OTC Pearl of the Day: Vitamin B1

People with poor diet, cancer, morning sickness during pregnancy, bariatric surgery, and hemodialysis are at risk of thiamin deficiency.

OTC/Lifestyle Pearl of the Day: Vitamin B1

Indication: Thiamine (vitamin B1) is needed for the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Insight:

  • Lack of thiamine may lead to a condition called beriberi. Signs of beriberi include loss of appetite, constipation, muscle weakness, pain or tingling in arms or legs, and possible swelling of feet or lower legs.
  • People with poor diet, cancer, morning sickness during pregnancy, bariatric surgery, and hemodialysis are at risk of thiamin deficiency.
  • Some conditions that may increase the need for thiamine include alcoholism burns, diarrhea (continuing), fever (continuing), illness (continuing), intestinal disease, liver disease, overactive thyroid, and stress.
  • Thiamine is found in various foods, including cereals (whole-grain and enriched), peas, beans, nuts, and meats (especially pork and beef). Some thiamine in foods is lost with cooking.
  • Tea and coffee contain tannins, chemicals that may interact with thiamine, making it harder to absorb.
  • In the United States, the recommended daily allowance trusted source of thiamine taken by mouth is 1.2 mg for males and 1.1 mg for females over 18 years of age. Pregnant or breastfeeding women of any age should consume 1.4 mg each day.

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