Vitamin B1 Thiamin Factiods

Vitamin B1 Thiamin Factiods

  • Thiamin is one of at least eight B vitamins found in various foods. Originally, vitamin B was thought to be only one vitamin, but it is now known that there are different B vitamins with chemically different structures and somewhat different (though related) functions. That is why this group of vitamins is collectively referred to as the B-complex vitamin group.
  • Thiamin was the first vitamin in the B complex group to be discovered. That is why it is also referred to as vitamin B1.
  • Thiamin, and all of the other B-complex vitamins, share these two important characteristics: (a) They are water soluble (as opposed to being fat-soluble); (b) they cannot be stored in the body in large amounts or for an extended length of time. Therefore, all of the B-complex vitamins, including thiamin, need to be replenished on a daily basis. However, the limited storage capability does make thiamin toxicity virtually impossible.
  • The following are some of the best sources of dietary thiamin: pork, legumes, whole grain foods, tuna, soy milk, and various fortified foods like enriched cereal products.
  • Processed foods are not good sources of thiamin due to the outer layer of the grain (the bran) being removed, which removes along with it most of the vitamins, minerals, and protein. However, many everyday foods are now enriched with thiamin.
  • Thiamin plays a key role in the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose for energy. Thiamin is also essential for the proper metabolism of fats and amino acids and normal nerve functioning.
  • Alcohol interferes with the absorption of thiamin. Alcohol is a frequent reason for thiamin deficiency.
  • Raw fish (i.e., sushi and sashimi) contains the enzyme thiaminase, which destroys thiamin. Therefore, overindulging in raw fish might deplete an individual’s thiamin level. However, the heat generated from cooking the fish will prevent the enzyme from having this effect.
  • A severe deficiency of thiamin causes the disease beriberi, a condition characterized by extreme weakness and muscle atrophy. Beriberi means “I can’t, I can’t” in Indonesian, which was believed to be the typical response of afflicted individuals who were too weak to perform the tasks being asked of them.
  • While beriberi is no longer the serious problem it used to be in the U.S., the condition continues to be a major area of concern in other parts of the world, particularly where polished, unfortified white rice continues to be a dietary staple.