Metabolic Benefits of Vitamin-B1

Vitamin-B1 is a vital human nutrient that belongs to the Vitamin-B complex. It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous, and cardiovascular system function in the body. It is one of the eight water-soluble vitamins in the B complex family.

Vitamin-B1 is of special interest to us because it helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn is used to produce energy for carrying out various body functions, such as weight training or sprints. It is also required for the breakdown of fats and protein. In addition to these important metabolic functions, vitamin-B1 maintains the muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract, and promotes the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver. It also improves the body’s ability to withstand stress, and as a result is often called the anti-stress vitamin.

Yeast and liver are the richest sources of Vitamin-B1. Pork, whole-grain cereals rye, wheat germ and kidney beans are also rich in this vitamin. Include asparagus, mushrooms, romaine lettuce, spinach, tuna, green peas, and sunflower seeds in your diet if you are a low-carber, to ensure a steady supply. Over cooking vegetable however, may destroy Vitamin-B1.

Some of the early symptoms of a vitamin-B1 deficiency include lethargy, irritability, loss of memory, loss of sleep or appetite, weight loss, indigestion or constipation, and calf muscle tenderness. If left untreated these initial symptoms might lead to a more severe form of thiamin deficiency, known as Beriberi characterized by nerve, heart, and brain abnormalities. However, the symptoms might vary in different forms.

Dry Beriberi might involve nerve and muscle abnormalities, prickling sensation in the toes, and burning sensation in the feet especially at night, leg cramps and muscle atrophy. Wet Beriberi symptoms might include abnormally fast heart beats, fluid retention in the legs, pulmonary edema, hypotension, which might result in shock and eventual death.

In habitual alcoholics, thiamine deficiency might result in brain abnormalities such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Some of its common symptoms include haziness, involuntary eye movements, difficulty in walking and partial paralysis of the eyes, among others. If ignored these symptoms could become fatal. Some of the common symptoms of Korsakoff’s psychosis include loss of memory, incoherence and confabulation.

Infantile Beriberi is commonly seen in newborn children of women already suffering from thiamin deficiency. The baby could contract this condition from the mother’s milk. Heart failure, loss of reflexes and aphonia are some of the common symptoms.

Sugar is the principal source of energy in your body where it is oxidized to form usable form of energy in the presence of vitamin-B1. It is part of a complex enzyme system called the pyruvate dehydrogenase system, which helps in the oxidation of sugar. Vitamin-B1 is required for the functioning of this enzyme system, which releases energy for the normal functions of the body.

Vitamin-B1 helps in the proper development of myelin sheaths around nerves. Deficiency of Vitamin-B1, might result in the degeneration of these coverings, which might result in nerve death and damage.

This vitamin also helps in the production of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is used to relay messages between the nerves and muscles and to ensure proper cardiac function. Vitamin-B1 deficiency can result in an irregular cardiac function in this case. In a study, people suffering from congestive heart failure, when administered vitamin-B1 intravenously for seven days, showed considerable improvements in their echocardiograms, which illustrates that vitamin-B1, can help to prevent heart disease.

When used along with other essential nutrients, Vitamin-B1 can stall the occurrence of cataracts. It also is a powerful anti-oxidant, which helps prevent the ill effects of aging. It helps in the secretion of hydrochloric acids, which is essential for the complete digestion of food particles.

Vitamin-B1 is thought to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Persons suffering from this disease condition have benefited when vitamin-B1 supplements of 100 milligrams per day were administered. However, there are no placebo-controlled trial studies to authenticate this claim as of yet.

Vitamin-B1 can improve your memory and concentration. It is also used in the management of many nervous disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Bell’s palsy among others. Vitamin-B1 is known as the morale vitamin for its positive impact on the nervous system, and a healthy mental attitude. It can significantly improve appetite and mental alertness as well.

Happy Lifting!

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1 comment for “Metabolic Benefits of Vitamin-B1

  1. October 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Another great article, Matt – Thanks! We hear a lot about the effects of B-12 but very little about B-1, and as you’ve shown it’s both necessary and powerful.

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