Psoriasis and Acidic Blood: The Cause Is Deficiency of B vitamins

Lactic acidosis is often caused by biotin or thiamine deficiency. The role of B-vitamins is still underrated by most people including those with psoriasis. We have a huge promotion of magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, … but where are the B-complex vitamins? I think that generally the most important thing in healing of psoriasis is proper intake of B-vitamins.

If you want to get all of the B-vitamins even those who are no longer considered as vitamins you should take brewer’s yeast or what is even better – beef liver.

Even though our bodies are able to synthesize some chemicals (including those who are no longer considered as B-vitamins) that does not mean it is not important or (sometimes) inevitable to provide them in the food we eat.

Not just that we need the minerals and other vitamins to make some very important non-essential chemicals but everybody is unique and we have various genetic variations (I prefer word variation over mutation) which may prevent us from producing or processing some important molecules efficiently and in sufficient amounts.

Of course, B1 (thiamine) and B7 (biotin) deficiencies are not the only possible causes of lactic acidosis but they are well documented. Overall nutrition is important and elimination of unnecessary toxins (including the various drugs) is advised.

Symptoms of Lactic acidosis

You may ask why I write about lactic acidosis?

Well, I believe that lactic acidosis is very common in people with many chronic diseases including psoriasis.

The thing with lactic acidosis is that it develops when there is some metabolic problem affecting the production of energy from glucose.

The symptoms of lactic acidosis include nausea, vomiting, general weakness and others.


In psoriasis I believe that there is a shortage of oxygen which prevents the production of energy molecule – ATP. This leads to increased formation of lactate which flows through the bloodstream.

That’s the reason why I say that drinking calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, sodium bicarbonate, chlorella, green barley, lemon juice and other “alkalizing miracles” in order to cure the acidity does nothing really useful.

These alkalizing measurements with sodium bicarbonate have their place in acute situations when there is a severe lactic acidosis but administration of sodium bicarbonate still it does not cure the lactic acidosis. [4]

Biotin deficiency and lactic acidosis

One of the genetic variations affecting the blood pH levels is biotinidase deficiency which belongs to the group of multiple carboxylase deficiency disorders.

The scientific paper from 1981 describes the multiple carboxylase deficiency which presented in early childhood as alopecia, skin rashes, dermatitis, hypotonia (muscle weakness), ataxia and motor retardation, frequent episodes of ketoacidosis with hyperlactatemia.

On high protein diet the symptoms of propionic and methylcrotonic aciduria appeared as well. These are the organic acids which levels are elevated in states of impaired energy production in cells.

The plasma biotin levels were found to be significantly lower than in control subjects.

The symptoms disappeared after the administration of biotin.[1]

Most B-complex supplements have biotin in them but some people may make better use of adding the additional supplement containing higher dose of biotin per capsule.


Thiamine deficiency causes lactic acidosis

A report presents a case of 56 years old man with lactic acidosis whose symptoms rapidly improved after intravenous administration of thiamine.

Patient consumed the alcohol regularly (which is a risk factor of thiamine deficiency) and shortly before the hospitalization lost about 5 kg. [4]

In acute deficiency, pyruvate accumulates and is metabolized to lactate, and chronic deficiency may cause polyneuropathy and Wernicke encephalopathy. Classic symptoms include mental status change, ophthalmoplegia, and ataxia but are present in only a few patients. Critically ill patients are prone to thiamine deficiency because of preexistent malnutrition, increased consumption in high-carbohydrate nutrition, and accelerated clearance in renal replacement.

Thiamine deficiency may become clinically evident in any type of malnutrition that outlasts thiamine body stores (2 to 3 weeks), including alcoholism, bariatric surgery, or hyperemesis gravidarum, and results in high morbidity and mortality if untreated.
” [4]

As you can see the body has stores of thiamine only for about 3 weeks so consider this if somebody tells you how great it is to have 1 months water fast. It is similar also with some other nutrients which get rapidly depleted so long-term water fast may cause more damage than good.

Laboratory findings on admission were remarkable for moderate hypoglycemia and metabolic acidosis – pH of 6.87, base excess of -29.5, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) of 14 mm Hg – with a high anion gap (37 mmol/L) that was attributed to severe hyperlactatemia (21 mmol/L). After intravenous glucose administration, the patient was transferred to the intensive care unit, where he received sodium bicarbonate and 1,500 mL of lactate-free isotonic crystalloids. Within the next few hours, lactate levels increased further while pH slowly improved.
” [4]

As you see even administration of sodium bicarbonate didn’t decrease the lactate levels even though the overall blood pH improved.

Then the thiamine deficiency was suspected because all other known causes of hyperlactatemia (high levels of lactate) like hypoxia and hepatic failure were excluded. The doctors intravenously administered 300 mg of thiamine to patient and hyperlactatemia normalized in a short time but his neurocognitive deficits persisted.


Intravenously administered thiamine (300 mg) rapidly cured lactic acidosis in about 24 hours.
Image Source: Karin Amrein, Werner Ribitsch, Ronald Otto, Harald C Worm, and Rudolf E Stauber. Severe lactic acidosis reversed by thiamine within 24 hours. Crit Care. 2011; 15(6): 457.

