Vitamin B1 or thiamine, what is its importance
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, enables the body to use carbohydrate energy. This is essential for glucose metabolism and plays a major role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin.
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What is the meaning of a water soluble vitamin?
Vitamins are classified according to the substances in which they dissolve. Some vitamins dissolve in water, others in fat. Water-soluble vitamins are transported through the bloodstream. Any vitamin not used in the body is excreted in the urine.
Humans need a source of Vitamin B1 because it is not stored in the body. Therefore, it should be part of the daily diet .
See Also : Learn all about vitamin B2
What is the role of vitamin B (thiamine)?
All B vitamins are dissolved in water. It helps convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy, or glucose. They are essential for maintaining healthy liver, skin, hair and eyes. It is also involved in the nervous system and is essential for brain function.
Vitamin B is an anti-stress vitamin that boosts the body’s immunity against stress.
See Also : B vitamins and their properties
What is the benefit of vitamin B1?
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, helps prevent diseases of the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach and intestines. It also participates in the flow of electrolytes in muscles and nerve cells.
This vitamin prevents diseases such as beriberi , which include heart, nerve and digestive disorders.
Weight loss and loss of appetite may be due to a deficiency of thiamine. Thiamine deficiency causes mental problems, including confusion, short-term memory loss, muscle weakness, and cardiovascular symptoms.
Alcohol consumption causes a thiamine deficiency because alcohol interferes with the body’s absorption of thiamine.
People with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome who secrete alcohol can inject thiamine for improvement.
Other diseases, such as HIV, can reduce the absorption of nutrients, which may lead to a vitamin B1 deficiency.
Dietary sources of vitamin B1
High concentrations of vitamin B1 or thiamine are found in the outer layers and sprouts of cereals, as well as in yeast, beef, nuts, grains, whole grains and legumes. Fruits and vegetables contain B vitamins , including broccoli, oranges, eggs, potatoes, asparagus, and cabbage .
Breakfast cereals and products made with white flour or white rice can be fortified with B vitamins.
In the United States, about half of the body’s need for vitamin B1 is absorbed from foods that contain thiamine naturally.
Heating, cooking, processing, and boiling foods in water damages thiamine. Vitamin B1 or thiamine is soluble in water, so it dissolves in water during cooking. White rice contains one tenth of the thiamine found in brown rice.
How much vitamin B1 or thiamine do we need?
In the United States, it is recommended that men take 1.2 mg per day and women 1.1 mg of vitamin B1 or thiamine per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take 1.4 mg daily.
The National Institutes of Health notes that one serving of fortified breakfast cereals contains 1.5 mg of thiamine, which is more than 100% of the recommended daily serving.
A whole-wheat slice of bread contains 0.1 mg or 7% of the RDI, while cheese, chicken and apples do not contain thiamine.
Is it okay to take supplements?
While evidence suggests that taking too much vitamin B1 or thiamine isn’t harmful, the FDA warns against taking the supplement.
They ask people to consult a doctor before using a supplement.
Who is most at risk of vitamin B1 deficiency?
People who drink alcohol, poor diet, people with cancer, pregnant women, and dialysis are at risk of developing vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency.
Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include weight loss, loss of appetite, confusion, and short-term memory loss. Muscle weakness and cardiovascular problems may also be observed.
Vitamin B1 deficiency usually leads to beriberi, a disease that weakens nerves.
Use of vitamin B in medicines:
Patients who take thiamine to treat vitamin B1 deficiency are people who have inflammation of the nerves outside the brain or pellagra .
Patients with ulcerative colitis, persistent diarrhea, and poor appetite may also receive thiamine. Coma patients also benefit from thiamine injection.
Some athletes may use thiamine to help improve their performance. This vitamin is not on the WADA or USADA banned substance lists for athletes.
Other conditions in which thiamine supplementation may help include:
- eye lens darkening
- Glaucoma and other vision problems
- Cerebellar syndrome, a type of brain injury
- Cervical cancer
- Diabetic pain
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes
- Weak immune system.
Interference with vitamin B1
Tea and coffee contain tannin. This chemical might interfere with thiamine and make it more difficult to absorb.
Some chemicals in raw fish can destroy thiamine, so if eaten in large quantities, it could lead to a deficiency of this vitamin. Cooking destroys these chemicals, as does thiamine .