Vitamin B1

Thiamine, vitamin B1 or aneurine is a water-soluble vitamin from the B-complex. It is indispensable in particular for the function of the nervous system. It is also popularly known as the mood vitamin.

If vitamin B1 is not supplied to the body for about 14 days, the reserves are depleted by 50%. Chronic alcohol consumption impairs the absorption of the vitamin in the small intestine. In addition, alcohol leads to an increased demand because the metabolism consumes vitamin B1 for the breakdown of alcohol. A high percentage of alcoholics therefore suffer from a vitamin B1 deficiency syndrome with significant consequences for their health.

Thiamine is absorbed into the body in the intestine via the active thiamine transporter and, at high concentrations in the intestine, also passively by diffusion.

Thiamine is sensitive to heat; it is destroyed by cooking. It is water-soluble, so some is lost into the cooking water when boiled in water. Raw fish and ferns contain the enzyme thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine and thus destroys it. Preservatives from the sulfite group (E 220 – E 228) also break down vitamin B1.

Thiamine has a wide therapeutic range. From experiments on rats, it is known that even a dose 100 times higher than the daily requirement was tolerated over three generations without side effects, as long as the intake is via the diet – in the case of injections, however, the situation is different.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is found in almost all animal and plant foods. Major sources in the daily diet are …

  • Whole-grain products such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, millet or oatmeal
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, peas or soybeans
  • With about 1 mg / 100 g, pork is the vitamin B1 front-runner.

All other meats, fish and dairy products contain much less.

A deficiency of vitamin B1 can cause some diseases:

Beriberi
Korsakow syndrome
Wernicke’s encephalopathy
Strachan syndrome
Since alcoholism triggers a deficiency of more than just vitamin B1, for example, conditions such as Korsakow syndrome are classic for long-time alcoholics.

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