Your greatest aid in energy metabolism
Vitamin B1 is the more common name for the vitamin thiamine, the greatest aid to your metabolism, and something you are rarely seriously deficient in, unless you consume very large quantities of alcohol. Vitamin B1 works when carbohydrates are converted to glucose, so the body can generate energy for the heart, brain and muscles.
Usually, when B-vitamin supplements are given, all B-vitamins are included, among other reasons, because there are almost never side effects by consuming large doses. On the contrary, the lack of vitamin B1 can lead to brain damage, nerve infection, walking disorders, etc. - something that is often seen in babies born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Lack of vitamin B1 can be seen in the form of decreased appetite, fatigue, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, weight loss, constipation and tingling in the fingers. In severe cases, two other types of deficiencies are also seen:
- The “dry” form causes nerve inflammation, muscle weakness and walking disorders
- The “wet” form causes weakening of the heart and accumulation of water in the body
This can end in Wernicke's encephalopathy, which can lead to death or Korsakoff syndrome, which can destroy your memory.
Alcohol, coffee and high temperatures break down the vitamin. Therefore, you should be aware of this if you are a major consumer of one or more of these.
You can find vitamin B1 in:
- In most plants (especially grains, peas and beans)
- As thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) in animal products, such as in lean meat, milk and cheese.
Recommended daily dosage:
Women: 1.1 mg (1.6 mg if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
Men: 1,4 mg