Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1

vitamin B1
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At first, Vitamin B1 was named aneurine due to its ability to alleviate neuritis and nerves inflammation.

Like other B vitamins, B1 plays significant role in the metabolism process. B1 is extremely important in converting the sugars of foods into energy. This B vitamin is necessary for proper functioning of the brain and nerves. It is also helpful at keeping a strong and healthy immune and digestive systems This vitamin helps balance electrolyte levels, especially in nerves and muscles. It is also important for proper nerve signal transmission and  muscle contractions as well. Because this water soluble vitamin is necessary for vital functions of so many important body systems, it is necessary to get enough of this nutrient in the daily diet.

nutshell In a nutshell
nutshell This B vitamin is necessary for proper functioning of the brain and nerves. Deficiency can lead to slowness, sleepiness, depression and other dysfunctions.
nutshell This vitamin is extremely important in converting the sugars of foods into energy.
nutshell Because this water soluble vitamin is necessary for vital functions of so many important body systems, it is important to get enough of this nutrient in the daily diet.

Vitamin B1 deficiency

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Vitamin B1 deficiency is very rare. However, those with restricted diets, eating disorders, alcoholics, and those who drink lots of tea and coffee or who eat lots of raw fish may have this deficiency.
Deficiency symptoms may include:
• depression;
• fatigue;
• slowness;
• weakness;
• nerve damage;
• psychosis.

Deficiency  leads to troubles with nerves, brain, muscles, heart, and gastrointestinal system. Certain diseases and medical conditions may also be related to a deficiency of this vitamin, including:
• beriberi;
• wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome;
• alzheimer’s disease;
• heart failure;
• cataracts and optic neuropathy;
• coma and death.

Vitamin B1 overdose

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Vitamin B1 overdose. This vitamin appears to be safe and non-toxic even when taken in higher doses. It is water soluble vitamin and its excessive quantity is being removed with urine. There has been no upper limit determined in taking this vitamin. Very large doses have been associated with drowsiness and muscle relaxation. Certain forms of this nutrient may also slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure. Allergic reaction may occur in rare cases and skin irritation has been noted. The best advice is to take doses no larger than what is available in over the counter supplements. If you have other health concerns or take other medications, it is best to speak with your physician to see if supplements are indicated.

Daily Recommended Intake

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Daily Recommended Requirements for thiamine are typically based on age and gender. Infants should consume 0.2 mg to 0.3 mg the first year of life. Children over 1 year of age should take 0.5 mg, slowly increasing dose until about 0.9 mg for those up to age 13. Teenage and adult males should aim for 1.2 mg while teenage and adult females should try to get 1.0 to 1.1 mg per day.

The following foods have high amounts of  B1: • Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) – 100 g contain 9.7 mg; • Whole roasted sesame seeds – 100 g contain 5.6 mg; • Sunflower seeds – 100 g contain 1.5 mg; • Pine Nuts – 100 g contain 1.2 mg. Other important sources of B1: • Brewer’s yeast; • Pork, organ meats, and beef; • Tuna; • Dried herbs and spices; • Asparagus, kale, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli; • Pineapple, oranges, grapes.

Why “Thiamine”?

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This B vitamin was first isolated from grain in 1911 by Casimir Funk, who named the compound a vitamin. This active component was further isolated and crystallized in 1926 by Barend Coenraad Petrus Jansen and Willem Frederik Donath. In the 1930s, the structure was determined, and the vitamin was able to be effectively synthesized. Researchers first attempted to isolate this compound due to beriberi, which was determined to be caused by a nutrient deficiency.

Vitamin B1 was one of the first vitamins to be identified by scientists. At first, Vitamin B1 was named aneurine due to its ability to alleviate neuritis and nerves inflammation.  The vitamin later was named thiamine in 1937 by Dr. Robert R. Williams from “thio” meaning sulfur, and “amine” possibly from vitamin, due to the sulfur component of this organic compound. The designation of  “B1” came later, with the number 1 designating it as the first B vitamin to be discovered.