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the a-z on vitamin b1

We really hope you enjoyed the Vitamin A Blog and it gave you some insight as to what could happen if you were deficient and how to test it, but also what will happen should you take large amounts without needing it and the toxicity associated with it. So let's go onto the next Vitamin. This vitamin is a big hitter. We consider it one of the biggest hitters of the A-Z. So let's look into:

Vitamin B1 : Thiamine

What is Vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1 is one of eight B vitamins. It’s also the number 1 vitamin. That is because researchers discovered this B-complex vitamin first — hence its B1 name.

Also known as Thiamine, Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin, as are all vitamins of the B complex. It enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy.

Water-soluble vitamins travel through the bloodstream. If the body does not use the vitamins, it excretes them in the urine.


What does Vitamin B1 do in the human body?

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) helps the body's cells change carbohydrates into energy. The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and nervous system.

Thiamine also plays a role in muscle contraction and conduction of nerve signals.

Thiamine is essential for the metabolism of pyruvate, which is an important molecule in several chemical reactions in the body.

Some more important functions of Vitamin B1 are:

Production of Myelin

Thiamine makes MYELIN around the nerves of the nervous system.  Myelin is an insulating layer, or sheath that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of protein and fatty substances. This myelin sheath allows electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells.  Think about an electrical cable. No electrical wiring should be left open without an insulation around it. If there is a break in a cable we normally would take INSULATION TAPE and tape the area to insulate it from having the wires (nerves) open and exposed.


Mitochondrial Protection

Thiamine protects MITOCHONDRIA from damage from high sugar.  Although the best-known role of mitochondria is energy production, they carry out other important tasks as well, such as: Cell Death, Storing Calcium and Heat Production. Mitochondrial Dysfunction can cause the following conditions:

o   Parkinson’s disease

o   Alzheimer’s disease

o   Bipolar disorder

o   Schizophrenia

o   Chronic fatigue syndrome

o   Huntington’s disease

o   Diabetes

o   Autism


Krebs Cycle

Vitamin B1 assists in igniting the KREBS CYCLE. The KREBS CYCLE is the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, using up oxygen and producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and ADP is converted to energy-rich ATP. In simple words - it is the petrol that turns food into energy.


Effects of taking too much of the wrong form of

Vitamin B1:

There are 2 forms of Vitamin B1 you can get: Thiamine and Benfotiamine.

Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine (vitamin B1), but is absorbed by the body better than thiamine. Benfotiamine is—a "supercharged" thiamine derivative.

Benfotiamine is a synthetic form of vitamin B1 that is fat-soluble as opposed to water-soluble. Fat-soluble nutrients tend to have better absorption and won't be filtered out at the same rate as water-soluble nutrients.

Because fat-soluble vitamins build up to higher levels in the body, benfotiamine's bioavailability far surpasses that of thiamine, allowing it to reach higher levels in your cells. And because this nutrient stays in your bloodstream for longer periods of time, it allows you to make use of the benefits for longer periods of time.

Thiamine is generally safe. Very high doses for a prolonged time, it may cause an upset stomach.

Taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B-complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins (this doesn’t mean grabbing any old B-Complex, make sure to look at what forms/ quality of Vitamin B’s are in the product to ensure maximum absorption) or to take a Benfotiamine supplement as it is has a better absorption rate.

Click below to see which of our products contain Vitamin B1 and Benfotiamine…

Effects of prolonged Vitamin B1 deficiency:

Vitamin B1 Deficiency creates BERIBERI.  Beriberi is a deficiency of thiamine, more commonly known as vitamin B1. Your body needs thiamine to break down and digest the foods you eat, to keep your metabolism going, and help your muscles and nervous system do their jobs effectively. Beriberi can affect the cardiovascular system or central nervous system.

Beriberi has historically been divided into two separate types: wet beriberi and dry beriberi. Wet beriberi affects the cardiovascular system, whereas dry beriberi impairs the central and peripheral nervous systems.


What are the symptoms of beriberi?

The symptoms of beriberi vary depending on the type.

Wet beriberi symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath during physical activity

  • waking up short of breath

  • rapid heart rate

  • swollen lower legs


Dry beriberi symptoms include:

  • decreased muscle function, particularly in both lower legs

  • tingling or loss of feeling in the feet and hands on both sides

  • pain

  • mental confusion

  • difficulty speaking

  • vomiting

  • involuntary eye movement

  • paralysis


Aside from Beri Beri – low Vitamin B1 can also affect your Autonomic Nervous System.

