Beri-beri was once rampant in many parts of the world. Today it is almost unkown in the western world, while countries in Asia which subsist on white rice that has been stripped of Thiamine during the milling process do have some incidences of it.
A vitamin B1 deficiency can also result in:
- enlarged liver
- gastrointestinal disturbances
- heart changes, irritability
- laboured breathing
- loss of appetite
- muscle atrophy
- numbness of the hands and feet
- pain and sensitivity
- poor coordination
- tingling sensations
- weak and sore muscles
- general weakness
- severe weight loss
Factors affecting Thiamine levels
Alcoholism can cause deficiencies in Thiamine and extra supplements are needed to overcome this. It has also been shown that Thiamine can treat the psychoses associated with alcoholism.
Some research is indicating that Thiamine may boost memory in Alzheimer's Disease sufferers. Since it is helpful to the nervous system anyway, Thiamine can certainly be of benefit in cases of mental confusion.