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Vitamin B1 | Health Benefits | Sources in food

What is vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine or aneurin, and it belongs to the group of vitamin B complex, which are soluble in water. 

By its chemical properties, vitamin B1, or thiamine is built from molecules of sulfur and nitrogen. It is very sensitive to elevated temperature operation, therefore should be careful in thermal food preparation and retention of vitamin B1 in it.

What is the relationship of vitamin B1 and other vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins B6 and vitamin B12 are essential in the absorption of vitamin B1 and adoption in the body. It is believed that these three vitamins work synergistically and that the lack of any of them violates the absorption of other vitamins.

Use vitamin C and vitamin E for better absorption of thiamine.

In addition to improved absorption of vitamin B1 influences magnesium, manganese and sulfur from minerals.

The difficult absorption of vitamin B1 or thiamine can be affected by stress, alcohol, cigarettes, elevated temperature, caffeine and tannins from the tea.

Certain synthetic diuretics may affect intensified excretion of vitamin B1, and estrogen can destroy large amounts of thiamine present in the body.

What are the most important sources of vitamin B1 in food?

Thiamine is present in foods of plant and animal origin, but amounts of this valuable vitamin depending on the quality of the food.

Flour used in the United States in the process of finishing is supplementing with thiamine, and the Americans get Vitamin B1 trough bread and other cereal products.

As good sources of vitamin B1 are considered the following foods:

- Whole grains
- Integral rice
- Yeast
- Beer
- Wheat bran
- Seafood
- Peanuts and other nuts
- Crabs, clams, octopus
- Animal offal (heart, liver and kidneys)

Flour used in the United States in the process of finishing is supplementing with thiamine, and the Americans get Vitamin B1 trough bread and other cereal products.

In most countries, the recommended dose of vitamin B1 is 1.4 mg while pregnant women and nursing mothers have the increase doses.

What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin B1?

1. Participates in all metabolic processes, particularly in the metabolism of carbohydrates from which interpretation body receives necessary energy for the functioning of all cells.

2. Ensures the transmission of nerve signals and affect the health of the whole nervous system.

3. It is very important role of vitamin B1 in the preservation of heart health and the health of entire cardiovascular system.

4. It improves muscle tone, acting on the smooth muscles of internal organs.

5. Vitamin B1 has high influence on psychical health.

Lack of vitamin B1 deficiency and symptoms

The disease that is caused by lack of vitamin B1 is very characteristic and it known as – beriberi. The disease beriberi was first appeared in Asia when sailors due to poor selection of food on board were forced to use husked rice on a daily basis over a long period.

Since the high concentrations of vitamin B1 are deposited in the external membranes or shells of grains, frequent diet which includes polished or hulled rice can lead to this disease caused by lack of vitamin B1.

The symptoms that accompany the disease beriberi are:

- Heart disorder
- Edema on the body due to heart failure
- Muscle cramps in hands and legs
- Nerve interference
- Fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea
- Anemia
- Disrupted digestion and often constipation

Treatment of the disease beriberi is possible and is being implemented by giving higher doses of vitamin B1 by injection or orally.


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