Your autonomic nervous system is a part of your overall nervous system that controls the automatic functions of your body that you need to survive.

These are processes you don’t think about and that your brain manages while you’re awake or asleep.

Autonomic Dysfunction is becoming increasingly common nowadays. That’s why we have created a questionnaire about autonomic dysfunction. Fill out the questionnaire below to see if you may be experiencing Autonomic Dysfunction…

autonomic dysfunction questions
Download PDF • 349KB


Who should take Vitamin B1?

People with diabetes are more likely to have low levels of thiamine due to increased thiamine excretion through the kidneys. Studies show renal clearance of thiamine increases by 24-fold in people with type 1 diabetes and by 16-fold in people with type 2 diabetes. This is why people with diabetes have significantly lower thiamine levels compared to people without diabetes.

Findings from older research suggest Benfotiamine, may improve diabetes-related nerve damage and its symptoms.

Some evidence suggests supplementing Vitamin B1 for older adults who have early signs of Alzheimer’s disease may help prevent disease progression and protect brain health. 

People with alcohol dependence and people with certain medical conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and HIV, lack the ability to maintain healthy thiamine levels. 

People with IBD, such as Crohn’s disease, and people with HIV/AIDS, are also more at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency due to poor dietary intake and absorption issues. People with heart failure are also at risk for thiamine deficiency.1 

Studies show supplementation with thiamine may help reduce fatigue in people with Crohn's disease.

Additionally, people who’ve undergone bariatric surgery are required to take dietary supplements, including thiamine, in order to prevent deficiency.


What cause Vitamin B1 deficiency?

Vitamin B1 deficiency a more common than you think! We are seeing this deficiency coming up with 99% of our clients through our Full Body Analysis.

Thiamine deficiency is the GREAT MIMICKER.  It mimics things such as MERCURY POISONING

We are seeing this on our Quantum Magnetic machines constantly.

To find out your bodies health status – book Comprehensive Full Body Analysis appointment with us today!

I can confidently say that Vitamin B1 deficiency is one of the most under discussed deficiencies, yet the most common! In saying that, Vitamin B1 is most commonly depleted by CARBOHYDRATES and SUGARS.

Professor Hettie Schönfeldt of the University of Pretoria, together with colleagues from the University of Cape Town and the Human Sciences Research Council, conducted a review of all dietary studies, in an attempt to portray typical adult dietary intakes and to assess possible dietary deficiencies.

“There has never been a national survey on the eating habits of adult South Africans. Therefore an updated study on the consumption of foods will allow us to prioritise future research and align existing policy and programmes to better administer and support a sustainable food system, contributing towards improving food security and nutrition in South Africa,” says Professor Schönfeldt.
Together with her team, Professor Schönfeldt reviewed eating habits of adults in four provinces: North West (urban and rural areas), the Western Cape (urban areas), Free State (urban and rural areas) and KwaZulu-Natal (rural areas).
Initial findings reveal that adult South Africans are far exceeding the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates. The recommended daily carbohydrate intake is 45% and “we are consuming between 56 and 69%” 
“Many white breads have had the nutrient-rich bran and germ removed from the grain, leaving the bread with very little nutritional value” - Professor Hettie Schönfeldt

Some other common Vitamin B1 Depleters are:

Which gene is involved in Vitamin B1 transportation

and usage?

The SLC19A3 gene provides instructions for making a protein called a thiamine transporter, which moves thiamine into your cells. SLC19A3 gene mutations likely result in a protein with impaired ability to transport thiamine into cells, resulting in decreased absorption of the vitamin.

Why is this important you ask? Well, if you do in fact have a Thiamine deficiency – taking a Thiamine Supplement will not improve your symptoms, as the taxi that takes the Thiamine into your cells is broken down… so that means all the Vitamin B1 in the supplement you take will just be flushed out in your urine… now that sounds like a bit of a waste to me… we want to ensure your get the most benefit out of that supplement…

How do you check if you have this mutation? Well its simple, here at Essential Health we offer Genetic Testing which will show us all your dirty genes. With us having this information… we can assist your body in cleaning up those dirty genes to ensure you can absorb and transport Thiamine correctly … book your Genetic Test now and unlock a world of health opportunities – not only for you, but your family too



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