Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the body’s metabolism. It helps the body convert food into energy and plays a role in many important functions, including:
- Nervous system function: Thiamine is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It helps to transmit nerve signals and maintain healthy nerve cells.
- Heart function: Thiamine helps to keep the heart healthy by promoting the production of energy.
- Muscle function: Thiamine is important for muscle contraction and energy production.
- Digestive system function: Thiamine helps to break down carbohydrates and proteins in the digestive system.
- Eye health: Thiamine is important for eye health and may help to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Sources of vitamin B1:
Thiamine is found in many foods, including:
- Whole grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats, are good sources of thiamine.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as peanuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds, are also good sources of thiamine.
- Dairy products: Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, are good sources of thiamine.
- Meat, poultry, and fish: Meat, poultry, and fish are also good sources of thiamine.
- Eggs: Eggs are a good source of thiamine.
- Legumes: Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are also good sources of thiamine.
Deficiency of vitamin B1:
A deficiency of vitamin B1 can lead to a condition called beriberi. Beriberi can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Fatigue: One of the most common symptoms of beriberi is fatigue.
- Weight loss: People with beriberi may lose weight even though they are eating enough food.
- Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness is another common symptom of beriberi.
- Nerve problems: Beriberi can also cause nerve problems, such as tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
- Heart problems: Beriberi can also cause heart problems, such as heart failure.
Treatment for vitamin B1 deficiency:
The treatment for vitamin B1 deficiency is to take thiamine supplements. Thiamine supplements are available over-the-counter and can be taken as a pill or a liquid.
Recommended daily intake of vitamin B1:
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B1 for adults is 1.2 milligrams (mg). The recommended daily intake for pregnant women is 1.4 mg and for breastfeeding women is 1.8 mg.
Excess of vitamin B1:
It is very difficult to get too much vitamin B1 from food. However, taking high doses of thiamine supplements can cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches.