Thursday, February 15, 2018

ABC's of Nutrition: Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Rich sources of thiamin are soybeans, brown rice, and raw sunflower seeds. Good sources include unprocessed whole wheat and raw nuts. Thiamin is sensitive to alcohol, tannins in coffee and black tea, and sulfites, rendering it useless.

A severe thiamin deficiency results in beriberi. Symptoms of beriberi may include weight loss, emotional disturbances, and impaired sensory perception. Although severe thiamin deficiency is uncommon, many Americans do not consume the RDA in their food.

Thiamin functions as an enzyme that helps with energy production (especially in the brain), carbohydrate metabolism, and nerve cell function. It also mimics the important neurotransmitter involved in memory. In high enough doses (possibly 3 to 8 grams per day) thiamin may help with Alzheimer’s and other age-related mental impairment.

Thiamin was the first B vitamin discovered, hence it is called B1. Magnesium is required to convert thiamin into its active form.

by John Connor, CNC

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