OK from your doctor.

    For myself I couldnot tolerate the pain and now I am taking just 500 mg per day.

  43. Hi Gopes,

    Thanks for the reply.

    What pain did you experience?



  44. Well, when I was on 1000 mg of Magnesium Oratate, I felt tired & lousy, energy level dropped down to a level than normal. I could not tolerate the pain, and stopped taking it, thereafter I felt myself again. If I had only fewer side effects, I would have continued taking it, as long as my speech was getting better.

    To avoid the pain of higher dose, now I am only taking 500 mg, and I have a feeling that it is helping me a lot to speak fluently.

    Note: Always consult your doctor before taking this supplement.

  45. I don't know for how long should I take this to get up to a certain level of fluency, but I have reverted back to 1000 mg of Mg. Magnesium makes me a bit tired, but after all it has been helping me a lot. I go for jogging for about 30 minutes,4 days a week to keep my energy level to normal.

  46. Hello,

    I've been taking Thiamin hydrochloride for a week now with mixed results. Initially it seemed as though it was helping my speech but after a couple of days these effect wore off so I've put it down to positive suggestion. The thiamin has however seemingly reduced my stress levels (I feel calmer and more 'level') although this could also be due to changing to a caffeine-free tea and cutting out coffee (something ill be continuing with regardless of the success of thiamin).

    Presumably (having recently read Stutter No More), the thiamin hasn't reduced my stress levels sufficiently to stop the stress threshold being reached and a block occurring.

    I'm pretty sure that I'm deficient in magnesium (I only get 100mg/day from a multivitamin (RDA 450mg) and don't have a magnesium rich diet so I'm going to start taking magnesium supplements to test the effects of both thiamin and magnesium.

    Regarding the magnesium: the brand Dr Schwartz recommends (Advanced Research) is not widely available in the UK (and is expensive where it is available) and many if the brands if magnesium oratate which are available contain an amount of calcium. My question is whether taking of the calcium with magnesium is a genuine problem in what I'm trying to do? If it is, am I able to take something other than magnesium oratate? Magnesium citrate is available in the UK without calcium...

    Hope you can help!


  47. Dear Ben, I think Dr Schwartz is the best person to comment on your question, as I don't have the necessary expertise. He did mention in a previous post that calcium detracts from what we are trying to do. If Dr S. doesn't answer on this blog, you can try reaching him at his website at Note that the thiamine effect may not be stress-reducing; it could have an effect on the basal ganglia in the brain - check out my recent posts on this blog regarding this topic. I think you are on the right road as regards cutting out caffeine-containing tea and coffee. Note however that not everyone benefits from thiamine. The test period is two weeks, so do give yourself two weeks of intake before deciding that the supplement does not work for you. Best of luck and kind regards! Peter

  48. Ben: Add 100 mg of B-Complex , 3 times a day ( with meal) to whatever mg of Thiamine you are taking. It's been a few days and I am feeling really good with B -Complex.

    Note: avoid caffeine, cola, alcohol , tobacco , etc to your daily diet. Stay in a vegetarian diet for a week or so and feel the difference.


  49. I read somewhere that "if you can hear it you can say it." I am using this same techniques to reprogram my damn brain. It has been a couple of days that I have been using this techniques ( it works), and could take up to a year to rewire my brain completely.

  50. So interessting to read this. I live in Norway, Europe, and I stutter and have done so since the age of 3. I'm now 40. I'm an outgoing and talkative person in general, but the stuttering definetely holds me back in e.g. my carrer. I feel people judge me, and I'm very aware of the grinning faces of strangers when they hear me stutter. :( I'm definitely going to check out the thiamine hydrocloride and magnesium orotate -"cure" hopefully starting tomorrow. Hope the norwegian pharmasys has these kinds. I've always DREAMED of speaking fluent... Best regards, Linda

  51. A few days ago, I thought of experimenting to myself that how would thiamine impact on my speech level, if I were to remove thiamine supplements from my regular diet; and this is what my results are after the experiment:

    This past week, I completely got off thiamine supplement for about 2 days, and my speech was totally uncontrollable.

    To be specific, I was attending stutter social hangout, and I could feel that I was struggling on every words I spoke. Usually, when I was on thiamine, I would speak without even thinking of my stuttering. I had minor blocks but that were controllable.

