What is thiamine good for? Benefits and properties
Thiamine is the first B group vitamin to be identified, which is why it is called vitamin B1 . The vitamin B1 is needed for energy production, the health of nerves and the maintenance of mental function, including memory and concentration. Furthermore, thiamine has antioxidant capacity and may also have a mild diuretic effect.
The vitamin B1 is destroyed during cooking of food. In addition, the levels of vitamin B1 in the body are depleted with the high intake of carbohydrates, especially sugar ; as well as by the consumption of alcohol, nicotine and tannins (present in tea and coffee).
Thiamine is found in the muscles, liver, heart, kidneys and brain and is important for almost all cellular reactions. It is necessary for energy production, as it helps break down carbohydrates and fats. It also helps build ATP.
One of its most important functions for health is its involvement on the nervous system. The vitamin is needed to produce acetylcholine, a chemical messenger vital for memory, as well as to maintain muscle tone. It is also necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid present in gastric juices, it is necessary for the health of muscle tissue, cardiovascular function and it intervenes in different functions related to circulation and blood production.
Deficiency of vitamin B1 causes a disease called “beriberi”, although currently in developed countries is rare because it has been fortified with thiamine white flour, bread and cereals, foods that most people consume diary.
However, there are groups of people who are still at risk of deficiencies, such as people who do intense exercise, people who suffer from a high level of stress, adolescents and people who consume high-calorie and low-nutrient foods (also called empty calories), people who consume very high carbohydrate diets, elderly people and especially alcoholics.
Thiamine deficiency has also been linked to fatigue, weakness, nervousness, irritability, depression, cognitive dysfunction, muscle spasms, stress, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hair loss, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, neurasthenia, fever, infections, wounds, injuries and headaches.
What is it for?
The consumption of vitamin B1 aims to meet the needs of this vitamin and prevent its deficiencies. It is also used as an aid in the treatment of some of the conditions mentioned above.
Consuming vitamin B1 along with other B vitamins can increase energy levels, relieve post-exercise fatigue, improve reaction time and concentration. Thiamine can promote muscle development and recovery, relieves stress and muscle tension. Thiamine consumption can increase energy and endurance, reduces exercise-induced fatigue, allowing proper energy metabolism.
As thiamine has some antioxidant power, it is used by some experts to protect the body against aging, alcohol and tobacco.
A study conducted in Japan showed that 100 mg of thiamine can help regulate blood glucose (blood glucose) and reduce fatigue after exercise. Other studies have shown that thiamine can help improve mental functioning, increase vitality, and improve reaction time. Due to thiamine’s key role in nervous system function, energy production, and its effects on mental state, thiamine is often called the “morale vitamin.”
The recommended daily amount of thiamine (minimum amount to avoid deficiencies) for the Spanish population is 1.4 mg.
The minimum amount that is usually used as supplementation is usually between 2 and 8 mg per day, although many experts recommend supplementing with 50-100 mg of thiamine per day.
Another way to make thiamine recommendations as a dietary supplement is based on the amount of food consumed daily, recommending about 0.5 mg per 1,000 calories consumed.
Like other B vitamins, it is advisable to consume thiamine in divided doses throughout the day as part of a B complex supplement.