Known as thiamine (the "energy nutrient"), vitamin B1 is responsible for many cellular interactions in the body. The most important may be aerobic energy production -- in which your cells use oxygen to convert carbohydrates and other sugars into energy. Without adequate levels of vitamin B1, this process would slow or stop altogether.This important nutrient also plays a key role in supporting the nervous system and protecting your nerves from degeneration and damage. Vitamin B1 helps your organs and nerves relay messages to one another, such as when your brain tells your leg muscle to twitch.
Vitamin B1 deficiencies (commonly called "beriberi") are rare, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't worry. Signs and symptoms to look for include:
Though it is never recommended to megadose on any vitamins or minerals, there is little to no risk of overdosing on vitamin B1. Even in the most extreme cases (through intravenous means or taken as a supplement), toxicity symptoms are rare.
Certain dietary and health conditions can affect how vitamin B1 interacts with the body's cells. As a result, several groups are at high risk of running low on the nutrient:
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B1 is:
If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough vitamin B1 should be no problem. Some of the best sources include:
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