Vitamin B1 is alternatively known as Thaimine. Vitamin B1 was discovered in 1897 by Doctor and Chemist, Eijkmann. The health benefits of Vitamin B1 were discovered by Eijkmann whist working in Java treating the sick. Unbeknownst to him he was treating Beri Beri disease, the deficiency state of Vitamin B1.
Beri Beri disease is caused by a severe lack of Vitamin B1. Symptoms include vomiting, dissociated pain, slow cognition, poor muscle function, swelling of the lower limbs and increased heart rate. Food sources of Vitamin B1 include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, macademia nuts, pork, mackerel, salmon, lentils and beans.
It is thought that on a daily basis only 50% of us reach our Vitamin A requirements. The average adult requires 1.0-1.2mg of Vitamin B1 per day. This increases to 1.4mg when pregnancy or breast feeding.
Here are a few health benefits of Vitamin B1 :
- It is associated with nerve health. Our nerves are wrapped in a protective insulation later called myelin. Without Vitamin B1 we would not be able to produce this.
- Vitamin B1 is essential for signalling in our nerves and cells. We use chemical neurotransmitters called acetylcholine (Ach) to send messages to our muscles and organs. Without Vitamin B1 we would not be able to produce this, slowing transmission and our reactions.
- Thaimine has also been linked to healthy sight, some research suggests that adequate Vitamin B1 can prevent the development of cataracts and glaucoma.
- Vitamin B1 is required to turn our food into energy. Specifically B1 is required for a reaction using enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase which converts dietary carbohydrates to ATP energy (adenosine triphosphate).
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