Vitamin B1 is formally known by other names such as thiamin and thiamine. Thiamin is a contraction of thio-vitamin, meaning a “sulfur-containing vitamin.” It was originally named aneurin and later classified as the first vitamin in the B group.
Vitamin B1 is one of the eight water-soluble vitamins in the B complex family. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn is used to produce energy for carrying out various bodily functions. Vitamin B1 is also required for the breakdown of fats and protein.
In addition to these health benefits, it maintain the muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract and promotes the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver. It also improves the body’s ability to withstand stress and is often called the “anti-stress” vitamin.
The Benefits of Filling the needs of Vitamin B1 appropriately are —
- Involved in Energy Production — Sugar is the principal source of energy in our body where it is oxidized to form a usable form of energy due to the presence of vitamin B1. It is part of a complex enzyme system called the pyruvate dehydrogenase system, which helps in the oxidation of sugar. Vitamin B1 is required for the functioning of this enzyme system, which releases energy for a variety of normal functions in the body.
- Development of Myelin Sheaths — Vitamin B1 helps in the proper development of myelin sheaths around nerves. A deficiency of Vitamin B1 might result in the degeneration of these coverings, which can result in nerve death and damage.
- Proper Cardiac Function — This vitamin helps in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is used to relay messages between the nerves and muscles and to ensure proper cardiac function. Vitamin B1 deficiency can therefore result in irregular cardiac functions. People suffering from congestive heart failure, when given vitamin B1 intravenously for seven days, showed considerable improvements in their echocardiograms, which proves that vitamin B1 can prevent heart disease.
- Prevents Cataracts — When used along with other essential nutrients, Vitamin B1 can delay or prevent the occurrence of cataracts.
- Anti-Aging Properties — Vitamin B1 works as a powerful antioxidant, which helps you protect your body from the signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots, and other age-related conditions that regularly affect the organ systems.
- Ensures Proper Digestion — This vitamin also helps in the secretion of hydrochloric acid, which is essential for the complete digestion of food particles.
- Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease — Vitamin B1 is thought to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. People suffering from this disease have benefited when treated with vitamin B1 supplements of 100 mg per day. There are placebo-controlled trial studies that are ongoing to determine more about the mechanism by which this occurs.
- Improves Memory — Vitamin B1 can improve your memory and powers of concentration. It is also used in the management of many nervous disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Bell’s palsy.
- Vitamin B1 is better known as a “morale vitamin” for its positive impact on the nervous system and a healthy mental attitude.
- Red Blood Cell Production — Vitamin B1 plays an important role in the production of red blood cells, which in turn keeps people healthy, active, and energized.
- Alcoholism — Vitamin B1 can fend off the deficiencies caused by cirrhosis, infections, hyperthyroidism, and the other effects of alcholism.
- Improves Appetite — This vitamin can also significantly improve appetite and mental alertness.
- Prevent Anemia — Health benefits of vitamin b1 for preventing anemia is one of the best solutions. Anemia causes hypoxia or lack of oxygen. It also triggers a decrease in hemoglobin levels in the red blood. Vitamin B has a role in helping the production of red blood cells and increases the oxygen throughout the body. So, if the blood circulation system is good, the body isn’t lack of oxygen
- Protect the mucous membrane — The body is unique, it has a mucous membranes that protecting our bodies from foreign microorganisms that can cause infection. That is why, a mucous membranes should protects. Vitamin B1 helps the formation of new mucous membranes cells and if deficiency can cause dry mucous membranes and rupture
- Help Glucose Metabolism — Vitamin B complex, such as B1 is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose, to create the energy optimally. Carbohydrate metabolism plays an important role in maintaining the body system balancing, especially in the liver, because keeping blood glucose levels is the roles of liver.
- Prevent kidney disease — Vitamin B1 is effective to prevent Kidney failure that the caused by complications of diabetes type 2. Several studies have shown, an intake of 100 mg of vitamin B1 3 times a day for 3 months can reduce levels of albumin in the urine, where the albumin itself be an indicator of diabetes disorders.
