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Vitamin B, The Complex Vitamin(s)

Posted Jan 07 2009 4:41pm 1 Comment

ThiaminB1 When someone tells you that you should take Vitamin B they normally mean a B vitamin complex. Most people that know anything about Vitamin B know that it takes many forms and serves many purposes. These days you mainly see B Vitamins pitched as the energy vitamin in various drinks that are mainly sugar and caffeine. They are giving B vitamins a bad name. It’s the whole guilty by association type thing. Some people take all sorts of B vitamins thinking that they are doing their body a good thing and most of it just goes to waste.

B Vitamins are a water soluble vitamin. What your body doesn’t need or use, it disposes of through urination. You may find that after you take a B Vitamin or a multi-vitamin with a lot of B Vitamins you urinate a bright yellow or greenish color. That’s waste. That’s what your body does with the things it doesn’t need…that it can dispose of. It’s just too bad that your body doesn’t dispose of excess sugars and fats that it doesn’t need. Instead it stored them for energy later.

There are several different types of B Vitamins. Each one with it’s own name, number and function. I hope that you can take away a slight amount of knowledge that you can put to further use from this blog post as well as more to follow.

The B Vitamins

  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamin
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3 or Niacin
  • Vitamin B5 or Panthonic Acid
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxal phosphate
  • Vitamin B7 Or Biotin
  • Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B12

Since B Vitamins are a bit more complex than most of the basic vitamins, this is going to take me a day or two to go through. In this post I will start with B1 and continue on with the others in the next couple of days.

B1 (Thiamin)

Thiamin is important in the metabolism of carbohydrates. What this means is that Thiamin is important to help your body use carbohydrates for energy. Thiamin absorption in the body can be hindered by a few things. Some foods that contain sulfites as preservatives can effect the way your body absorbs Thiamin. The sulfates breakdown the molecular structure of the Thiamin and adversely effecting it’s absorption into the body. Some bacteria can also effect absorption.

There are quite a few natural sources of Thiamin, the more healthy being those that are vegetables and cereal grains. The others being Pork, Liver of beef or pork and eggs. Here are some more good food sources of Vitamin B1:

  • Kale
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus
  • Whole Grain Wheat or Rye Flour
  • Oatmeal and Yeast
  • Brown Rice
  • Potatoes

Thiamin Deficiency

Deficiency of Thiamine can be fatal in some cases. Thiamin deficiency can mainly be caused by the obvious lack of nutrition, alcoholism and something I never thought about until researching this article, diets high in Caffeic acids like coffee and tea.

Syndromes of Thiamin deficiency are Beriberi, a nervous system disease and  Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, sometimes called “ Wet Brain ” that is mainly caused by deficiency of Thiamin through alcoholism.

Summary of Thiamin Absorption and Deficiency

So with everything stated above you can pretty much sum up a few things about how you may be absorbing and utilizing Vitamin B1. If you drink too much coffee or alcohol and do not eat the proper foods then your body can not utilize the Thiamin that it is getting. You may be eating a lot of carbs but your body can not break them down for energy. Here are a few tips for best utilizing Thiamin in your diet.

  1. Make an effort to eat healthy foods with high Thiamin content
  2. Drink less coffee or tea.
  3. Drink alcohol in moderation. (Besides, you don’t want Man-boobs from too much beer)
  4. Lastly, it is also important to eat the right carbohydrates. Don’t cut carbs from your diet. Your body needs carbs and you have to eat the right ones in moderation. I’ll cover that in the near future as well.

If you don’t feel that you can eat the right foods to get Thiamin in your diet then talk to your doctor about possibly taking a Thiamin supplement, but it is always best to get your vitamins through natural sources.

Resources and other great sources of Thiamin information:

Image © Health And Men 2009

Tags: b-vitamins, Thiamin, Thiamin Deficiency, Vitamin B1

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Comments (1)
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Great article, I never knew there were so many different B Vitamins.  I thought there was only a vitamin B lol.  I found a supplement at the drug store that is a complex of all B-Vitamins and am taking it daily.


Jim from rakeback

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