THIAMIN (VITAMIN B1)
Thiamin, also classified as Vitamin B1 or thio-vitamine, is one of the B-complex vitamins. This vitamin is one of the water-soluble ones. The compound is a colourless sulphur-based vitamin with the chemical formula being C12H17N4OS. This compound exists in almost all the food items that we consume while some of the very common food items have significant quantities of the same. However, it is rather ironical that thiamin deficiency is one of the most common syndromes throughout the world. The World Health Organization lists thiamin as one of the items in its list of essential medicines.
One of the primary reasons why people suffer from a deficiency of thiamin is the contemporary approach to food processing. It is important to remember that thiamin is one of the most vulnerable vitamins that could be destroyed through the process of cooking and processing.
How does thiamin help us?
1. Assists in metabolism: Thiamin, like other vitamins, plays a constructive role in the release of energy by breaking down carbohydrates and fats. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to note that this vitamin actually plays the most important role in the said process. This is precisely the reason why the deficiency of thiamin could be rather destructive.
2. Development of brain cells: The brain remains to be one of the needy organs in the body with respect to energy. Thus, a deficiency in thiamin could lead to serious complications in the central nervous system. This vitamin has been linked to many brain conditions including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, the vitamin plays an instrumental role in building up the cells of the brain. If the deficiency of thiamin is severe during the critical phase of development of thiamin, then the results could be disastrous.
Sources of thiamin
Like any other vitamin, thiamin is also found in vegetables and legumes. Some of the richest sources of thiamin are asparagus, sunflower seeds, green peas, flaxseeds, and Brussels sprouts.
Subject to the fact that an increasing number of people throughout the globe are consuming highly processed and deep-cooked items, the deficiency of thiamin has become rather common.
Excess intake of thiamin
The excess intake of thiamin is not known to cause any major toxicity. Consequently, the health bodies haven’t fixed any upper limit for consumption of the vitamin. If there is an increased amount of thiamin in the diet, people tend to shed the same through urination.