Thiamine, the alternate name for vitamin B1, contributes towards certain functions that are essential in the human body. It aids in absorbing energy from certain food sources. The vitamin that aids enzymes converts food energy to nourish the heart, nerves, and the brain.
Hence, the vitamin is necessary to process fats, proteins as well as for processing carbohydrates. Thiamine alcohol is often a term used to indicate deficiencies that alcohol brings about in a human system.
Sources and Importance of Thiamine
Thiamine is present in certain food sources such as:
- Animal protein like pork, beef, eggs, tuna, and trout.
- Plant protein food sources such as peas, legumes, nuts, seeds.
- Carbohydrate sources such as flour, pasta, rice, cereals, wheat germ.
It is also artificially added in food products like bread and in different dietary supplements.
Humans require this vitamin to be present in a proportion of 0.33 mg for every 1000 kcal of energy. Hence, those who follow a diet that provides 2000 kcal on average need to ingest 0.66 mg of thiamine in daily diet. For a safety margin, it is best that a woman consumes 1.1 mg of thiamine and men 1.2 mg.
Thiamine usually concentrates around skeletal muscles, in the brain, liver, kidney, and heart. The vitamin helps in proper enzyme production and functioning. These enzymes, in turn, break down sugar molecules into other molecules. This is called carbohydrate metabolism. Also, enzymes that use this vitamin include those that synthesize certain chemicals in the brain. Thiamine is required to produce fatty acids, steroids, and others.
What is Thiamine Deficiency
If the vitamin is inadequate in your diet or not absorbed properly, it can cause certain deficiencies. You could suffer this disorder due to thiamine alcohol condition as well. It also impairs certain enzymes in production or from functioning right. This, in turn, leads to certain brain chemicals, genetic materials being deficient. It can also lower immunity in one’s body. As a result, one can suffer from ineffective defenses of the body. This is especially a requirement against free harmful radicals. These are oxygen molecules that are highly reactive and harmful and are the main causes of cancer.
How Alcohol can Affect Such a Deficiency?
Those who drink an excessive amount of alcohol can fall prey to such vitamin deficiency. Thiamine alcohol is brought on by:
- Poor diet and nutrition where essential vitamins are not present.
- Inflammation of stomach lining due to excess alcohol consumption. This, in turn, reduces the ability of one’s body to absorb vitamins.
If vitamin deficiency persists it can lead to several symptoms. These can be loss in appetite, constipation, muscle weakness, and fatigue. It can also lead to wet or dry beriberi conditions. In the wet state, it affects the circulatory system and the heart. Dry beriberi can damage nerves, cause decreased strength in muscles. It can be life-threatening in both cases.
Beriberi in extreme form often leads to Wernicke encephalopathy or the Korsakoff syndrome. These are two forms of brain damage brought on due to thiamine deficiency. It is a brain injury that can develop more in alcoholics. Also, those who suffer from withdrawal symptoms of alcohol can suffer the condition as well. Thiamine alcohol reverses with treatment. If untreated, it can lead to short term memory loss. One might be unable to process new information. Also, such people are prone to suffer from liver disease.
The above conditions are easy to treat in patients when detected in time. Also, the symptoms are mostly reversible. There are several rehabilitation clinics that treat people with such deficiency.