It has been known for years that the adequate functioning of the brain is dependent on a carbohydrate substrate and an adequate supply of oxygen. In addition, various enzyme and coenzyme systems are necessary for the complete breakdown and utilization of this carbohydrate by the brain. Among the more important of the latter systems is thiamine (vitamin B1), or, more specifically, its diphosphoric ester, cocarboxylase. Proof is now available that this substance is necessary for the breakdown of pyruvic acid,1 one of the normal intermediary products of carbohydrate catabolism. This is further substantiated by the fact that in oriental Beriberi2 and alcoholic peripheral neuropathy,3 both diseases known to be due to a deficiency of vitamin B1, pyruvic acid accumulates in the body fluids. Further work may of course indicate that conditions other than those resulting from a deficiency of vitamin B1 may cause elevations
WORTIS H, GOODHART RS, BUEDING E. COCARBOXYLASE, PYRUVIC ACID AND BISULFITE-BINDING SUBSTANCES IN CHILDREN. Am J Dis Child. 1941;61(2):226–230. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000080016002
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