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Did you know that vitamin B-1 has two other widely used names? Thiamine is a name used in the US and Aneurin is the popular name in Europe. Thiamin (without the e) is also used to refer to B-1.
Vitamin B-1 is important to your body’s health. You probably have heard of beriberi before. It can have pretty severe effects on your nervous system, heart, brain, cellular health and energy levels to name a few problem areas affected by a deficiency of B-1.
Interestingly enough, a person with beriberi that has reached the point of barely being able to move, will often respond to a B-1 injection in just a few hours to the point that they will be able to get up and walk again. Beriberi is truly a deficiency disease.
Thiamine is important to the energy production system of every cell in your body. ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate is the energy currency that powers your body. There are a few pathways that your cell uses to make ATP, the major one being Kreb’s cycle. Without sufficient quantities of B-1, your body is restricted in being able to produce the all necessary ATP.
Fortunately, especially in North America, you can get Thiamine from your diet. You can get B-1 from many foods. A few are pork, peanuts, whole grains and beans (legumes). There are other foods, this is just a short list for you convenience.
White rice has the hull stripped from it which causes the rice to become devoid of B-1. This leads to high incidence of beriberi in some Asian countries as rice is relied upon heavily upon as a staple food.
Some seafood may actually inhibit the absorption of B-1 in the digestive tract. Heat and radiation will destroy thiamine and alcohol will interfere with it’s uptake from the digestive track.
Vitamin B-1 is a water soluble vitamin which means that an extra supply is not stored in your body tissues. A fat soluble vitamin, which B-1 is not, would be stored in body tissues. Vitamin B-1 must be continually obtained from your diet.
Some symptoms in the early stages of thiamine deficiency include irritability, fatigue, apathy, abdominal pain, drowsiness and poor concentration. Later stages of thiamine deficiency are much more severe and can manifest in a number of ways. A few manifestations are tachycardia (fast heart beat), vomiting, heart failure, weakness, itching, blue skin color, numbness and memory loss.
Alcoholics, dialysis patients, HIV patients, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients often suffer from thiamine deficiency. If you would like a more exhausting list of symptoms, risk groups and other information associated with B-1 deficiency, try emedicine.
Vitamin B-1 is available at your local health food store and drug stores without a prescription. A B-1 deficiency usually is accompanied by a deficiency of other B vitamins. Therefore, B-1 is usually taken within a B-complex and not usually taken alone.
Supplementation for pregnant mothers should be done under the advisement of a physician.
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe a solution to any health condition. If you have or think you have a health condition, consult your physician immediately.