The vitamin B group includes eight different compounds. One of them is thiamine. Most people know it as vitamin B1. The substance is responsible for metabolic processes, growth, development and normal function of the digestive organs, heart muscle and nervous system. Its deficiency is dangerous for the body. Without a sufficient amount of thiamine, the work of systems and organs is disrupted, and a person becomes susceptible to serious nervous disorders.
Vitamin B1 plays an important role in the body, which is not known to everyone. To evaluate the full benefits of this compound, it is necessary to consider all its features, the consequences of periodic and systematic deficiencies, as well as which products contain the most thiamine.
Functions of vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is an organic compound. It does not dissolve in alcohol, but breaks down in water. The substance can occur in four different forms. Thiamine diphosphate is one of the most common in the human body. About 30 grams of this compound can accumulate in body tissues (mainly in muscle ones).
Thiamine performs the following functions in the human body:
- it is directly involved in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism;
- participates in the synthesis of ATP-energy necessary for the implementation of intracellular processes;
- promotes the transition of carbohydrates to glucose, which is required by the body for active activity;
- promotes the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats that come with food;
helps form functional blood cells;
- promotes the full growth and development of systems and organs;
- responsible for the normal functioning of the digestive system;
- normalizes heart function;
- protects the nervous system from stress factors, as it participates in the formation of nerve endings of the myelin sheath, which protects cells from destruction;
- increases the body’s protective functions;
- improves nutrient absorption by maintaining smooth muscle tone in the digestive system;
it has a positive effect on the Central nervous system, and the lack of this compound leads to negative consequences for cognitive abilities;
- responsible for the normal state of the visual organs.
Thiamine is often also called an anti-stress vitamin, which fully reflects its important role for the human body. Apathy against the background of a lack of this substance develops due to a General decline in strength and weakness, which leads to a depressive state.
The value of thiamine for athletes
Thiamine is one of the key substances for bodybuilders and athletes involved in other disciplines. This vitamin is a direct participant in protein synthesis from food, and without protein, normal growth of muscle tissues is impossible. Athletes who want to build good muscles need to eat both protein foods and control the amount of vitamin B1 entering the body along with food. Thiamine deficiency leads to a violation of the process of transporting oxygen to the muscle tissues.
This will lead to a decrease in strength and endurance, which negatively affects physical activities. To avoid adverse effects, athletes need to take care of additional intake of thiamine bromide and other varieties of this vitamin. Due to this, the performance of performing exercises increases many times. Such supplements do not have any side effects on the body.
The norm depends on age, lifestyle, and gender:
- small children need 0.2-0.9 mg in different years of life;
- women-1.1, and during pregnancy and breast — feeding-1.5 mg;
- men — from 1.2 to 2.5 mg;
- athletes and adults engaged in physical hard work (gender does not matter) – 2.5-3 mg.
A deficiency of this vitamin is necessary to see a doctor. The specialist will determine the dosage and form of the drug that should be taken.
Consequences of thiamine deficiency
A large number of foods consumed by humans contain thiamine, but a lack of it is quite common. Deficits can be both temporary and systematic. In the latter case, severe disorders develop, and especially nervous ones.
Beri-Beri disease, characteristic of many regions with unfavorable living conditions and frequent lack of food, is characterized by weakness and atrophy of muscle tissues, weight loss and intellectual disorders, the development of pathologies of the digestive system and heart, as well as paralysis.
Another form of this disease is Korsakov’s syndrome, but it develops more often in those who suffer from alcoholism, which contributes to a decrease in thiamine in the body. The progression of the disease causes irreversible damage to the brain-disorders of mental activity and memory. Only timely detection of the problem and treatment can save the patient, when various medicinal forms of thiamine, including hydrochloride, are introduced into the body until the endowment occurs.
Periodic deficits in adults are less dangerous, but also have negative consequences, and can become systematic. The main signs of deficiency are disorders in the cardiovascular and digestive systems, as well as atrophy of muscle tissues. In childhood, a lack of thiamine causes a delay in physical development.
People who live in favorable conditions can eat a varied and balanced diet. Regardless, a lack of thiamine is not uncommon. In the early stages, the deficiency is diagnosed much rarely, but even when the periodic deficiency is observed for several years, the situation can be corrected.
The following symptoms allow you to recognize a shortage:
- frequent shortness of breath;
- constant feeling of fatigue and depressed feeling of hunger;
- loss of concentration and frequent forgetfulness;
- constipation and nausea;
- tingling sensation in the extremities;
- depressive state, apathy, which are replaced by irritability.
Constant lack of the substance leads to a deterioration of the condition and more dangerous consequences. Experts advise not to bring it to this, but to review your diet, including in the menu products that have a lot of vitamin B1 in their composition. If the condition is severe, it is better to resort to taking thiamine chloride and other medications.
Thiamine does not always enter the body in the amount that is available in raw or fresh foods. Part of the substance is lost during long-term heat treatment, as well as the addition of a large amount of salt. In the digestive system, the vitamin is destroyed by alcohol, tea, and coffee. Therefore, if there is a deficit, it is better to completely abandon these drinks.
Excess vitamin is also bad for the body. Overdose most often occurs after the use of pharmaceutical drugs without observing dosages and prescriptions. If the amount of incoming thiamine exceeds the daily norm, the person suffers from insomnia, an unreasonable sense of fear, an allergic reaction, including both mild urticaria and anaphylactic shock.
What foods contain vitamin B1
Thiamine is found in many foods, but it is most commonly found in:
- barley and oatmeal;
- hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios;
- sunflower seed;
- green vegetables, greens;
- Bulgarian pepper;
- legumes (lentils, beans, peas);
- brewer’s yeast.
These products must be included in the daily menu. This is especially true for those people who are engaged in sports. And if you notice the first signs of thiamine deficiency, you should immediately consult a doctor.