Vitamin B1 functions along
with other B vitamins to allow the the body to metabolize carbohydrates,
fat, and protein, and turn them into energy which can be used by
the body. It is particulary vital for turning carbohydrates into
energy, especially in the brain.
Vitamin B1 helps to maintain normal heart function.
It also functions in the proper formation of blood
It is necessary for proper functioning of the
digestive system. It helps to regulate the production of hydrochloric
acid, which is integral for maintaining proper digestive function.
Vitamin B1 supports the normal function of
the nervous system. It is required for nerves to function correctly,
and helps in the maintainence of healthy nerves. It is required
for regulating the transmission of particular types of nerve signals
along the brain and the spinal cord.
Thiamin is also necessary for proper functioning
Vitamin B1 is integral to the normal functioning
of all body cells.
Thiamin also contributes to optimal cognitive
activity, normal brain functioning, and learning capacity.
Vitamin B1 also acts as an antioxidant, helping
to guard the body against the degenerative effects of free radicals.
A vitamin B1 deficiency can
happen due to numerous factors, such as over-dieting, abusing alcohol,
liver disorders, and kidney dialysis. Those who consume large quantities
of sweets, sodas, and highly processed foods can also be at a higher
risk of deficiency. Thiamin deficiency is particularly widespread
among alcoholics, since chronic alcohol abuse lowers the quantity
of vitamin B1 that is absorbed by the body. Alcohol not only blocks
thiamin absorption, but also damages the lining of the small intestine,
disrupting the normal absorption of nutrients.
There are generally two primary ways that a
long-term vitamin B1 deficiency manifests: cardiovascular disease
(known as wet beriberi) and nervous system disease (known as dry
beriberi, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome or cerebral beriberi).
All forms of beriberi are most often the result of alcohol abuse.
A deficiency may result in muscle weakness,
fatigue, muscle cramps, and stiffness.
Vitamin B1 deficiency can result in digestive
problems including a loss of appetite, nausea, digestive discomfort,
constipation, weight loss, and incorrect production of hydrochloric
A thiamin deficiency can negatively affect
the nervous system resulting in tingling, numbness, irritability,
poor memory retention, and depression. A severe deficiency can result
nerve damage and potentially lead to psychosis.
A vitamin B1 deficiency can also negatively
affect heart function and cause the heart muscles to weaken.
Thiamin (vitamin B1) is a water-soluble
vitamin and as such, it is least likely to reach toxic levels. There
is little danger of thiamin toxicity when it is taken orally. However,
there is an exception. When thiamin is taken intravenously (injections),
it has been reported to cause anaphylactic shock in few people.
Symptoms of a thiamine overdose may include a feeling of warmth,
weakness, sweating, nausea, restlessness, difficulty breathing,
tightness of the throat, bluish colored skin, and death.