The first signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, irritability, emotional instability and easy fatigue which can progress to loss of memory and confusion, abdominal pains, constipation and gastric distress. Soon there are heart irregularities, tender calf muscles, and prickly sensations in the legs and feet. A thiamine deficiency can also cause optic nerve inflammation, sleep apnea, anorexia, infertility, and even dementia. As you can see, the feeling of wellness does not exist when there is a deficiency.
Much of the indigestion, constipation and abdominal pains result from the lack of hydrochloric acid which thiamine helps produce.
And that's not all. A deficiency of thiamine can also case problems with reaction time between hand and eye, the time it takes the body to react, how fast someone moves and make them clumsy. It weakens the heart muscle to the point of heart failure. Some researchers believe that one of the first steps towards cancer is a thiamine deficiency, especially in women.
Children don't grow consistently without vitamin B1, thiamine.
Replacing the thiamine that is needed quickly improves people's dispositions and sense of wellness.
Who is Most Susceptible to Deficiency?
Those who continue to consume white flour and white rice that is not fortified and white sugar are susceptible to a deficiency.
Alcoholics often have a vitamin B1 deficiency. That's because the enzymes that degrade alcohol all contain a form of thiamine.
Food Forms and Food Sources of Thiamine
The forms of thiamine that are used in the body include thiamine monophosphate, free thiamine, thiamine diphosphate, thiamine pyrophosphate, thiamine triphosphate, adenosine thiamine triphosphate and one called TTDF (a fat soluble version) for short are generally found in supplements and foods.
Liver and yeast are loaded with thiamine. Cereal grains contain thiamine in the bran portion. Brown rice, oatmeal, asparagus, kale and cauliflower are also good sources. Pork and eggs are high as well. Nutritionists recommend that you do not rely on fortification to prevent deficiencies.
How Much Thiamine Do You Need?
The amount needed depends on the amount of carbohydrate in your diet, but a safe amount is thought to be 0.5 mg per 1000 calories consumed. The amount increases to 1.4 mg thiamine during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Nutrition-savvy dentists have discovered that administration of extra thiamine prior to dental operations prevents pain. If thiamine was not received prior to dental surgery, it will still help relieve dental pain. The same result can be expected with injured and diseased nerves. The thiamine restores the functioning of the nerve and also relieves the pain.
There are no known toxic side effects of thiamine supplementation although large doses may cause imbalances in other B vitamins.
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