Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms Health Benefits | Thiamine
Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is also known as Thiamine. It belongs to the vitamin B complex family. The main role of vitamin B1 is conversion of carbohydrates into energy. Sometimes it is referred to as anti-stress vitamin because it strengthens the immune system and improves the body’s ability to defy stressful conditions. This was the first B vitamin scientists discovered, so it is named as B1. Thiamine is an important nutrient for maintaining healthy nervous system, eyes, liver, mouth, skin and hair.
Important Sources Of Vitamin B1:
Thiamine is richly found in yeast, liver, whole-grain cereals, pork, wheat germ, rye and kidney beans. Vitamin B1 is also found in some vegetables like mushrooms, potatoes, asparagus, spinach, green peas, tuna, sunflower seeds, Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and eggplant. Thiamine is destroyed due to overcooking and long-term storage.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms:
The deficiency symptoms of vitamin B1 include irritability, lethargy, weight loss, indigestion, and loss of memory, loss of appetite and muscle weakness. Severe thiamine deficiency causes beriberi. These symptoms are different from person to person and depend on a number of factors. The main types of beriberi are:
1. Dry Beriberi:
Dry beriberi causes nerve and muscle abnormalities, leg cramps, burning sensation feet at night, pricking sensation in the toes, muscle atrophy, leg cramps.
2. Wet Beriberi:
Increased heartbeat, accumulation of fluid in legs, pulmonary edema and low blood pressure are the generally observed symptoms which may result in death, if not treated promptly.
3. Brain Abnormalities:
Deficiency of vitamin B1 can cause more serious problems in habitual drunkards who are prone to be affected by Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome. The main symptoms of the syndrome include blurry vision, involuntary eye movements, unsteady gait while walking, partial ophthalmoplegia (palsy of eye muscles). In the absence of timely treatment, these symptoms can turn pernicious to life. The common ill effects of Korsakoff’s psychosis include memory loss, illogical behaviour, incomprehensible obscure speech, delirious mind.
4. Infantile Beriberi:
The thiamine deficiency in pregnant women does more harm to the new born infant than the mother. Newborns are vulnerable to be affected by infantile beriberi when they drink the breast milk of their sick mothers suffering from acute deficiency of thiamine. Cessation of cardiac functions, non-response to stimuli, inability to speak due to badly damaged wind pipe(larynx) are the serious problems observed in the infants dependent on breast milk of thiamine-deficient mothers.
Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamin B1:
Here we list Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) intake of vitamin B1 in the form of food or supplements. Supplements should be used under the physician suggestion.
0-6 months: 0.2mg/day
7-12 months: 0.3mg/day
1-3 years: 0.5mg/day
4-8 years: 0.6mg/day
9-13 years: 0.9mg/day
14-18 years: 1.2mg/day
14-18 years: 1mg/day
Pregnant or breastfeeding women: 1.4mg/day
Health Benefits Of Vitamin B1:
Vitamin B1 plays a key role in maintaining human health. Major health benefits of vitamin B1 are explained below in detail.
1. Improves Memory:
Vitamin B1 fights against many nervous disorders like multiple sclerosis and Bell’s palsy. Thiamine activates nervous system and keeps it in good active condition. It helps indirectly in improving memory and concentration abilities of mind.
2. Prevents Alzheimer ’s Disease:
Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are found to have shown the signs of relief from the disease when they are administered with a dosage of 100 milligrams of vitamin B1 supplements per day. Although the treatment is used as a placebo on the patients, the actual functioning of thiamine supplements is being determined by medical scientists.
3. Cardiovascular Functions:
Proper intake of thiamine regulates blood circulatory system and improves cardio vascular functions. People with minor heart ailments have shown improvement in their health status when adequate supplements of vitamin 1 are given to them.
4. Promotes Energy Production:
The presence of vitamin B1 is assessed by the measurement of thiamine pyrophosphate concentration or the extent of activity of thiamine-dependent enzyme called transketolase, in red blood cells. As glucose is the key compound for normal functioning of nervous system, inadequacy of vitamin B1 results in acute neurological disorders. Severe paucity of thiamine manifests in chronic drunkards and in pregnant women after several bouts of vomiting and in people of post-bariatric surgery.
5. Eye Care:
Vitamin B1 strengthens eye muscles and prevent stress on eyes and neuron degeneration.
6. Development Of Myelin Sheaths:
The myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of certain cells works as an insulator from electric impulses. It is of considerable significance for proper functioning of nervous system. Vitamin B1 is found to support the development of myelin sheaths.
7. Regulates Appetite:
Thiamine deficiency can be compensated by intake of 5 to 30 mg a day which would ensure revival of appetite. However, the appropriate dosage of Vitamin B1 is to be followed by the recommendation of a doctor.
8. Mucous Membranes:
Vitamin B1 helps break down fats and proteins and enables mucous membranes healthy. The mucous membranes protect nasal canal, lungs, eyelids from dirt and pathogens and provide immunity to the inner organs they veil over.
9. Anti-aging Properties:
The metabolism of the body is kept active and the nervous system and brain are well nourished by sufficient quantities of thiamine. With active metabolism in the body, the process of aging is retarded by vitamin B1.
Word Of Caution:
Taking too much of vitamin B1 causes stomach upset. In rare cases vitamin B1 supplements causes an allergic reactions. The allergic reaction symptoms are itchy skin, dry or a rash skin. Sometimes may occur severe reaction resulting in dizziness, nausea, swelling of the hands, mouth, face and shortness of breath. So consumption of high amount of vitamin B1 supplements without consulting a doctor.