Vitamin B1 is a vital nutrient that is a member of the Vitamin B complex family. It has an important role in sustaining a healthy nervous system and boosting the body’s cardiovascular functioning.
The vitamin B complex family has a total of eight water-soluble vitamins, and Vitamin B1 is one of them. It assists in the transforming carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used to give energy for performing different bodily functions. Vitamin B1 is also necessary for breaking down proteins and fats.
Aside from these health benefits, vitamin B1 upholds the muscle tone along the digestive tract’s walls and supports the health of the hair, skin, mouth, eyes, and liver. Moreover, it develops the ability of the body to endure stress which is why it’s frequently called the “anti-stress vitamin.”
Significant Vitamin B1 Sources
The richest sources of Vitamin B1 are yeast and liver. Some other significant sources are pork, rye, whole-grain cereals, kidney beans and wheat germ. The list also includes tuna, potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, green peas, romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, eggplant and Brussels sprouts. Incorporating these foods into your regular diet will guarantee a healthy amount of the B1 vitamin. However, keep in mind that cooking or refrigerating the foods for too long may remove the beneficial nutrients of Vitamin B1.
Symptoms of Vitamin B1 Deficiency
If you have insufficient amounts of vitamin B1, you will experience its initial symptoms like irritability, lethargy, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, loss of memory, weight loss, constipation/ indigestion and tenderness of the calf muscle. If this condition is not treated immediately, the symptoms might produce beriberi—a more dangerous form of thiamin deficiency. Beriberi is characterized by abnormalities in the nerve, brain, and heart, but the symptoms might depend on several factors and differ in every person.
Here are more details regarding this condition:
Wet Beriberi: The common symptoms of Wet Beriberi may probably consist of a fast heartbeat that’s unusual, pulmonary edema, fluid retention in the legs, and hypotension, which might lead to shock and even death.
Dry Beriberi: Dry Beriberi may probably include muscle and nerve abnormalities, leg cramps, muscle atrophy, a prickling feeling in the toes and even a burning sensation in the feet at night,
Infantile Beriberi: Infantile Beriberi is seen in newborn babies whose mothers are already suffering from thiamin deficiency. Infants acquire this condition through breastfeeding. Loss of reflexes, heart failure, and aphonia are a few examples of its common symptoms. So if you are pregnant, it is more important to assure that you have adequate amounts of vitamin B1 in your diet.
Brain Abnormalities: Thiamin deficiency, for those who are alcoholics, could cause brain abnormalities like Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Its common symptoms consist of fuzziness, involuntary eye movements, trouble walking and partial eye paralysis. If left untreated, these symptoms might lead to death. Korsakoff’s psychosis’ few common symptoms include incoherence, memory loss, and confabulation.
Top Health Benefits of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 supports numerous vital bodily functions. Here are some of its amazing benefits:
Involved in Energy Production: Sugar is the main source of energy in our body. It is oxidized to produce a usable form of energy caused by the existence of vitamin B1. It is part of an intricate enzyme system known as the pyruvate dehydrogenase system, which aids in sugar’s oxidation. It is also necessary for this enzyme system’s functioning, which discharges energy for a wide-range of normal body functions.
Proper Cardiac Function: Vitamin B1 assists in producing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required to send messages to the muscles and nerves. It also guarantees proper cardiac function. Therefore, insufficient levels of Vitamin B1 may cause irregular cardiac functions. When given vitamin B1 intravenously for one week, people who are struggling with congestive heart failure displayed substantial developments in their echocardiograms, which verifies that it can avoid heart disease.
Development of Myelin Sheaths: Vitamin B1 aids in the healthy development of myelin sheaths around nerves. Insufficient levels of Vitamin B1 may result in the deterioration of these coverings, which may cause nerve damage.
Inhibits Cataracts: Vitamin B1, when used together with other vital nutrients, can slow down or even inhibit the incidence of cataracts.
Anti-Aging Properties: Vitamin B1 acts as a potent antioxidant which assists in guarding the body against various signs of aging such as age spots, wrinkles, and other age-related issues that often impacts the organ systems.
Red Blood Cell Production: Vitamin B1 has a crucial role in red blood cells’ production, which consecutively keeps people active, invigorated and healthy.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease: Vitamin B1 is believed to delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease. People who have Alzheimer’s disease have benefited when treated with supplements of vitamin B1 (100 mg) daily. Today, there are ongoing placebo-controlled trial studies to discover more about the process by which this takes place.
Enhances Memory: Vitamin B1 can enhance your memory and concentration. It is also useful in managing various nervous conditions like Bell’s palsy and multiple sclerosis. Due to its positive effect on the nervous system and a good mental condition, it is commonly known as a “morale vitamin.”
Guarantees Proper Digestion: Vitamin B1 also assist in the excretion of hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for the thorough digestion of food particles.
Boosts Appetite: Vitamin B1 can significantly boost appetite and mental awareness.
Alcoholism: Vitamin B1 can hold off certain insufficiencies produced by infections, cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, and various effects of alcoholism.
An Important Reminder
Since vitamin B1 is a vitamin that’s water-soluble and will be ejected through urine, see to it that you retain a well-balanced diet that can refill the needed amounts of vitamin B1 on a regular basis.