    When thiamine wore off, I was having a hard time getting any words out. Fear and stress completely resided within me, and my speech overall was getting worse. With this experiment I have done to myself, I can assure that thiamine has a lot to do with my speech. At the same time, I can speculate that not all thiamine I take is absorbed in my body but, just a few. I guess, the more thiamine I absorb, the more benefit I can get, and improve my fluency level finally.

    Are there any supplements ( besides Magnesium) to increase Thiamine absorption in the body? As I mentioned in earlier thread that I was not able to tolerate Magnesium Orotate side effects.

  52. Dear Gopes, many thanks for your comment. I have no doubt that thiamine is very effective for some people including yourself. Would you say that it works mainly as a stress reducer? Or is it something else as Dr Schwartz has speculated? Kind regards, Peter.

  53. Peter: At this point, I can't really tell you as to how Thiamine is influencing my speech. But I can definitely say this that it has been helping me a lot to speak effortlessly. I guess without it I would never have imagined my improved speech. I read some where that thiamine improves the speech coordination in basal ganglia area of the brain. I guess that might come true ( in my case at least. I don't know if it's a stress reducer or something else, but it works.

    I am going to have my blood work to check my thiamine ( as well as magnesium) level tomorrow, and will keep you posted about the results.

  54. Interesting indeed. I have suffered from stammering most of my life. Started unexpectingly during a play in 4th grade, and only resurfaced during other nervous episodes such as oral reports and the like. I am a male and 51 years old now. This stammering and avoidance of social situations that would put me at the "podium" of life, I have always veered away from. This affliction has limited my choices, dreams and paths in life.

    I will straightway try the Thiamine and later add the magnesium if the Thiamine does not work alone. This gives me hope, as all other therapy, tricks, tools are simply only that -- they are not a cure.

    Thank you for your blog as it gives me another avenue to cure this lifelong ailment.

  55. Thiamin is required for the production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter. There may be a deficiency of this neurotransmitter in the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia have been strongly implicated as an area of interest in stuttering. It may be that in individuals who stutter enhanced magnitudes of Thiamin are required to crossthe blood-brain barrier to produce the required amounts of this crucial neurotransmitter in the basal ganglia. So it is probably not that thiamin reduces stress, it is probably that thiamin, in sufficient quantities, compensates for a deficiency in the brain and produces a sufficient amount of acetylcholine to enable the basal ganglia to produce all of the tasks required for speech production without triggering stuttering.

  56. Are there any other supplements to increase Thiamine absorption besides Magnesium Orotate?

  57. Some reports have indicated that certain of the other B vitamins can act synergistically with B1 in terms of facilitating absorption. A general rule of thumb, therefore, might be to add a B complex to the package. However, not more than 50mg. The label on the bottle should read B complex 50. This does not mean that all of the components are at 50mg, just the major ones. However, if you speech worsens, then stay away from the B complex because for some, Vitamin B2 can have adverse effects upon speech.

  58. Currently, I have been taking 100 MG of B-Complex Vitamin per day. I have mixed reactions with this vitamin i.e., positive as well as negative.
    Then I wasn't aware of the adverse effect of B2, but now I am. With that in mind, now I am going to cut down the tablet into half ( to make it 50 MG), take it for a few days ( 50 mg/day), and closely monitor of any changes on my speech pattern. I will come back with the results after a couple of days.

  59. It has been said that, for some, a small amount of vitamin C can increase Thiamin absorption.

  60. So can I assume that with addition of 50 mg of Vitamin C to my regular vegetarian diet would increase thiamine absorption? FYI, I have been on a vegetarian diet for about 10 years.

  61. hi peter... I did take thiamine dihydrochloride for 2 weeks. but noticed a very little change which may be psycological. what i need to asku as well aas respected Dr Shwartz is that i used a complex of B1, B6 and B12, 100mg, 50mg and 150mg respectively. This is because there is no preparation avalable in my country with only thiamine in it. So was it becaouse of that i got no results at all? Should i order online pure thiamine and then give it another ttry along with magenesium? is it worth trying or i am among the few unfortunates who wont ever benefit from it?
    I am from Pakistan

  62. Dear Anonymous, Dr Schwartz is in a better position than I to respond to your question, but from my side it would seem that, taking note of the original post and the many responses, 100 mg of thiamine per day may be insufficient. Depending of course on your doctor's OK, 300 mg per day is the recommended dose. I think you should try this and order pure thiamine online and try it for two weeks, also following the other dietary guidelines above (eg. not taking caffeine during that period). But as you say, not everybody benefits from thiamine. Best of luck and I hope you are one of the lucky ones.

