Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Beriberi Physiology

Vitamin B1 (thiamin or thiamine) belongs to a family of water-soluble vitamins known as the B-complex vitamins. The functions of the individual B vitamins are closely related. The body stores enough vitamin B1 to last for about 1-2 weeks. Excess B1 is filtered by the kidneys and excreted in the urine.

Functions of vitamin B1 include:

  • An essential part of the coenzyme system for carbohydrate metabolism
  • For proper functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular system
  • Necessary for energy production
  • Prevention of beriberi
  • Stimulation of the appetite

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Beriberi References
  1. Diamond I, Messing RO: Neurologic effects of alcoholism. West J Med 1994 Sep; 161(3): 279-87. [7975567]
  2. Donnino M. Gastrointestinal beriberi: a previously unrecognized syndrome. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Dec 7;141(11):898-9. [15583247]
  3. Fletcher RH, Fairfield KM. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: clinical applications. JAMA. 2002 Jun 19;287(23):3127-9. [12069676]
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