Impressive Benefits of Vitamin B1 That You should Know
Vitamin B1 is a vital human nutrient that belongs to the vitamin B complex. It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and improving the cardiovascular functioning of the body. Vitamin B1 is one of the eight water-soluble vitamins in the B complex family. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn is used to produce energy for carrying out various bodily functions. Vitamin B1 is also required for the breakdown of fats and protein. In addition to these health benefits, it maintains the muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract and promotes the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver. It also improves the body’s ability to withstand stress and is often called the “anti-stress” vitamin. Let’s find out the benefits of Vitamin B1 with Lifezfood!
Rich Sources of Vitamin B1
Liver and yeast are the richest sources of thiamine. Wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, pork, rye, and kidney beans are also excellent sources of this crucial vitamin. This list also includes potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, tuna, spinach, sunflower seeds, green peas, eggplant, Brussel sprouts, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Keep in mind that overcooking or excess refrigeration can destroy the thiamine content, so steer clear of doing so.
Do You have a Vitamin B Deficiency?
The early symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency include irritability, lethargy, weight loss, memory loss, sleep loss, constipation or indigestion, and tenderness of calf muscles. If overlooked for long periods of time, a vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to a condition called beriberi, which is characterized by heart, brain, and nerve abnormalities, but the symptoms usually vary from one person to another and are dependent on numerous factors.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 helps minimize the risk of developing a particular brain disorder known as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a condition characterized by nerve damage, reflex muscle movement fatigue, and difficulty walking. This disorder can be traced back to thiamine deficiency and is typically found in alcoholics, specifically those who also have a poor diet. Alcohol has an adverse impact on the body’s ability to properly absorb vitamin B1 from foods.
Management of Diabetes
Studies have discovered that thiamine deficiency is common in individuals with diabetes. Getting enough thiamine counteracts damage to the small blood vessels which is otherwise common in diabetics due to chronic high blood glucose level.
Deficiency of thiamine impairs glucose metabolism in people with diabetes mellitus. When foods high in thiamine are added to the diet of diabetics, the activity of enzymes, which play a positive role in glucose metabolism is enhanced. Thus, it delays the progression of diabetic complications.
Fends Off Alzheimer’s Disease
Acetylcholine is a brain chemical that is important for processing of learning and memory. This brain chemical is reduced in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Your brain needs thiamine to produce acetylcholine. Therefore, an adequate supply of thiamine is required for a healthy brain.
Insufficiency of thiamine can lead to poor mental health, cognitive decline, confusion, disorientation, and depression. Furthermore, glucose is required to produce energy in the brain. Thiamine is needed for the conversion of carbohydrates from the food we eat into glucose. This glucose is then required by the brain for functions such as learning, memory, and thinking. Hence, thiamine is important for overall brain health.
Promotes Heart Health
Studies have confirmed the beneficial impact of thiamine intake on heart health. Treatment with thiamine showed improvement in echocardiograms in individuals suffering from congestive heart failure. This proves that thiamine is effective in preventing heart diseases.
It improves left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), urine output, blood pressure and overall functioning of the heart. Furthermore, it was found that individuals with heart disease were thiamine deficient. Such a deficiency further worsens overall heart health.
Thiamine is also famous for improving concentration power and memory. It is also used to manage numerous nervous system dysfunctions like Bell’s palsy and multiple sclerosis. Thanks to its memory enhancing qualities and ability to positively impact the health of the nervous system, the vitamin is commonly referred to as “morale vitamin”.
The vitamin also helps in increasing energy, combating chronic tension, and possibly even preventing memory loss. Research has associated vitamin B1 deficiency to problems acquiring and retaining information. A study concluded that vitamin B1 resulted in faster reaction times and clear-headed sensations in those taking stressful tests.