Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is an important vitamin required by the human body. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn is used to produce energy for carrying out various body functions. It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous and cardiovascular functioning of the body. It also keeps the mucous membranes healthy.
Vitamin B1 is one of the eight water-soluble vitamins in the B complex family. Water-soluble vitamins travel through the bloodstream. Whatever water-soluble vitamins are not used by the body are eliminated in urine, which means you need a continuous supply of them in your food. Vitamin B1 can be found in meat, green leaves, and vegetables and is necessary for the breakdown of fat and protein.
1. Energy production: Thiamin plays a part in the chain of reactions that provides energy for the body. Vitamin B1 is responsible for converting sugar into energy. The vitamin acts as a co-enzyme in oxidizing sugar to produce energy for the smooth functioning of the body organs, especially the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys.
2. Vitamin B1 helps to maintain normal heart function and cardiovascular functions. It also functions in the proper formation of blood. This vitamin is responsible for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that relays messages to the muscles and nerves. A deficiency of vitamin B1 leads to a decrease in the neurotransmitter and causes irregular heartbeat. Severe deficiency can cause congestive heart failure.
3. Eye health benefits: Essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 together with vitamin B1 help ensure eye health and prevent the formation of cataracts.
4. Vitamin B1 can improve brain function. It is particularly vital for turning carbohydrates into energy, especially in the brain. It ensures smooth functioning of the brain and helps improve memory and concentration. It also contributes to optimal cognitive activity, normal brain functioning, and learning capacity.
5. Vitamin B1 supports the normal function of the nervous system. It is required for nerves to function correctly, and helps in the maintenance of healthy nerves. It is required for regulating the transmission of particular types of nerve signals along the brain and the spinal cord.
6. Vitamin B1 helps relieve stress and also helps strengthen the nerves. It improves the body to withstand stress and is often called “anti-stress” vitamin. It is used to reduce the progression of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cirrhosis, and other infections.
7. Development of myelin sheaths: Myelin sheaths are the protective covering of the nerves. Deficiency of vitamin B1 results in weakening of the sheaths. Adequate intake of vitamin B1 ensures the development of myelin sheaths and aids nerve functioning.
8. It is necessary for proper functioning of the digestive system. It helps to regulate the production of hydrochloric acid, which is integral for maintaining proper digestive function.
In addition to these it maintains the muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promotes the health of skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.
Thiamin is also necessary for proper functioning of muscles. Vitamin B1 is integral to the normal functioning of all body cells.
Vitamin B1 also acts as an antioxidant, helping to guard the body against the degenerative effects of free radicals.
Taking thiamine by mouth helps to temporarily correct some complications of metabolic disorders associated with genetic diseases.
Patients with chronic alcoholism or those experiencing alcohol withdrawals are at risk of thiamine deficiency and its associated complications and should be administered thiamine.
The chronically ill can get benefit of Vitamin B1 from taking B1 if their level of B1 is lost more rapidly when losing body fluids at an increased rate.