Vitamin B1, thiamine or thiamine enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It is necessary for glucose metabolism and plays a key role in nerve, muscle and heart function.
Vitamin B complex all vitamins B1 is a water-soluble vitamin.
Vitamins are classified according to the substances in which they dissolve. Some of them are water soluble while others are oil soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are transported through the bloodstream. What the body does not use is excreted in the urine.
High concentrations of vitamin B1 are found in the outer layers and seeds of yeast, beef, pork, nuts, whole grains and legumes, as well as grains.
The fruits and vegetables it contains include cauliflower, liver, oranges, eggs, potatoes, asparagus, and cabbage.
Other sources include brewer’s yeast and black ground molasses.
Cereals and products made with white flour or white rice can be enriched with B vitamins.
In the United States, people consume about half of their vitamin B1 intake naturally in foods containing thiamine, while the rest comes from foods fortified with vitamin.
Heating, cooking, and processing food and boiling in water destroys thiamine. Since vitamin B1 is water soluble, it mixes with cooking water. Unfortified white rice will only contain one tenth of the thiamine found in brown rice.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) states that one serving of fortified breakfast cereals provide 1.5 milligrams (mg) of thiamine, more than 100 percent of the daily recommended amount.
A slice of whole wheat bread contains 0.1 mg or 7 percent of the daily need. Cheese, chicken and apples do not contain thiamine.
People need a constant supply of vitamin B1 because it is not stored in the body. It should be a part of the daily diet.
Vitamin B1 or thiamine helps prevent complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach and intestines. It also plays a role in electrolyte flow into and out of muscle and nerve cells.
It helps prevent diseases such as beriberi, which includes heart, nervous and digestive system ailments.
Uses in Medicine
Patients who can take thiamine to treat low vitamin B1 levels include patients with peripheral neuritis or pellagra, which are inflammation of nerves outside the brain.
People with ulcerative colitis, persistent diarrhea, and loss of appetite may also take thiamine. One can also be given injections of thiamine into those who are comatose.
Some athletes use thiamine to improve their performance. It is not a prohibited substance for athletes in the USA
Other conditions that thiamine supplements can help include:
Not all of these uses have been firmly confirmed by research.
Vitamin B1 deficiency often leads to beriberi, a condition with problems with peripheral nerves and weakening.
Weight loss and loss of appetite may occur.
There may be mental problems such as confusion and short-term memory loss.
Muscles may become weak and cardiovascular symptoms such as an enlarged heart may occur.
How much vitamin B1 do we need?
In the USA, the recommended daily oral intake (RDA) of thiamine is 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women over 18 years old. Pregnant or breastfeeding women of all ages should consume 1.4 mg every day.
Who is at risk of B1 deficiency?
Patients with malnutrition, cancer, ‘morning sickness’ during pregnancy, bariatric surgery and hemodialysis are at risk of thiamine deficiency.
People who regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol may have a deficiency as they may not be able to absorb thiamine from their food.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a disease that affects patients with chronic alcoholism. It is linked to a thiamine deficiency and can be fatal if left untreated.
People with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and those who abstain from alcohol can receive thiamine injections to help them recover.
Other diseases, such as HIV, can reduce the absorption of nutrients, and this can lead to vitamin B1 deficiency.
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