Vitamin B1 Thiamin Benefits
Thiamin, or Vitamin B1 is one of the substances the body must have in order to convert carbohydrates into energy. Thiamin helps the body make thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP), without which the body is unable to convert carbohydrates and fat into energy.
Thiamine is essential for normal growth and development and helps to maintain proper functioning of the heart and the nervous and digestive systems. Thiamine is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body; however, once absorbed, the vitamin is concentrated in muscle tissue.
Thiamine is found naturally in the following foods, each of which contains at least 0.1mg of the vitamin per 28-100g (1-3.5oz): - Green peas - Spinach - Liver - Beef - Navy beans - Nuts - Pinto beans - Soybeans
Should you consider taking supplemental B1? Well, consider this: Foods containing thiamin lose a good deal of their nutritional value if they are refrigerated, and sulfites (preservatives added to prepared foods in restaurants) also destroy thiamin in food. If you are relying on convenience foods or trips to the salad bar to supply you with the RDA of thiamin, you should think of taking a Vitamin B1 supplement.
Also, if you drink a lot of coffee or tea, you will benefit from supplementation, as caffeine drinks act as a diuretic; these beverages cause both water and water-soluble vitamins (such as thiamin) to be eliminated from the body more quickly.
Both smoking and alcohol consumption also interfere with thiamin absorption.
Furthermore, absorption of thiamin is entirely dependent upon getting enough vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. For this reason, taking a well-balanced Vitamin B complex supplement makes perfect sense.