Current guidelines on parenteral nutrition recommend a daily intravenous dose of 100 to 300 mg of thiamine during the first 3 days in the intensive care unit when deficiency is a possibility.
” [4]

As you see, if the doctors know what is the problem body may recover pretty fast.

A report from 1999 mentions a case of leukemic child treated with chemotherapy who developed a severe lactic acidosis after 3 weeks on parenteral nutrition (not eating just intravenous nutrition).

There were the digestive, neurological and cardiovascular symptoms present.

The doctors excluded toxic cause or sepsis and then the thiamine (B1 vitamin) deficiency was suspected because the intravenous nutrition lacked this vitamin. The diagnosis was confirmed by low plasma levels of thiamine.

Intravenous thiamine administration rapidly resolved lactic acidosis and other symptoms.[2]

Another 3-year old child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia developed “severe refractory lactic acidosis (pH between 6.81 and 7.00 and a serum lactate level up to 38 mmol/liter) leading to cardiac arrest” after 20 days on parenteral nutrition without vitamin supplementation.

Acute dialysis was prescribed to correct the severe lactic acidosis and low plasma thiamine levels confirmed the diagnosis of thiamine deficiency.

Thiamine therapy completely recovered the patient within 5 days without any recurrence of the symptoms of lactic acidosis for the next 12 months. [3]

Scam supplements like alkalizing pH drops for psoriasis?

Actually, you are buying just an expensive mineral water and hope it will cure your psoriasis. What causes low blood pH besides the deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals as mentioned above in this post? Of course that it’s the endotoxins and inflammatory processes.

There is so much misinformation about the all pH thing: take mineral supplements, drink lemon water, don’t eat acidic foods, … and mostly buy those overpriced pH boosting supplements.

Selling the trace minerals and alkalizing solutions is a great business idea. But check the bottles of those products and you will see that there is actually nothing meaningful stated on many of them.

You won’t find out how much minerals is in them. And if there is a detailed information about the mineral content you will find out that you are going to buy like 5 grams of dissolved magnesium for 20 dollars.

Now just do some math, if there is about 200 servings (according to label on the supplement bottle) then you will get 25 mg of elemental magnesium in one serving. Many people put that one serving to 1 liter (32 fl. oz.) of water and feel good with themselves because they are drinking the alkalizing water.

25 mg/L of magnesium is the amount you can find in many bottled mineral waters on the market or even in the tap water.[7]

And what do you think, why it doesn’t work? Why those pH boosters do not help to increase the pH?

Because inflammation is the common cause of low pH…

Everything is nothing compared to the effects of endotoxins on blood pH levels.

It is useless to measure your urine or saliva pH levels just because you hope the pH boosting supplement will do some miracle. Unfortunately, it won’t…

Endotoxins cause low blood pH

7.bacteria_bloodThe study from 1982 on dogs proved that endotoxins cause decrease in blood pH levels.

Dogs were injected with 2 mg/kg of Escherichia coli endotoxins and compared to dogs which received the endotoxins and the ibuprofen at dosage of 25 mg/kg.

The results were significant when arterial blood pH dropped in endotoxin treated dogs to 7.18 by 120 minutes. The animals who received also the ibuprofen maintained their blood pH levels at 7.36.

The researchers measured also the other effects of administration of the endotoxins and ibuprofen (Advil) and concluded that the anti-inflammatory drug protected the animals against the hypotension (low blood pressure), lactic acidosis (low blood pH) and depression of cardiac index (the performance of the heart).[6]

“Ibuprofen in canine endotoxin shock” study abstract[6]:

“The participation of prostaglandins in the physiologic alterations of endotoxin shock has been well established with the aid of prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors. Our study was designed to investigate the potential of ibuprofen, a highly specific cyclooxygenase inhibitor, to reverse the hemodynamic and acid base abnormalities of canine endotoxin shock. Mean blood pressure fell to 49.8 +/- 6.6 mm Hg in dogs given endotoxin by 5 min after injection, and remained below 83 mm Hg for the duration of the 120-min observation period. In animals given endotoxin followed by ibuprofen, a similar initial drop of systemic blood pressure was seen, but it subsequently recovered to 150.2 +/- 4.1 mm Hg by 120 min (P less than 0.001). Cardiac index increased in animals given ibuprofen (2.3 +/- 0.28 liter/m2 per min) compared with animals given endotoxin alone (1.0 +/- 0.09 liter/m2 per min) by termination of the experiment. The arterial pH dropped in endotoxin treated animals to 7.18 +/- 0.03 by 120 min. Ibuprofen prevented the acidosis, the final pH in ibuprofen and endotoxin treated animals measuring 7.36 +/- 0.01. We conclude that ibuprofen protects against the hypotension, acidosis, and depression of cardiac index of canine endotoxin shock.”

To buy, or not to buy

If you want to buy the magnesium and potassium water for 30x the price of some magnesium salt then go for it. However, if you want to spend your money more wisely then better buy some magnesium malate or magnesium chelate supplement.

All those marketing bells and whistles about the content of all the trace minerals are probably true but you know what? All those trace minerals can be found in any lake, river or sea in trace amounts.

