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Vitamin B1, Thiamin, Function, Sources, Deficiency & Diseases, Overdose

Vitamin B1 Sources Daily requirement Deficiency functions and overdoseVitamin B1 is another vitamin which is utilized by the body to carry out various important functions. It is also known as Thiamin. The most important functions of vitamin B1 or Thiamin are stated below.

Functions of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Vitamin B1 promotes utilization of carbohydrates in order to produce energy. Glucose (a carbohydrate) is the only substance that can be used by the nervous tissue (Brain and nerves) to produce energy. Thus Vitamin B1 is necessary for the metabolism and utilization of carbohydrates and also for the proper functioning of the brain and nerves.

Sources of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

A small quantity of vitamin B1 is found in almost all foods. So in a healthy individual deficiency of vitamin B1 occurs very rarely. The rich sources of vitamin B1 are; Eggs, meat, wheat, corn, Watermelon, Tomatoes, Rice, peas and potatoes etc. So some or all of these substances are consumed almost every day worldwide.

Deficiency & Diseases

Vitamin B1 deficiency rarely occurs in a healthy individual. Although people who have malabsorption syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic alcoholics, and those who use some drugs (e.g INH) that affect the utilization of vitamin B1 can become a victim of its deficiency.  It’s deficiency result in;
  1. Beriberi which is characterized by weakness of muscles due to nerve damage.
  2. Wernicke Korsakoff’s Syndrome is another disease in which thiamin deficiency is found. it is characterized by visual problems, difficulty in walking and memory impairment.
  3. It’s deficiency also affects the heart. Irregular heartbeats are usually found in thiamine (B1) deficient individuals and these individuals are more prone to develop heart diseases.
  4. Emotional instability and memory impairment.
  5. Generalized weakness due to nervous insufficiency.

Daily Requirement of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

  • Infants need 0.2 to 0.3 mg/day
  • Children need 0.5 to 0.9 mg/day
  • Adults need 1 to 1.2 mg/day
  • Lactating mothers need 1.4 mg/day.

Overdose or Excess of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Excess of vitamin B1 or thiamin in our body although occurs rarely may cause, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and allergic reactions.


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