    1. I read that vitamin B1 is heat-sensative. So i think it's somewhat difficult to guarantee the tablets won't encounter high temperatures during its shipment to your country

    2. Hey Ansari, yes that is true for B1 but also for so many other health products. That's why one should always try to rather get a product which has been manufactured in one's own country so that transport is kept to a minimum. But anyway I have since switched over to a mind-body strategy for stuttering, combined with the Passive Airflow Technique, and this combination works very well for me. For more details, have a look at my latest posts in this blog and the book which I published in January 2020!

    3. God bless you for reaching out to many people to offer your help. I still haven't read Dr.Schwartz's book about Passive Airflow Technique, i think i've seen his book offered for free within your blog.

      I'm currently reading Self Therapy For The Stutter by Malcolm Fraser.. i was wondering if you have any feedback on this book.

    4. Hi Ansari, thanks for your kind words! Malcolm Fraser's book is helpful but a bit dated, in my honest opinion. It's mainstream thinking about stuttering, whereas we need to think differently and laterally about stuttering ... Yes Dr Schwartz's book "Stutter No More" is free and online and excellent. My first book, Coping With Stuttering, is also on the Airflow Technique and is also free and online, I guess that you've already read that! I found that technique VERY USEFUL and I still use it. It's a great physical technique. For the mental side I now also use strategies such as assertiveness, expressiveness and "not holding back". I now believe that stuttering is a "mind-body" disorder caused by psychological repression, and I explain it all in my latest book, "Stuttering as a mindbody disorder" which is now on Amazon. I would suggest that you read that too. It fits in very well with the "airflow approach". We need to work on the psychological side as a long-term strategy. Best wishes!

    5. You're most welcome! And i really appreciate your valuable suggesstions and feedback. I'll order myself a copy of the book, it sounds really interesting!

      I hope everyone gets to overcome this psychological & mental burden

    6. I forgot to mention that unfortunately only recently did i find out about your book "Coping With Stuttering" from our conversation here. I'm looking forward reading both your books and Dr. Schwart'z!

      I would also like to mention that i've recently received the B1 HCL (Solgar) and Magnesium Orotate (Advance Research) from overseas.. but the package seemed pretty warm to me, so i hope they're OK. Today would be my 4rth day on Thiamine alone.

      I was reading the 2013 post about this study, and i noticed Dr. Schwart'z mentioned, Magnesium L Threonate, having high absorption qualities. Do you know if this specific Magnesium would out perform Magnesium Orotate (Advanced Research) that Dr. Schwart'z himself recommended with the stammering?

      I've also came across multiple people in the newer blog stating that when they were on B1 HCL their stammering worsened, whereas when they switched to B1 Thiamine Mononitrate they All saw 50-75% better speech fluency. Do you have any idea about this?

      Thanks a lot again!

    7. Ansari, unfortunately I can't help with your first question as I'm not a pharmaceutical expert. Regarding your second question - the problem with the mononitrate version is that it is not water soluble but fat soluble, which means that the B1 can eventually accumulate in the body and result in overdosing. That's why Dr Schwartz recommended the HCL version. The negative effects experienced from the HCL version may be due to an allergy to this version or to a particular brand of product - manufacturers sometimes add all kinds of things to the final product such as preservatives, and people may have allergies to such preservatives. One also has to bear in mind the general rule that different people may respond differently to a particular product. There may also be a psychological response to any medicine, such as the placebo effect, which in my experience is particularly strong when it comes to medicines or supplements for stuttering. In other words, if someone strongly BELIEVES that a particular product WILL help him, then that belief, and not the product itself, may actually have a positive effect.

  63. My son is nearly 5 and his stutter is getting worse. I am interested in starting him on vitamin B but not sure about which one and dosage. Could someone please offer some advise? I would be most grateful.

