Because vitamin B has many forms and functions we will look at each of the B vitamins individually. We’ll start with B1…makes logical sense right?
What is Vitamin B1?
Vitamin B 1 is a water-soluble also known as Thiamin. A water-soluble vitamin means that any excess vitamin is disposed from the body by urine. This vitamin is available naturally through foods, can be added to food products such as cereal, and is available as a dietary supplement.
What Does Vitamin B1 Do?
Vitamin B1 is responsible for many chemical reactions in the body. One of the most important roles the vitamin has is helping cells convert carbohydrates into energy. Carbohydrates are important for providing energy to the nervous system and brain. Because vitamin B1 helps create energy, it is crucial for growth and development of the body. Thiamin is also important for muscle contraction and conductivity of nerve cells. This is important for maintaining a normal heart beat rhythm. Thiamin is sometimes called the “Anti-Stress” vitamin because it helps the brain deal with stressful situations and helps straightening the immune system. And lastly, vitamin B1 is helpful in creating pyruvate. Pyruvate is a chemical responsible for producing lactate, which warns the body when oxygen. For example, you are lifting weights and pain develops in your arm muscles, this is lactate telling you that your muscles need a momentary rest before continuing exercise.
How Much Vitamin B1 Do You Need?
The National Institute of Health recommends these doses to maintain healthy Thiamin levels.
|Birth to 6 months*||0.2 mg||0.2 mg|
|7–12 months*||0.3 mg||0.3 mg|
|1–3 years||0.5 mg||0.5 mg|
|4–8 years||0.6 mg||0.6 mg|
|9–13 years||0.9 mg||0.9 mg|
|14–18 years||1.2 mg||1.0 mg||1.4 mg||1.4 mg|
|19-50 years||1.2 mg||1.1 mg||1.4 mg||1.4 mg|
|51+ years||1.2 mg||1.1 mg|
Food Sources that contain vitamin B1 are:
Enriched grains and whole wheats like bread, cereal, pasta, and rice. Theres also beef liver, black beans, trout, tuna, clams, mollusks, pork, eggs, squash, oranges, corn, yogurt, nuts and lagoons.
Overdoses and Deficiency
Because excess Thiamin is disposed through the body, it is rare for overdose effects to occur. However, because thiamin is linked to the contraction of heart muscles, too much vitamin B1 can cause irregular heartbeat, low-blood pressure, and other cardiac problems.
Vitamin B1 deficiency is much more common and dangerous. A lack of Thiamin can cause fatigue, confusion, mild psychosis, and nerve damage. Long term deficiency in early stages can cause confusion, short-term memory loss, weight loss, anorexia, and muscle weakness.
In late stages, Wernicke-Korsakoff can develop. This is a two stage diseases. First stage known as Wernicke encephalopathy, or disease affecting the brain. Symptoms include mental confusion, ataxia, and ophthalmoplegia or paralysis of muscles in eye. Without treatment 20% of patients die from Wernicke and those who survive then develop Korsakoff psychosis. This type of psychosis includes severe short-term memory loss, loss of long term memory, hallucinations, and confabulation.
There are groups of people who are more prone to vitamin b1 deficiency and that includes those who have alcoholism, are elderly, have diabetes, AIDS/HIV positive, and people who have gone through bariatric surgery or surgery performed on stomach or intestines to promote weight loss.
Be sure to take your vitamins at recommended doses to live a healthy and safe life.