Thiamine Pyrophosphate Metabolism
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is known to play a fundamental role in energy metabolism. Researchers, has found that thiamine pyrophosphate is an essential nutrient universal in all living organisms. Known by the name of thiamine diphosphate (ThDP), thiamine pyrophosphate is often prescribed for the treatment of thiamine deficiency.
Nutritional deficiency of thiamine leads to the disease beriberi. Beriberi affects especially the brain, because TPP is required for carbohydrate metabolism, and the brain depends on glucose metabolism for energy.
Thiamine was the first of the water-soluble vitamins to be described, leading to the discovery of more such trace compounds essential for survival and to the notion of vitamin.
Thiamine pyrophosphate works by breaking down amino acids and sugars and producing energy for the body. As B vitamins, thiamine pyrophosphate, or TPP, plays a vital role in healthy tissue respiration, the appropriate metabolism of cells, and the efficient oxidation of glucose. It is also crucial to the proper metabolism of carbohydrates.
Since TPP works in direct support of healthy cell function, a deficiency of the nutrient can have damaging effects on the entire body. It can cause serious eye fatigue and major neurological problems. In severe cases, a lack of TPP can lead to death. In addition to poor diet, a TPP deficiency can be caused by persistent vomiting, HIV/AIDS, gastrointestinal disorders, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. It can also be a direct result of chronic alcoholism.
Importance of thiamine
Thiamine works with the other B vitamins to change protein, carbohydrate, and fat to energy. It is especially vital for changing carbohydrates to energy. It is a key factor in the healthy functioning of all the body's cells, especially the nerves. Vitamin B1 helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. As a coenzyme, thiamin plays a key role in energy production, conversion of glucose to fat. Every cell of the body requires vitamin B1 to form the fuel the body runs on - ATP. Nerve cells require vitamin B1 in order to function normally.
Supplemental thiamin can help protect against some of the metabolic imbalances caused by heavy alcohol consumption. It may help protect against Wernicke's encephalopathy and some other forms of brain damage seen in some alcoholics, some with HIV-disease, some with anorexia nervosa and others. It may be helpful in alcohol withdrawal. It is needed in those who receive total parenteral nutrition, particularly to prevent lactic acidosis due to thiamin deficiency. It may increase glucose tolerance and may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly in diabetics. It has been used in congestive heart failure with benefit under certain circumstances and may be helpful in some other forms of heart disease. There is preliminary evidence that it can improve mood and cognition in some.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine, thiamin) deficiency
Thiamin deficiency occurs as a result of many factors, including crash dieting, alcohol abuse, liver disfunction, kidney dialysis, and sustained periods of IV nutrients. Also at risk are those who consume a lot of sweets, soft drinks, and highly processed foods. A lack of sufficient thiamine in the diet can cause loss of appetite, poor digestion, chronic constipation, loss of weight, mental depression, nervous exhaustion, and insomnia. It can lead to muscular weakness, leg cramps, slow heartbeat, irritability, defective hydrochloric acid production in the stomach and consequent digestive disorders. In case of insufficient supply of thiamine in the body, the heart muscles become lazy and fatigued, and the auricles or the upper chambers of the heart lose their strength and gradually enlarge. Vitamin B1 deficiency is common among alcoholics, as chronic alcohol consumption decreases the amount of Vitamin B1 absorbed by the body. Alcohol not only blocks thiamin assimilation but injures the small intestine, making nutrient absorption in general very difficult. There are two major manifestations of thiamine deficiency: cardiovascular disease (wet beriberi) and nervous system disease ("dry beriberi" and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome). Both types are most often caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Foods rich in thiamine:
Thiamine is found in a wide variety of foods at low concentrations. Yeast, yeast extract (e.g. Marmite) and pork are the most highly concentrated sources of thiamine. In general, cereal grains are the most important dietary sources of thiamine, by virtue of their ubiquity. Of these, whole grains contain more thiamine than refined grains, as thiamine is found mostly in the outer layers of the grain and in the germ (which are removed during the refining process). For example, 100 g of whole-wheat flour contains 0.55 mg of thiamine, while 100 g of white flour contains only 0.06 mg of thiamine. In the US, processed flour must be enriched with thiamine mononitrate (along with niacin, ferrous iron, riboflavin, and folic acid) to replace that lost in processing. A whole foods diet is therefore recommended for deficiency.
Some other foods rich in thiamine are oatmeal, flax, and sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver (beef, pork and chicken), and eggs.