Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency in food: symptoms and effects

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency in food: symptoms and effects

The first vitamin recognized for its beneficial effects on the human body is thiamine or vitamin B1. A high concentration of thiamine can be found in the liver, kidneys, brain, heart, and muscles. This is what my post is about.

Thiamine deficiency is common among people with high levels of alcohol consumption.

This vitamin B complex is important for producing energy, protecting the heart, improving brain activity and regulating our mood and general well-being.

Common symptoms of vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency include:

• reduced food intake (anorexia),
• muscle cramps,
• muscle atrophy,
• bad memory
• insomnia,
• irritability,
• tachycardia
• hypotension,
• chest pain,
• dysphagia,
• constipation,
• fatigue.

Now we will look at these and other symptoms, as well as the likely effects of vitamin B1 deficiency in more detail.

Food consumption decreases:

Low levels of thiamine are associated with reduced food intake and increased energy use which leads to weight loss. Thiamine deficiency inhibits the action of a compound that regulates food intake and energy metabolism.

This deficiency affects a part of the brain, which, in turn, alters hormones associated with hunger and energy balance. Eating foods rich in thiamine can restore our appetite and stabilize weight loss caused by a deficiency of thiamine.

Therefore, it is important to adjust the levels of thiamine to improve the general health of people with reduced appetites.

Disruption of brain activity:

Getting a moderate amount of thiamine from the diet is required to maintain healthy brain function. It activates the brain and improves memory, learning and thinking. It protects the outer surface of the nerve cells and prevents their destruction.

In addition, the human brain needs thiamine as it processes carbohydrates into glucose. Without thiamine, brain cells do not receive energy and they die. This important vitamin is also needed to produce brain chemicals that send signals to other cells.

People with thiamine deficiency are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Eating a sufficient amount of thiamine can change or prevent a decrease in intellectual abilities and reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

The risk of heart disease increases:

Recent studies have shown that insufficient thiamine may increase the risk of heart disease. The addition of thiamine in our diet improves the ability of the heart to properly pump blood. It enhances relaxation and contraction of the heart muscles and thus improves the overall functioning of the heart.

A lack of thiamine reduces the ability of the heart to function effectively. In addition, it increases the risk of heart disease.

Depression and anxiety:

The human brain is sensitive to an imbalance of thiamine. Studies have found that low concentrations of thiamine are associated with depression and anxiety.

Thiamine is necessary for the production of brain chemicals that fight depression, improve social behavior and reduce multiple depressive symptoms. In addition, thiamine protects brain cells from oxidative stress, which otherwise leads to a decrease in the brain cell population.

Thiamine deficiency increases the risk of brain damage which can lead to behavioral changes. Such damage can be prevented by getting a sufficient amount of thiamine through dietary changes and vitamin supplements.

Increased muscle pain:

Pain, weakness and stiffness of the muscles, accompanied by inflammation, adversely affect the overall quality of life. This condition may occur due to a deficiency of thiamine.

Changing the diet may improve energy metabolism and reduce muscle fatigue. The inclusion of thiamine-rich food sources in the daily diet can be beneficial for people with muscle pain and weakness.


Low levels of thiamine in the body can affect the sleep cycle and lead to insomnia. Thiamine is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which play a key role in the regulation of sleep and the circadian cycle. This is why thiamine deficiency disrupts sleep and causes insomnia.

Which foods contain the most thiamine (per 100 g of product):

Pine nuts (33.9 mg)
Brown rice (2.3 mg)
Raw sunflower seeds (1.8 mg)
Pork (1.4 mg)
Pistachios (1 mg)

Eat right!

Read more: Eat to live, live to eat: best food, nutrition and diet with Carolina Kramer ...