From the Desk of Dr. Hildy™

St. Patrick’s Day © March 17, 2012

Series 1: Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin B-1

Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamin or thiamine.  However there are several vitamins in the B complex, and they are all interdependent and should all be taken at the same time.  A failure to have all of the B complex vitamins may lower the body’s resistance to disease.  Thiamine is especially valuable as an aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates.  Unless carbohydrates can be converted into energy, the individual will lack energy, drive and sparkle.  This vitamin is considered essential for reproductive powers and for proper nerve function. 

Wheat Germ B-1

Wheat Germ B-1

An insufficient supply of thiamine can result in a variety of symptoms related to the functioning of the nervous system, such as irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite and constipation.  At times the arms and legs may feel numb due to the unhealthy nerves.  The lack of sufficient thiamine may cause beri-beri, the disease marked by extreme weakness, loss of appetite and weight, digestive disturbances, painful neuritis, and even paralysis.  The heart action is likely to become abnormal and mental depression is a common symptom.  The individual becomes short of breath with by very little exertion.  An insufficient supply of this vitamin also prevents the formation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for digestion of food.  Thiamin is a part of the enzyme system that breaks down pyruvic and lactic acids, releasing energy. 

Sweet Cravings?

Sweet Cravings?

Another symptom of this deficiency is a constant craving for sweets.  This is due to the failure of the body to obtain energy from sugars, starches and carbohydrates in the digestive system, as thiamine is needed for the conversion of these foods into energy.  Consequently, the body is always hungry and the individual constantly craves sweets and other rich foods in an effort to meet the hunger needs.  Unfortunately, the erroneous thinking among many people is that as thiamine removes the loss of appetite (one of the symptoms of thiamine deficiency), it should be avoided.  However by avoiding thiamine the body lacks energy and as a result there is an increase in desire for food, especially sweets, in an effort to satisfy the body requirements for energy.One of the first signs of Vitamin B1 deficiency is a slow pulse; perhaps not more than 40 to 50 beats a minute.  The blood pressure also falls below normal but occasionally the

Home Blood Pressure Monitor

Home Blood Pressure Monitor

heart will increase its speed, apparently due to irritation of the heart muscle by accumulations of pyruvic acid.  A Vitamin B1 deficiency may result in the development of an enlarged heart, especially where an individual is actively working at hard labor or is engaged in strenuous athletics.  When the heart slows down, the digestive tract becomes sluggish and food is incompletely digested, resulting in constipation.  The food waste stays too long in the intestinal tract, gas forms, and the intestinal tract becomes dry and the contents harden.As this vitamin is water-soluble, only a small amount is stored in the body and therefore it should be replenished daily.  A minimum quantity to take daily is form 1.0 to 1.4 milligrams, but for a margin of safety one should aim for a minimum of from three to 4 milligrams daily.  As it is water-soluble, the vitamin is lost when the food containing it is soaked or cooked in water and the water then discarded.

Homemade Veggie Soup - Yum!

Homemade Veggie Soup – Yum!

And that is why homemade soups are so beneficial to the body, as well as juicing and eating raw fruits and vegetables for sources of Vitamin B1.   Ordinary cooking does not destroy this vitamin but, as indicated, it dissolves into the water in which it is being cooked.  It does not dissolve in the presence of oils and fats.  Tests indicated that the soda ash usually added to vegetables to keep them fresh and green destroys this vitamin. 

Another indication of a deficiency in this vitamin is a feeling of nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, loss of appetite and headaches.  There may also be general weakness, muscle pains, cramps, atrophy of muscles and a warm, pink, flushed skin.  A lack of muscular coordination may be noticeable, the condition known as ataxia.  Some areas of the skin may be excessively sensitive and various reflexes may be diminished.  In addition, there may be a swelling or edema of the arms and legs, with swelling of several nerves (p-o9lyneuritis) and a sensation of burning feet.  The pupils of the eyes may dilate and there may be ear noises and impairment of the vocal cords that may cause hoarseness or loss of voice entirely.  Severe deficiency may cause fainting and the customary symptoms of anemia may appear.  In addition, there may be pulmonary congestion with difficult breathing and the skin turning blue.  The memory may be come defective and in extreme cases the individual may suffer extreme nervous agitation and fearful hallucinations, as in the case of severe alcoholic addiction. 

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

The richest source of Vitamin B1 is wheat germ.  There are also ample quantities of brewer’s yeast, whole raw barley, peanut flour, soybean flour, whole-wheat flour, human milk, whole buckwheat, livers and hearts of beef, green raw peas and many other foods, such as whole wheat bread, egg yolks, rye bread, black walnuts, roasted peanuts, Brazil nuts, and hazel nuts.

Some hazardous materials or toxic substances that can  rob your body of Vitamin B1 and cause neurological syndromes, diseases and damage to the myelin sheath are molds, paints, gasoline, nail polish, house hold cleaners, motor oils, alcohol, acetones, heavy metals and some specific toxic compounds are carbon dioxide, carbon disulfide, hydrogen sulfide, arsenic, manganese, thorium, dinitrophenol, tetrachloroethane, thallium, thallium sulfate, trinitrotoluene, biphenyl, n-hexane, methyl n-butyl ketone, trichloroethylene, arsenite, lead arsenite, exaggerated responses to mycotoxins, exotoxins and endotoxins.


1)  Kadans, Ph.D., Joseph M.   Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds for Healthful Living.  Parker Publishing Company, Inc. West Nyack, New York  © 1973

2)  Tabershaw, et. al.  Occupational Diseases: A Guide to Their Recognition.  Revised Edition June 1977.  NIOSH, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  Center for Disease Control.  US Governmental Printing Office.  Washington, D.C.  © 1977

3)  Staninger, Hildegarde.Mycotoxins:  Their Effect Upon Human Beings.”  World Safety Organization Annual Conference Journal, World Safety Organization Dophian, MO © March 2003



Posted on March 31, 2012, in Healthy Fingernails, Niacin - Vitamin B-3, SERIES 1 - VITAMINS and MINERALS, Skin, Thiamine, Thiamine, Uncategorized, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Angeline Rahmes

    Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., tested the effects of a weekly 50,000 international unit (IU) dose of vitamin D on women taking anastrozole, one of three FDA-approved aromatase inhibitors currently available to women with breast cancer. Compared to women taking a placebo, those given the 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D experienced less overall pain and discomfort…

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