- Maintain Eye Health — Vitamin B1, fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 helps to maintain eye health and prevent the formation of cataracts. Vitamin B1 maintain health condition, including neurons associated with the performance of the eye. Although not directly optimize the performance of the retina, but the vitamin b1 maintain relationships eyes with neural retina
- Avoid Skin Rash — Skin rash usually occurs as a result of blood vessels or capillaries dense, skin is exposed to chemicals, animal waste which had not been cleaned, or because viruses and bacteria. But you should know that excessive amounts of vitamin B1 can also cause a skin rash. Rash has many forms. What is certain when the skin is irritated by becoming red, swollen, or grainy like boils. Even this rash usually does not cover the area of the skin. The course of treatment using the ointment from the doctor for this type of skin rash and also reduces vitamin B1, both from the consumption of food and medicines.
- Avoid Hypertension — Hypertension or high blood pressure in the arteries that causes the heart to work harder. Hypertension can triggers the other disease, such as stroke, heart failure, and chronic renal, as a result of someone who consumes vitamin B1 excessively causes kidney problems. So checking blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney function, since renal impairment is improperly can be happen from the excess of vitamin B1 which settles in the body.
- Prevent Heart Palpitations — Palpitations or heart pounding who usually the result of hyperkalemia that caused by high potassium levels in the blood. Because the impact of excessive consumption of vitamin B1 that causes deposition in the kidneys. On an ongoing basis, palpitations of the heart can cause heart failure and heart attack.
- Prevent Constipation — Indigestion or nutrient absorption disorder in the intestine may cause constipation. Constipation itself mean disruption in expenditure feces. In the large intestine water is absorbed and the rest of the food is decomposed into feces. Thus, in the normal state of man where defecation is done once a day. But if constipation can be 2-3 days, it is able to defecate. This is why the consumption of fruits, vegetables rich in vitamins B1 must continue to be consumed.
- Maintain Baby’s Organ Development — Development of the baby’s organs, especially the nervous system is important to be supported by the consumption of vitamin B1. Beriberi disease will affect the brain including nervous system normality. Besides, the baby’s organs are developing such organ movement. Then important organs such as the heart and liver that develops after consuming these vitamin B1 or thiamine.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms —
Some of the early symptoms of deficiency might include lethargy, irritability, loss of memory, loss of sleep or appetite, weight loss, indigestion or constipation, and calf muscle tenderness. If left untreated these initial symptoms might lead to a more severe form of thiamin deficiency, known as beriberi. This condition is characterized by nerve, heart, and brain abnormalities, but the symptoms might vary in every person and depends on a number of factors. Some more examples are explained below:
Dry Beriberi — This condition might involve nerve and muscle abnormalities, a prickling sensation in the toes, a burning sensation in the feet at night, leg cramps and muscle atrophy.
Wet Beriberi — Common symptoms might include abnormally fast heart beat, fluid retention in the legs, pulmonary edema, and hypotension, which might result in shock and even death.
Brain Abnormalities — In alcoholics, thiamin deficiency might result in brain abnormalities such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Some of its common symptoms include haziness, involuntary eye movements, difficulty in walking and partial paralysis of the eyes among other debilitating symptoms. If ignored, these symptoms could become fatal. Some of the common symptoms of Korsakoff’s psychosis include loss of memory, incoherence and confabulation.
Infantile Beriberi — This variety is commonly seen in newborn children of women already suffering from thiamin deficiency who contract this condition from the mother’s milk. Heart failure, loss of reflexes and aphonia are some of the common symptoms, so be sure to have sufficient levels of vitamin B1 if you are pregnant.
Daily requirement of Vitamin B1 —
For the needs of men, vitamin B1 with a dose according to age as follows (per day):
• 1 to 3 years (0.5 milligrams)
• 4 to 8 years (0.6 milligrams)
• 9 to 13 years (0.9 milligrams)
• 14 years and over (1.2 milligrams)
While for women are (per day):
• 1 to 3 years (0.5 mcg)
• 4 to 8 years (0.6 mcg)
• 9 to 13 years (0.9 mcg)
• 14 to 18 years (1.0 mcg)
• 19 years and older (1.1 mcg)
Sources of Vitamin B1 –-
Vitamin B1 is contained in foods and supplements. The food that we consume daily, usually contain vitamins B1, although its quantity may vary. Broadly speaking, a source of vitamin B1 consists of legumes, vegetables, especially green vegetables, fruits, and meats.
- Green Peas
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Flax seeds
- Ground Nuts
- Dried Grapes
So, consume vitamins, including vitamin B1 appropriately and in accordance with the doctor’s advice. If the vitamin deficiency or excessive is not good, because it can cause various health problems. once again, the body is unique.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.