Vitamin B1 is the energy vitamin. It plays a key role in supplying bodily organs with energy. Water-soluble, it cannot be stored in the body and must therefore be provided every day through food.
Principal natural sources of Vitamin B1
Plant sources: Whole cereals, brewer's yeast, dried vegetables (lentils), dry fruits (nuts and hazelnuts), grains (oats, wheat, barley), vegetables (potatoes, cabbage and asparagus).
Animal sources: It is also present in meat, principally pork and chicken, in the liver of various animals, and in oysters, algae, fish, milk and egg yolks.
Properties of Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins, and is involved in the synthesis of fats, making this vitamin a key element in production of bodily energy.
It is involved in transmission of nerve impulses. Thiamine contributes to normal psychological functions such as memory, reasoning and concentration.
Recommended Daily Intake
The intake is set at 1.1 mg daily, with recommended dietary supplement in the region of 1.5 mg daily for an average adult consuming 2,400 calories daily. The intake may rise to 5 mg for sporting people.
Vitamin B1 deficiency can be caused by an unbalanced diet, as in people who follow a diet where the whole cereal intake is insufficient (or even absent), or the subject has a weakness for sugary products.
Vitamin B1 deficiency can also arise from poor digestive absorption or excessive consumption of products such as alcohol, tea or coffee.
In sporting people, pregnant women or diabetics, the body's Vitamin B1 requirements are higher. It is therefore essential for these people to watch their Vitamin B1 intake.