How Vitamin B1 Works

The discovery of thiamin was the key that unlocked the mystery of a disease -- a disease born of technology, but called by the simple name beriberi. The word itself means weakness in an East Indian dialect. In this article, we'll take a look at the importance of thiamin in preventing disorders of the nervous system and other illnesses, and we'll learn just how much thiamin is recommended for daily intake. Here's a preview.
  • What is Vitamin B1?

    Vitamin B1, or thiamin, is an important coenzyme that helps the body convert food into energy. It also assists in manufacturing fat and metabolizing protein. Thiamin is necessary to maintain normal function in the nervous system.

  • Benefits of Vitamin B1

    Thiamin plays a part in the chain of reactions that provides energy for the body. It is thought to be beneficial for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and older adults with mental impairment. It may also improve the mental function of epilepsy sufferers who take the drug phenytoin.

  • Foods That Contain Vitamin B1

    Most foods contain only very small amounts of thiamin. However, it can be found in "enriched" foods such as breads and cereals. Thiamin occurs naturally in pork, oysters, green peas, and lima beans.

  • Vitamin B1 Deficiency

    A thiamin deficiency leads to beriberi, a debilitating and potentially fatal disease. "Dry beriberi" is characterized by numbness, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and disorders of the nervous system. "Wet beriberi" causes fluid accumulation and can lead to heart failure.
Vitamin B1 isn't the only nutrient you need for overall health. Check out these links for more information about essential vitamins.
  • Vitamin A, or retinol, plays a vital role in vision. Learn more in How Vitamin A Works.
  • In How Vitamin B2 Works, read about how B2, or riboflavin, works in concert with its B-complex relatives to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  • Vitamin B3, or niacin, acts as a coenzyme, assisting other substances in the conversion of food into energy. Learn more in How Vitamin B3 Works.
  • Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, can be found in all living cells and in all foods. Learn about its importance to your diet in How Vitamin B5 Works.
  • Vitamin B6 is actually three substances, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxal, that work to metabolize protein and amino acids. Read more in How Vitamin B6 Works.
  • To learn about the many vitamins in our diet, how much you should be eating, and where to find them, go to our general Vitamins page.
  • If you're looking for the best prices on B vitamins, click here.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.