Those pH boosting products don’t state the actual content of those minerals because the content per serving is so very low, way below the RDI levels even for the most important trace minerals.


Generally with lactic acidosis the problem is the impaired metabolism of the cells not the acidic food or what is even more stupid – “stored acidity in the body and acidic blood”.

Body will recover very fast in a matter of days or weeks when you supply the nutrition and avoid the further intake of toxins – mostly drugs.

Drugs like metformin, alcohol and antiviral drugs are potent chemicals which may lead to lactic acidosis.[5] The dosage and individual genetic profile of the person are the only two factors which affect the severity of lactic acidosis we end up with.


1) Munnich A, Saudubray JM, Cotisson A, Coudĕ FX, Ogier H, Charpentier C, Marsac C, Carrĕ G, Bourgeay-Causse M, Frĕzal J. Biotin dependent multiple carboxylase deficiency presenting as a congenital lactic acidosis. Eur J Pediatr. 1981 Oct;137(2):203-6.

2) Rémond C, Viard L, Paut O, Giraud P, Camboulives J. Severe lactic acidosis and thiamine deficiency during parenteral nutrition in a child. Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 1999 Apr;18(4):445-50.

3) Oriot D, Wood C, Gottesman R, Huault G. Severe lactic acidosis related to acute thiamine deficiency. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1991 Jan-Feb;15(1):105-9.

4) Karin Amrein, Werner Ribitsch, Ronald Otto, Harald C Worm, and Rudolf E Stauber. Severe lactic acidosis reversed by thiamine within 24 hours. Crit Care. 2011; 15(6): 457.

5) Duwoos H, Bertrand CM, Husson A, Cramer J, Tayot J. Reversible hyperlactatemia induced by phenformin with muscular asthenia and cardio-respiratory signs. Presse Med. 1970 Jan 3;78(1):23-6.

6) Jacobs ER, Soulsby ME, Bone RC, Wilson FJ Jr, Hiller FC. Ibuprofen in canine endotoxin shock. J Clin Invest. 1982 Sep;70(3):536-41.

7) Arik Azoulay, MSc, BComm, Philippe Garzon, BSc, and Mark J Eisenberg, MD, MPH. Comparison of the Mineral Content of Tap Water and Bottled Waters. J Gen Intern Med. 2001 Mar; 16(3): 168–175.

3 Responses

  1. Rachael says:

    I just found this article after search for “thiamine psoriasis”. I have developed severe psoriasis after many years of struggling with ill health and bad digestion. I also have problems with my heart related to POTS Syndrome and PVST which I have read is caused directly by a thiamine deficiency. Since I was raised on junk food and soda growing up, I am almost certain that I developed this deficiency in childhood.

    I was just wondering what the connection is to thiamine deficiency and psoriasis , since I didn’t see it in your article.

    Also, I was shocked to see that lactic acidosis is related to thiamine deficiency since I have been experiencing burning and inflammation in my arms and face for well over a year now. Some internet searches suggested that it might be a sign of lactic acidosis. Now I am convinced that it is.

    Is there a specific test that I request from my doctor to determine if I am indeed suffering from lactic acidosis poisoning?

    Thanks so much for your time and information! God bless you. 🙂

    • John says:

      Psoriasis just like the most others chronic inflammatory diseases DO NOT have only ONE cause.

      But most of them share the same biochemical processes in the background, just the symptoms are different – Inflammation Causes The Symptoms We Call Diseases

      In one person it can be a B-vitamin deficiency (like thiamine) in other person it may be vitamin B3 deficiency, in other case it may be smoking (nicotine intake may make the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors quite unresponsive), or it may be choline deficiency, low bile flow due to gallstones, infected tooth,…

      Thiamine, specifically is involved in energy production (Krebs Cycle) and acetylcholine production –
      Subclinical Vitamin Deficiencies and Neurotoxins

  2. Joel says:

    I had moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for about 10 years. Different supplements or dietary restrictions would help the condition from time to time only to eventually come back worse than ever. By the time I was 53 yrs. old, I was desperate, I had acute psoriasis from my chest to my toes and extremities (nails included), while internally I thought I was literally slowly dying from the inside out because of the constant pain and aching from inflammation. To combat this over the last couple of years I stopped drinking, and switched to a plant based diet (vegan except for fish oil supplements) cut out most starches and all nightshades (especially potatoes) and also no caffeine. All of this helped to some degree but something was missing to kick what I was doing into gear. After reading this article I added thiamine supplements to my daily regimen 500 mg per day.
    This was my magic bullet. In the span of a month my skin has cleared up about 90% and is improving daily. But it is the aches and constant pain steadily subsiding that is the greatest benefit for me. I do masonry work for a living and it is great to be able to lift materials and move without the feeling of knives being stabbed into my elbow joints or my kidneys being punched. I am so happy now and I am slowly reintroducing foods to my diet that I had cut out and my condition is still improving. I just have to be very careful still with alcohol, we’ll see what the future brings in this area. But overall it is amazing just how quickly I was able to regain a quality of life that I thought I would never see again. Thiamine and Biotin are more than worth a shot.

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