  64. Dear Stormtrooper, this is a difficult one. Dr Schwartz would be able to give a more comprehensive answer than I, but the recommendations and dosages as mentioned by him are for adults, not children. His studies only include adults. However a 1951 study ( did focus on children who were given 30 mg of thiamine per day. The younger the children, the more they benefited from the thiamine, but for the five-year-olds "improvement was doubtful". It could of course be that the dosage was insufficient. However if I were you I would first obtain more expert opinion before subjecting your young son to a larger dosage of thiamine. The thiamine-stuttering studies are still in an experimental stage. Have you tried other approaches for your son? In my own book on stuttering I wrote a chapter on stuttering children, containing many guidelines - you can read it here: Also check out the British Stammering Association's website at for lots of info on help for stuttering children. All the best and good luck.

  65. Thank you for your comments Peter. I have read your guidelines to stuttering for children and have applied many of the techniques. What I know for sure is that there is a definite link between food and stuttering for my son and I have eliminated a lot of problem foods from his diet. This has helped but I would also like to try a combination of diet and Vitamin B. Thanks again for your time and comments to my post.

  66. For a five year old of average height and weight, I would try 60 mg of vitamin B1 per day, spread out in two 30 mg amounts. You absolutely must get the ok of the pediatrician before beginning. Try for 2 weeks, if you see no difference, discontinue.

  67. WOULD TAKING B1 WITH L theanine(it relaxs the mind,which is what i need for anxiety disorders i suffer from)anyways is that safe to take together w/ a b complex for my stuttering.

  68. To Anonymous: I am not really qualified to answer your question, but I have done a quick Google search on L-theanine (found in tea, particularly green tea) and B1, and the only relevant info I could find was that both L-theanine and thiamine are used in various supplements given to cats and dogs to calm them. So from my superficial search I would conclude that this combination is not regarded as harmful, at least for cats and dogs, but if you want to make sure I would suggest that you ask a relevant expert. Check out Wikipedia at

  69. I would advise against taking thiamin as part of a b-complex pill. Ancecdotally, Vitamin B2 has been reported to have a negative effect upon stuttering.

  70. For those aware of the casa futura blog, please note that I was the individual who introduced Mr. Kehoe to thiamin last year and made him aware of the 1951 Hale study with children. Unfortunately, based solely on his own experience, he now freely dispenses information for everyone. It is not that I necessarily disagree with some of his suggestions; it is his failure to acknowledge the source of his information and his now fluent speech for the first time in his life that rankles me.

  71. These comments between Mr. Niraula and Anonymous are inappropriate to this blog and should be conducted in private.

  72. Anonymous, you are correct. The purpose of these comments on the thiamine blog post is to obtain further important information on the effect of thiamine on the fluency of people who stutter. The importance of this pioneering development cannot be overemphasised. Though naturally there is great sympathy for practical issues such as obtaining and delivering thiamine, this blog post is not the appropriate medium for such discussions. A better medium could be the "Passive Airflow Approach to Stuttering" Facebook page at Or else there is the "Stuttering Community" website, which also has a facility for sending private messages. That website can be found at

    While we're on the topic of practical issues - the comments on this particular topic are getting too much and it's getting impractical to read so many comments. May I suggest that, from now on, commentators should kindly use the other post on thiamine for their comments at This should make the reading of comments more manageable.

    By the way, this blog has just passed the 70 000 visits mark in less than four years!

    Kind regards, Peter

  73. To Anonymous: Your question on diet has already been answered. Please read and study the original post and the rest of this blog before again asking questions. As said previously, this thread is not the place for general questions which are off-topic. Non-thiamine-related comments should be placed under one of the other posts. Off-topic comments will from now on be deleted, and I have already begun cleaning up this thread so that it becomes more manageable and readable.

  74. To Anonymous in India: As said, I am sorry that you cannot find vitamin B1 in your country. But this is a small group and not many people are reading these comments. I think you will have more success if you ask your question in one of the big Facebook stammering groups such as the Stuttering Community, Stuttering Arena, Stuttering Hangout and the British Stammering Association. Just go on Facebook and search for one of these groups. But remember that there is no guarantee that vitamin B1 will help you. Good luck!