Although Vitamin B1 has several very important functions, the most significant is its role in the conversion of glucose into energy. This is the energy that is used by each and every cell, organ, and body system, so a deficiency in Vitamin B1 (also known as thiamin) can have a major impact on your physical and emotional well-being.
The idea of energy creation may seem pretty basic, but in fact, it is very complex. As thiamin helps convert glucose into a form of energy for cells, the process releases pyruvic acid and lactic acid. With the help of enzymes that also contain Vitamin B1, these acids are quickly broken down into simple substances like water and carbon dioxide.
Without sufficient levels of thiamin to facilitate these processes, sugars are not broken down properly and build up within the bloodstream, along with excesses of pyruvic and lactic acids. The result is a marked decrease in overall energy, along with cognitive deficiencies that result from toxic levels of pyruvic and lactic acids in the brain. Some symptoms of Vitamin B1 deficiency are:
- Extreme fatigue, exhaustion, and lethargy throughout the body
- Mental depression, confused thinking, and forgetfulness
- Bad dreams or nightmares
- Chest pains and heart palpitations
- Constipation, gas pains, and flatulence
- Nerve and muscle abnormalities, such as muscle cramps or a prickly sensation in the fingers and toes
Thiamin as a Preventative Measure
Because thiamin is such a fundamental component to cellular activity, maintaining sufficient levels of the vitamin in your diet can help prevent the onset of a number of health conditions, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic depression
- Heart failure
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Where to Find it?
Vitamin B1 is present in many common foods, such as pork, vegetables, milk, cheese, peas, fresh and dried fruit, eggs, whole grains, and whole grain breads. There are also all-natural dietary supplements you can take, just to make sure. Some individuals may benefit even more than others from thiamin supplementation:
- Those individuals who consume more calories, such as athletes, are likely to require a higher than average intake of thiamin to help process the extra carbohydrates into energy.
- Any individual who is experiencing acute periods of stress may need to temporarily elevate levels of thiamin.
- Anyone who consumes alcohol or drugs (including medical drugs and antibiotics) on a regular basis uses up Vitamin B-1 at a higher than usual rate.
Browse our thiamin supplements in the Living Clean store, or you read more about the Vitamin B complex: