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What is Thiaminase?

Thiaminase is an enzyme that breaks down thiamine into two molecular parts.

Thiamine or thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is one of the B category:vitamins. It is a colourless compound and is soluble in water.

All B vitamins help the animal to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is "burned" to produce energy. Thiaminase will reduce this process.

If an animal eats raw animal flesh containing Thiaminase over a period of time of several months then thiaminase will break down the vitamin B1, an essential element of life and render it inactive. Therefore over time the health of your animal will suffer.

But thankfully thiaminase does not stay in the body long however and simply feeding the animal different foods which contain vitamin B1 is all that is required. Alternatively cook the raw flesh first as thiaminase decomposes if heated.

Animal flesh containing Thiaminase

(This is not an exhaustive list. But see link below.)

  • Goldfish
  • Fathead minnows (Rosy Reds)
  • Carp family – Cyprinus carpio, etc.
  • Bullhead catfish – Ameiurus m. melas
  • Buffalofish – Ictiobus cyprinellus
  • White Bass – Morone chrysops
  • Tuna fish
  • Mullet
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Whitefish
  • Shellfish -Mussels
  • Bacteria producing Thiaminase have been found in Guppies - Poecilia reticulata.
  • However small amounts of these foods are safe if only fed occasionally, say once a week, and as part of a varied diet.

Animal flesh NOT containing Thiaminase

(This is not an exhaustive list. But see link below.)

  • Cod – Gadus morhua
  • Haddock - Gadus aeglefinus
  • Eel – Anguilla rostrata
  • Eel - Anguilla anguilla
  • Pike – Esox lucius
  • Salmon – Salmo salar
  • Brown Trout – Salmo trutta fario
  • Lake Trout – Salvelinus namaycush
  • Rainbow Trout – Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Plaice - Pleuronectes platessa
  • Sprat - Sprattus sprattus
  • Tilapia
  • Salmonidae (trout, salmon, etc.)
  • Perch - Perca fluviatilis
  • Bass - Morone labrax
  • Hake - Merluccius merluccius
  • Halibut - Hippoglossus hippoglossus
  • Sole - Solea solea
  • Plaice - Pleuronectes platessa
  • Sprat - Sprattus sprattus
  • Skate - Raja spp.

Vitamin B Deficiency Symptoms

  • Constipation
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Heart enlargement
  • Lethargy