One of the most important B vitamins is vitamin B1 is also known as Thiamine, it is a water-soluble vitamin. B1 got its name because it is the first vitamin to be discovered, Casimir Funk a Polish scientist made the discovery. All living organisms use thiamine but is synthesize only in bacteria, fungi and plants.
Thiamine can be found in a wide variety of foods at low concentration. Yeast and pork are the most highly concentrated sources of this vitamin, whole grain cereals contain more vitamin than refined grains.
Other foods rich in thiamine are sunflower seeds, brown rice, asparagus, kale, potatoes, oranges, liver (beef, pork, chicken) and cauliflower. All B vitamins help the body to convert food into fuel which is used to produce energy.
B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and most importantly the liver. They also help the nervous system function properly and are needed for good brain function, the body does not store B vitamins because it is water soluble. The intake of thiamine is beneficial in strengthening the immune system and improve the body’s ability to manage stressful situations.
Many people do not consume foods rich in vitamin B1, and that can cause a lot of deficiencies. There are a number of symptoms that can tell if you are suffering from thiamine deficiency, this includes, depression, abdominal discomfort and fatigue among others, with all these symptoms and no treatment can lead to a variety of diseases including beriberi, symptoms of the beriberi disease are swelling, tingling or burning sensation in the hands and feet just to name a few.
In recent times, less people are getting the disease beriberi because foods like cereals and breads are rich in vitamin B1, and they are two of the world’s most consumed foods. Another disease caused by lack of this important vitamin is an eye condition called cataract (when the lens becomes opaque and won’t let light through) , alzheimer’s disease and heart failure.
These diseases can be avoided if you have a well balanced diet on a daily basis and consume foods that are an excellent source of thiamine, such as rice, legumes, and bran cereal. Vitamin B1 can also be found in multi-vitamins including tablets and softgels.
Consuming foods rich in thiamine can prevent or treat the following health conditions, depression, alzheimer’s and crohn’s disease, congestive heart failure, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and alcoholism.
As with any other medications and dietary supplements, always consult a doctor, special care must be taken when giving it to children and ingested in pregnant or nursing mother’s.