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Human biomarkers for measuring thiamin intake and status

Thiamin status is either assessed by analysing the thiamin metabolites in the human sample or by measuring the degree of TDP-saturation of a thiamin-dependent enzyme (erythrocyte transketolase (ETK) assay) (1, 3).

Table 2: Thiamin biomarkers for recent intake and status (modified from (1))

 BiomarkerAnalysis type  SampleBenefits Intricacies 
 ETK activity

 Indirect measurement 

 Washed RBC 

 Assay of biological activity

 Not readily available


Direct analysis 


 Reflects recent intake

 Does not reflect status


 Direct analysis 


 Reflects recent intake

 Does not reflect status


 Direct analysis 


 Analysis of biological active form; reflects status

 Proper handling of specimen required


Laboratory accreditation and validation

LabCorp (headquartered in Burlington, North Caroline, USA) is a leading global life science company. Licensure/accreditation documentation may be requested by sending an email to:

This is a paid service, with a wide number of options, e.g. vitamin B1, whole blood.

ARUP Laboratories: A National Reference Laboratory is a US national clinical and anatomic pathology reference laboratory and a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development. A non-profit enterprise of the University of Utah, ARUP offers an extensive menu of highly complex and unique medical tests.

For accreditation documentation see this page.

E.g. Vitamin B1, whole bloodVitamin B1, plasma

For other laboratory accreditation and validation schemes, see the OpeN-Global laboratory accreditation page.

Technical assistance

Dr Daniela Hampel, PhD, Project Scientist,USDA/ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Department of Nutrition, University of California Davis

  • Email: or

Technical assistance

For questions on methods of thiamin assessment or for technical assistance

Continue reading about Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)