Benefits of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamin, is one of the water-soluble, B-complex vitamins. The B vitamins all play a part in converting carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose is the body’s primary energy source, so B vitamins are crucial for keeping you going. Vitamin B1 plays an important role in energy production, as it is needed to turn sugar into usable energy. Of course, vitamin B1 has many other important health benefits, as well.
- It helps to keep your nervous system healthy. Vitamin B1 can help improve your memory and focus. It has even been used to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is also used in the treatment of other nervous system disorders, like multiple sclerosis and Bell’s palsy. It is widely valued for its positive effects on the nervous system, and it’s ability to protect the body from the effects of stress.
- It also can help guard against heart disease and promote healthy cardiovascular function. Vitamin B1 is used in the production of neurotransmitters which act to keep the nerves and muscles of the heart in sync. It also stimulates red blood cell production.
- Vitamin B1 is also an anti-oxidant. It helps protect your body cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals cause premature aging and damage to your organs.
- Vitamin B1 helps to stimulate appetite, as well as promote proper digestion. This results in fewer digest problems and better absorption of nutrients. Chronic alcoholism can result in various nutrient deficiencies related to cirrhosis and infections. Vitamin B1 helps mitigate these deficiencies for better health.
Function of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Vitamin B1 (thiamin), like other B vitamins, is a water soluble vitamin. Unlike fat soluble vitamins, water soluble vitamins are not stored in body fat or tissues in large quantities. They generally are flushed from the body quickly through urination, so they need to be ingested every day in sufficient amounts.
Vitamin B1 is also called thiamine and aneurin. It is essential to many key chemical processes in the body. It is needed for the body to convert carbohydrates, fat, and protein into energy. It supports cognitive function and is needed for nerve cells to function properly. Vitamin B1 stimulates circulatory function and works as an antioxidant
Vitamin B1 is found in dietary sources in three different forms: free form thiamin, thiamin pyrophospate (TPP), and as a protein phosphate complex. The large intestine actually makes vitamin B1 in the form of TPP. The main type of the vitamin circulating through the body is called thiamine diphosphate (TDP). TDP is found only in red blood cells. The TPP molecule itself is too large to be absorbed through the intestinal lining. It uses an enzyme to break off the smaller thiamin molecule. Vitamin B1 can be found in significant amounts inside the muscles, heart, brain, liver, and kidneys.
There are a variety of dietary sources of vitamin B1. Many breads, cereals, and pastas are fortified with significant quantities. Pork is one of the best food sources of vitamin B1,
Vitamin B1 is used in supplements in the forms of thiamin hydrochloride and thiamin nitrate. These types of thiamin are also used for fortifying food products.
Thiamin deficiency can occur for various reasons, including extreme dieting, alcoholism, and liver disease. Those who consume excessive quantities of sugar, soft drinks, and certain processed foods may have a higher risk of suffering from a deficiency of vitamin B1.