Thiamine is the first Vitamin B that was discovered by human. It occurs in the human body as free thiamin and its phosphorylated forms: thiamine monophosphate (TMP), thiamin triphosphate (TTP), and thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), which is also known as thiamin diphosphate.
Thiamine's main job is to convert carbohydrates in your food into energy your body can use. It is also an unique vitamin which can look after your brain and nervous system as well as keep your heart pumping.
Why Take Vitamin B 1 Thiamin?
Remember moms always say eat more, and get stronger? What they did not tell you is how does the food give you more power, in the form of energy. All the B vitamins are involved in the process of converting food into energy. But thiamine plays an unique role. One particular step in the conversion needs an enzyme called thiamine pyrophosphate, or TPP, to work. Without thiamine, you can't make the enzyme, thus the whole process may fail.
While helping your body converting food into energy, thiamine also does a great job in keeping your brain and nervous system fueled up. Your brain runs on glucose, a type of sugar that's made from the carbonhydrates you eat. Thiamine helps your brain and nervous system absorb enough glucose. Without it, they take in only half of what they really need. And when your brain doesn't get enough fuel, you start to get forgetful, depressed, tired, and apathetic.
Vitamin B1 thiamine helps keep your heart muscles elastic and working smoothly, which keeps your heart pumping healthily.
Vitamin B1 Thiamine Function
Vitamin B1 Thiamin and Your Heart
Thiamine helps your heart muscles being elastic and lets them bounce back quickly from each beat. Thiamine deficiency may cause abnormal heartbeats due lack of elasticity of the heart muscles. It has been shown that severe thiamine deficiency can cause heart problems. Some researchers are looking into using thiamine to treat heart attacks.
Vitamin B1 Thiamin and Your Memory
Thiamine deficiency may cause Wernicke's encephelopathy, which leads to lack of coordination, and Korsakoff's psychosis, which affects short-term memory. Since Thiamin helps you to control / use the glucose inside your body, which allows your brain and nerve system to absorb the right amount of glucose in order to function correctly.
Thiamine and Diabetes
Recent studies has indicated solving Thiamine deficiency problems may also help people with Diabetes. Since thiamine plays an important role in glucose production, many people with diabetes are also suffering from thiamine deficiency (where both cases cause your body does not use glucose normally).
Thiamin and Canker Sores
If you're low on thiamine, you're much more likely to get frequent canker sores (aphthous stomatitis) - painful, crater-like sores in your mouth. Taking extra Thiamin on a regular bases may help prevent you from getting Canker Sores.
Vitamin B1 Thiamin Supplements
Because the biological half-life of thiamin in the body is about 15 days, deficiency symptoms can be seen in people on a thiamin-deficient diet in as little as 18 days. Although a true thiamin deficiency (called beriberi) is uncommon in North America, there are cases of thiamine deficiency, which include certain kidney disease being treated with dialysis: individuals with malabsorption syndrome or genetic metabolic disorders; women who are pregnant with more than one fetus; seniors; chronic dieters; elite athletes; alcoholics and most commonly, smokers and second-hand smokers.
If you are not in one of the above risky categories, we recommend you getting a complex vitamin or multivitamin that contains all necessary B vitamins to save all the trouble and avoid being overdosed in a particular vitamin.
In general, if one's daily diet contains some of the following items, he/she is less likely to be deficient in Thiamine:
Beef Liver, Dairy Products, Wheat Germ, Fortified Cereals, Meat and Tuna.
If you fall into the following categories, then you may be at risk of thiamine deficiency:
The Elderly (people over 55 years of age)
People who are sick or injured
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
People who have diabetes
Anyone under long term stress
People with liver disease
People who just had undergone surgery
Note: studies have indicated second hand smokers are likely to be deficient in all vitamins especially Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Vitamin E. Therefore, if you have a smoker in the family, consider taking some extra vitamin supplements to avoid deficiencies.