Vitamin B1 - thiamine
Thiamin, also called vitamin B1, is used in many different body functions and deficiencies may have far reaching effects on the body, yet very little of this vitamin is stored in the body, and depletion of this vitamin can happen within 14 days.
Thiamin is also a miraculous nutrient, somebody suffering from beriberi, scarcely able to lift their head from their pillow, will respond quickly from injected thiamin, and will be on their feet within a matter of hours.
Vitamin B1 - thiamine - is required for
Thiamin may enhance circulation, helps with blood formation and the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is also required for the health of the nervous system and is used in the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is used in the manufacture of hydrochloric acid, and therefore plays a part in digestion.
It is also great for the brain and may help with depression and assist with memory and learning. In children it is required for growth and has shown some indication to assist in arthritis, cataracts as well as infertility.
Deficiency of vitamin B1
A deficiency will result in beriberi, and minor deficiencies may be indicated with extreme fatigue, irritability, constipation, edema and an enlarged liver. Forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart changes, irritability, labored breathing and loss of appetite may also be experienced.
With too little thiamin around a person may also experience nervousness, numbness of the hands and feet, pain and sensitivity, poor coordination, tingling sensations, weak and sore muscles, general weakness and severe weight loss.
The dosage underneath is the (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
Male 1.4 mg per day and female 1.0 mg per day, although 50 mg is usually used in supplementation.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
Thiamin toxicity is uncommon; as excesses are readily excreted, although long-term supplementation of amounts larger than 3 gram have been known to cause toxicity.
Best used with
Thiamin should be taken with the B group vitamins and manganese.
When more may be required
When taking alcohol, antacids and birth control pills or if you have hormone replacement therapy, you need to look at your thiamin intake. People suffering from depression or anxiety and those passing large volumes of urine, or suffering from an infection may all require more thiamin.
Enemy of vitamin B1
Thiamin is destroyed in cooking, and intake may be low if the diet is high in refined foods. Do not add soda if you are boiling green vegetables since soda is alkaline and will destroy thiamin.
Other interesting points
It is thought that thiamin can be useful for motion sickness in air and sea travel, and that this vitamin also repels insects when excreted through the skin.
Food sources of vitamin B1
Sunflower seeds, peanuts, wheat bran, beef liver, pork, seafood, egg-yolk, beans all contain good amounts of thiamin.