What is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)?

Vitamin B1 or thiamine is a calorie-free organic substance that is essential for our metabolism and is not produced by our body. It is water soluble (water soluble) and is therefore rapidly excreted in the urine. Therefore, daily consumption is necessary to maintain the amount necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

Vitamin B1 is very resistant to cooking. It plays a role in the production of energy for the body (contributes to a normal energy metabolism) and the proper functioning of the nervous system. It works with other B vitamins to help break down and release the energy in the foods we eat and helps keep nerves and muscle tissue healthy. Vitamin B1 acts as a coenzyme: its presence is essential for the normal functioning of the enzyme on which a particular chemical reaction is linked. It is active in a phosphate-bound form.

It also participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and therefore ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system. It allows the breakdown of pyruvic acid, which is particularly toxic to the nervous system, into acetyl-Coenzyme A and helps support mood and memory.

What Does Vitamin B1 Do?

It takes part in the Krebs cycle, which provides most of the energy needs of the cell. Its role is important in carbohydrate metabolism (breakdown) and, more incidentally, fatty acids. Thiamine triphosphate acts as a neurotransmitter in the transmission of nerve impulses that explain the neurological disorders of vitamin B1 deficiency.

Vitamin B1 is absorbed in the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. The absorption rate is variable depending on the amount taken: it is 100% for normal doses and decreases when intake increases. Thiamine binds to phosphate in the intestinal lining and is active in the blood before being transported to consumer organs. Small reserves are mostly muscular. Vitamin B1 is excreted by the kidneys and requires a daily intake in the diet.

Alcohol, digestive disorders (diarrhea, vomiting) reduce the absorption of vitamin B1 and some substances (cabbage, tea, crustaceans, bacteria in some raw fish, antacids) interfere with this.

How to Recognize Vitamin B1 Deficiency?

Vitamin B1 deficiency is responsible for beriberi. Vitamin B1 plays a role in the functioning of all the muscles of the body and therefore facilitates digestion by stimulating the muscles of the digestive system. Vitamin B1 is converted in the liver into TPP or thiamine pyrophosphate, this is its active form. Thiamine pyrophosphate is essential for the proper functioning of metabolisms and certain enzymes. It allows energy production from sugars, among other things.

The main sources of vitamin B1 are vegetables, whole grain products, legumes and nuts. Other sources are milk, cheese, peas, fresh and dried fruits, and eggs. Vitamin B1 excess is very rare, this vitamin is water soluble and therefore little stored by the body. On the other hand, deficits may arise from diets rich in refined grains and sugars. Athletes and pregnant women also have greater needs.

How Does Vitamin B1 Deficiency Pass?

Foods rich in vitamin B1 can be of plant or animal origin. These are common foods that are generally easily accessible and widely consumed in developed countries. Today, many thiamine-based food supplements are available in pharmacies or specialty stores.

Vitamin B1 deficiency causes loss of appetite, severe fatigue and weight loss. In severe malnutrition situations, deficiency can lead to neurological and cardiac disorders. Certain foods and medications can alter the proper assimilation of vitamin B1 and its effect on the body. This is the case with some radishes and raw fish. Excessive alcohol consumption also prevents the effect of thiamine. Finally, some drugs used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux have detrimental effects on vitamin B1 metabolism.

Thiamine is the precursor to thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the liver-activated form. TPP is also an essential coenzyme at the metabolic level. As a matter of fact, it allows carbohydrates to turn into energy in the Krebs cycle. It is also concerned with the functioning of the nervous and muscular systems.

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