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Home :: Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Alternative name :: Thiamine

What is Vitamin B1 ?

Vitamin B1 is also know as thiamine. Vitamin B1 in the form of thiamine hydrochloride, is a white crystalline powder with a yeast like odour and a saltish taste. Vitamin B1 is a water soluble. Up until 1930, thousands of people each year died of a central nervous system disease called beriberi. The disease damaged nerves, leaving victims mentally impaired, crippled, paralyzed, or dead. In 1930, scientists discovered a substance in food that prevented the disease. The substance was named thiamin, also known as vitamin B1 and soon commercially milled flours were enriched with the vitamin.

Benefits of Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 enhances circulation, assists in blood formation, aids in carbohydrate metabolism, and is needed to produce hydrochloric acid, which helps digest food. The vitamin B1 also helps convert excess blood glucose into stored fat. It maintains proper nerve-impulse transmission, optimizes cognitive activity, and maintains brain function. The vitamin B1 also maintains the muscles of the intestines, stomach, and heart. Thiamine additionally has an antioxidant effect, protecting the body from the harmful effects of alcohol, pollutants, and smoking.

Recommended Dosage of Vitamin B1

The minimum Recommended Dosage Allowance of Vitamin B1 are :-

  • Men - 1.5 mg.
  • Women - 1.1 mg.
  • Pregnant women - 1.5 mg.
  • Childern - 1.1 mg.

Thiamine is considered nontoxic even in high doses.

Excessive Intake of Vitamin B1

Overdose symptoms of Vitamin B1 includes hypersensitive reactions, resembling anaphylactic shock and drowsiness.

Special Intake of Vitamin B1

Individuals who take antibiotics or sulfa drugs, are on oral contraceptives, drink alcohol daily, eat a diet high in simple carbohydrates, or exercise heavily each day have increased needs for vitamin B1.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B1

Common deficiency symptoms of Vitamin B1 are appetite loss, constipation, fatigue, forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, irregular heartbeat, irritability, labored breathing, muscle atrophy, nervousness, numbness in hands and feet, poor coordination, weakness, and weight loss. Beriberi, a nervous system disease that is rare in developed nations, is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B1.

Rich Food Sources of Vitamin B1

The richest food sources of Vitamin B1 include brown rice, egg yolks, fish, legumes, liver, peanuts, peas, pork, poultry, rice bran, wheat germ, and whole grains. Other sources are asparagus, brewer's yeast, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dulse, kelp, most nuts, oatmeal, plums, dried prunes, raisins, spirulina, and watercress.

Herbs that contain Vitamin B1 include alfalfa, bladderwrack, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, hops, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, sage, yarrow, and yellow dock.

Cautions

Vitamin B1 is best absorbed when ingested with other B vitamins. Antibiotics, phenytoin (Dilantin, a drug used to prevent seizures), sulfa drugs, and oral contraceptives, and heavy alcohol or caffeine consumption may decrease thiamine levels in the body. A high carbohydrate diet increases the need for thiamine. Alcoholics are among those most often deficient in thiamine.



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