Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vitamin B1 - Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (also know as Thiamin or Thiamine) is a water soluble vitamin. It helps the body metabolize carbohydrates for energy. Thiamin also plays a role in the transmission of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. It has an effect on mood and alertness, and has been called the 'morale vitamin'.

Thiamin can be found in beef, pork, liver, legumes, enriched/fortified or whole grain products, dried peas, wheat germ, and nutritional yeast. The recommendation for Thiamin is 1.2 mg/day for males and 1.1 mg/day for females. Children's requirements are about half at 0.5 mg/day for ages 1-3 and 0.6 mg/day for ages 4-8. Adolescents require 0.9 mg/day (ages 9-13) and pregnant/lactating women have the highest requirement at 1.4 mg/day.

A deficiency of Thiamin can result in beriberi, a nervous system disorder with symptoms that include edema, muscle wasting, depression, tingling, numbness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite.

Due to fortification and enrichment practices, deficiencies are rare in the western world. Fortified foods have thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, and folate added.

Steph Wheler