Vitamin B1 Benefits & Deficiency Risks

Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is a sulfur containing, water soluble vitamin of the B complex. It was originally named aneurin because when deficient in the human body it causes negative neurological effects, but then renamed with its present generic description.

Vitamin B1 phosphate contributes to cellular processes. Its most useful phosphate, Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), is a coenzyme in the catabolism of sugars and amino acids. Thiamine is present in the biochemistry of all living organisms, but animals obtain it through diet.

A deficiency of thiamine in mammals results in beriberi, a disease affecting the peripheral nervous system and cardiovascular system.

Vitamin B1: Functions in the Human Body

Vitamin B1 helps to fuel the body by converting blood sugar to energy and is an integral part of muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous system functionality. Vitamin B1 is actively involved in assisting carbohydrate metabolism, breathing, circulation, and producing hydrochloric acid.

Vitamin B1 is essential for healthy mucous membranes and every cell in the body requires vitamin B1 to function normally.

Vitamin B1: Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

The RDI is considered to be approximately 1.4mg in most countries and there is no Tolerable Intake Level (UL) set for Vitamin B1 at this time. A study using female volunteers claims that daily doses of 50mg increased mental acuity.

Vitamin B1: Risk of Overdose

There is insufficient data to speculate on whether seriously high doses of vitamin B1 (thiamine) can be fatal. However, deficiency is extremely dangerous and usually caused by malnutrition. Deficiency causes beriberi, a neurological and cardiovascular disease that takes on one of three different forms, dry beriberi, wet beriberi, and infantile beriberi, all with varying symptoms.

General vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to severe fatigue of eyes, neurodegeneration, wasting, and death. Deficiency is particularly prevalent where alcohol consumption is present.

Alcohol depletes the body of Vitamin B1 and excessive consumption may cause neurological disorders such as Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome) and Korsakoff’s psychosis (alcohol amnestic disorder)

Read more about the B Vitamin family

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
Vitamin B3 or Niacin
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B12

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