What is Thiamine? How much thiamine do you need? Where to get it?
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B-1, is a water-soluble (flushed out of body daily) B vitamin essential for human health. Thiamine exists in the body as free thiamine or thiamine bound to phosphorus (as phosphates). These phosphorus-bound forms, known as coenzymes, are needed for the metabolic conversion of carbohydrates and branch-chain amino acids. Thiamine, as a coenzyme, facilitates energy utilization from food and also mediates energy release from dietary constituents. These processes generate biochemicals such as acetylcholine, a substance necessary for transmission of nerve impulses. Thiamine is essential for the metabolism of sugars which generates high-energy substances (such as ATP and GTP). It also is important in the formation of nucleic acids, DNA (genetic material) and RNA, in body cells and a coenzyme from the B vitamin niacin, essential for generating biochemicals during a process known as biosynthesis. Thiamine is necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system and muscles, including heart muscle. Thiamine is also important for eye health, particularly lens health.
Yeast, lean pork and legumes are foods rich in thiamine. Other sources of thiamine include long grain brown rice, white enriched rice, rice bran, wheat germ breakfast cereal and fortified breakfast cereals. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for adults of thiamine is 1.5 mg. Conditions such as strenuous physical exercise, adolescent growth, pregnancy and breast-feeding require an increased requirement of thiamine.
More on vitamin B's to come.
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