B-Complex Vitamins - Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

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Two of the B vitamins needed in our body. Thiamine and riboflavin works closely together.

vitamin B1 resources

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Vitamin B1

Dosage: RDA 1.4 mg/ODA 50 mg/TDA 200-500 mg. Recommended: 50-100 mg daily. In the elderly with age related mental impairment (including Alzheimer’s): 3-8 grams daily.

Sources: Richest sources – brewer’s yeast, torula yeast, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, rice polishes, pine nuts or peanuts with skin. Other good sources: wheat bran, most whole-grain cereals (especially wheat, oat, and rice). Also found in beans, especially soy; milk and milk products. Some vegetables have it too, including beets and potatoes.

Functions: Protects and helps heart, muscle, brain, growth, nervous system, peristalsis, red blood count, and circulation. It also works with other B vitamins in energy metabolism.

Principal Uses: Prevent thiamine deficiency, especially in diabetes, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological diseases, including epilepsy. Also used to prevent and treat impaired mental function in the elderly, including Alzheimer’s.

Deficiency Symptoms: Muscular weakness, slow heart beat, defective hydrochloric acid production, chronic constipation, weight loss, mental depression, diabetes, beriberi, neuritis, and edema. Eating lots of sugar or refined foods and drinking alcohol can lead to deficiency. Severe deficiency results in psychosis (up to 30% of those entering psychiatric wards are deficient in thiamine).

Needed for Assimilation: Vitamin B and manganese.

Cautions: Destroyed when the diet includes alcohol, tannins in coffee and black tea, sulfites, or uncooked freshwater fish and shellfish. Magnesium is needed for the conversion of thiamine to its active form.

Safety: Thiamine is not associated with any toxicity.

riboflavin resources

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Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Dosage: RDA 1.6 mg/ODA 50 mg/ TDA 200-500 mg. Recommended: 5-10 mg daily. The body cannot absorb more than 20 mg in a single dose.

Sources: Richest sources – torula yeast, brewer’s yeast, almonds, and wheat germ. Other good sources – whole grains, sunflower seeds, soybeans, cooked leafy vegetables, and milk.

Functions: Aids carbohydrate metabolism; works with vitamin A and other B vitamins. It is needed for growth, good eyes, nails, skin, and hair. It also helps prevent certain cataracts. B2 is important during pregnancy.

Deficiency Symptoms: Eye problems – itching, burning, sensitivity to light or bloodshot; mouth, lips, inflamed tongue. Oily or dull hair, oily skin, premature wrinkles on face and arms, split nails; severe anemia, seborrheic dermatitis, and certain esophageal cancers.

Needed for Assimilation: vitamin B complex, and vitamin C.

Uses: Crucial in the production of energy. Primarily used in treating migraine, headaches, sickle-cell anemia, and cataracts (but for cataracts, do not use more than 10 mg daily).

Cautions: Destroyed by light, by not by cooking.

Toxicity: No toxicity or side effects; except that cataract patients should not take more than 10 mg daily.

Interaction: Riboflavin works closely with thiamine.


Aunty Ann
Posted on Mar 23, 2011
Sharla Smith
Posted on Aug 6, 2010