The numbers associated with the B vitamins occurred in sequence of their discovery. This was the first to be documented as an essential nutrient “vital to life”, thus the term vitamin, or “vital amine”.
B1, known as Thiamin, (notice the amin) in the name, is critical in the maintenance of tissue integrity. It’s called the anti-beriberi vitamin. Amines are the foundation of amino acids.
There are two types of beriberi, wet, and dry. Wet beriberi affects the heart and circulatory system. In extreme cases, wet beriberi can cause heart failure. Dry beriberi damages the nerves and can lead to a loss of muscle strength and eventually, muscle paralysis.
Due to it’s importance in maintaining critical body functions, thiamin deficiency has been linked to many conditions, with a vast majority of them being serious. Thiamin assists in the prevention of premature aging. It acts to improve digestion, particularly that of protein. This is where so much of the anti aging properties exist. Reproducing healthy cells requires protein.
Amino acids, (the foundation of protein) need to be available to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, resulting in more stable emotions and relief of irritability and depression. B1 isn’t just critical in digestion of foods, it’s essential for digestion, absorption, and availability of all the other vitamins.
Production and regulation of hydrochloric acid, essential for protein digestion, is dependent on thiamin. A lack of thiamin can stall digestion, leading to acid reflux, indigestion, and constipation. Of course, a deficiency of hydrochloric acid promotes protein putrefaction, leading to what’s known as auto-intoxication, where these byproducts of rotting proteins are absorbed and poison the system.
Improper protein digestion and distribution leads to extracellular fluid imbalances, resulting in edema. This condition can be seen in congestive heart failure, which is just one of the heart related injuries which can exist due to deficiency. Overall, a lack of Thiamin can injure the heart muscle, the brain, and the entire nervous system.
The original vitamin B when discovered was eventually separated into three components. B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin). Eventually 15 have been identified and separately defined. Many whole, unprocessed, organic, fresh, uncooked foods contain complex combinations of these. This is why it’s critical to seek out nutrient dense, healthy foods to strengthen and support your body, mind, and soul for a lifetime.
Balance is critical to our bodies. This is why so many fad diets end in disaster. When we push one area of the body, other areas suffer lack. A lack of vitamin B1 will restrict production of thyroxine, and can cause atrophy of the thyroid gland. If the general metabolism is increased by administration of Thyroid hormone, (the most dispensed drug in the country) vitamin B1 deficiency can result.
You can’t push one area without a corresponding response elsewhere. The use of isolated synthesized vitamin products sets the stage for many rebound problems. You may get a rapid effect from use of many of these so called nutritional supplements, but if they are not balanced by the plant and animal kingdom, you will have other issues to deal with. Side effects aren’t isolated to just the pharmaceutical offerings.
Besides being among the first of the vitamins to be discovered and identified, is it any wonder this B vitamin gets the number 1 associated with it? This is one of my first go-to nutrients when addressing heart weakness. Subclinical beriberi is rampant in the U.S. and usually treated with drugs instead of nutrition. My favorite support when thiamin is needed is Cataplex B from Standard process. This is a balanced food complex, rich in vitamin B1.