Vitamin B1 or thiamine
Vitamin B1 or thiamine or thiamine: what is it used for?
Vitamin B1 or thiamine is important for the metabolism of carbohydrates, the degradation of alcohol by the liver and the functioning of the nervous system. Discover the role of this vitamin, its recommended nutritional contributions, the risk of deficiencies or overdose as well as its medical applications
Description of Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 or thiamine or thiamine is one of the water-soluble vitamins (soluble in water). His discovery dates back to 19101.
What is the role of Vitamin B1 ?
Once assimilated, thiamine is converted in the liver to thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), which is the active form of Vitamin B1 .
TPP is essential for the activity of several enzymes. It allows the production of energy from carbohydrates (sugars).
It also participates in the degradation of alcohol.
Vitamin B1 is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and the entire nervous system, which mainly use carbohydrates as fuel.
It is also important for the muscles.
TPP is also used to develop thiamine triphosphate, which is a neuromediator.
Vitamin B1 interacts in the body with other B vitamins: B2, PP or B3, B5, B6, B9.
Nutritional references (recommended dietary intakes)
Nutritional reference Vitamin B1 in mg per day (1)
Children from 1 to 3 years
Children from 4 to 6 years
Children from 7 to 9 years
Children from 10 to 12 years
Teenagers from 13 years old and women
Teenagers from 13 years old and men
Pregnant or lactating women
Medical indications of Vitamin B1
CORRECTION OF VITAMIN B1 + + + DEFICIENCY
In cases of known deficiency, thiamine is prescribed in high doses, 250 to 1000 mg per day, in order to quickly correct symptoms.
ALCOHOLIC WEALING OR PREVENTION OF DEFICIENCY IN CHRONIC ALCOHOLISM +++
Vitamin B1 deficiency is a consequence of chronic alcoholism, associated with decreased intake and assimilation, increased need, and reduced liver activation. It should be corrected as soon as possible, so as to prevent neurological and psychiatric complications: Gayet-Wernicke’s encephalopathy (which results in confusion, difficulty walking, memory problems) and Korsakoff (causing mental disorders). During hospital weaning, the infusion of glucose (sugar) must be associated with an injection of Vitamin B1 or thiamine (a higher intake of carbohydrates increasing the need for Vitamin B1 ) 3.
SURGERY OF OBESITY +++
According to the technique used, bariatric surgery involves lower vitamin intakes and / or a reduction in their assimilation. This is why doctors prescribe a multivitamin supplement for life4. Cases of Vitamin B1 deficiency have been reported in people who did not take their supplements, sometimes with irreversible neurological sequelae (disorders of walking, memory …) 5.
TREATMENT OF NEURO-DEGENERATIVE DISEASES +
Because of its role in the proper functioning of the brain, the prescription of thiamine is considered in the management of neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer type. Its effectiveness remains to be demonstrated6.
Vitamin B1 is sometimes prescribed for fatigue, in most cases combined with other vitamins B6, C … Nevertheless, the experts of the EFSA, European Food Safety Authority, do not allow manufacturers of food supplements to claim on this supposed property of thiamine7.
Risks of under-dosage or overdose of Vitamin B1
THE RISKS OF DEFICIENCY IN VITAMIN B1 OR THIAMINE
The body has no reserves of Vitamin B1 or thiamine, so that insufficient intake or mis-assimilation (as is sometimes the case in the elderly), lead quickly to a deficiency. It gradually results in loss of appetite (which aggravates the deficit), fatigue, and weight loss.
Frank deficiency in Vitamin B1 or thiamine or beriberi is common in countries where malnutrition and malnutrition are prevalent.
The dry form results in neurological symptoms: gait disorders, tingling, loss of balance.
The wet form affects the heart, with tachycardia (fast heart rate), edema, difficulty breathing.
In industrialized countries, Vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency is rare. It mainly affects malnourished ill people, as well as subjects suffering from chronic alcoholism: in this case, it can be manifested by psychic symptoms (irritability, depression) or psychiatric symptoms1.
THE RISKS OF EXCESS IN VITAMIN B1 OR THIAMINE
In high doses, Vitamin B1 or thiamine has no toxicity, since the amount that the body is able to assimilate is limited. There is therefore no safe limit dose. Any excess of Vitamin B1 or thiamine is eliminated in the urine1.
Thiamine can be affected by thiaminases, enzymes found in cruciferous vegetables (different cabbages, turnips, etc.) and some raw fish, which are however inactivated by cooking1.
Its assimilation is reduced in case of excessive consumption of alcohol or prolonged use of anti-acid drugs (prescribed in case of gastro-oesophageal reflux or stomach ulcer) 1.
Its activation in the liver may be disrupted by some anti-mitotic drugs (prescribed against cancer cells) 1.