Picture of Vitamin B1, Thiamine

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Vitamin B1, Thiamine structure
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Picture of Vitamin B1, Thiamine

Vitamins are substances that play an essential part in animal metabolic processes, but which the animals cannot synthesise. In their absence the animal develops certain deficiency diseases or other abnormal conditions. Vitamins are chemicals other than proteins, carbohydrates, fats and mineral salts that are essential constituents of the food of animals. Although certain animals can synthesise certain vitamins and all animals needing vitamin D can manufacture it from ergosterol in the presence of u.v. light, the precise mechanism of action of many vitamins is still poorly understood. Small amounts of vitamins are essential for the regulation of all bodily processes. With the exception of vitamin D, the human body cannot make its own vitamins, and some cannot be stored. Vitamins must therefore be obtained from a food on a daily basis. A person's diet must provide all the necessary vitamins.

Vitamin B1, Thiamine, aneurine, releases energy from carbohydrate, alcohol and fat. It is an anti-neuritic factor, the absence of which from the diet of animal leads to the disease beri-beri, and from that of mammals and birds to polyneurtics, the most fundamental symptoms of which is general nervous atrophy.

Thiamine pyrophosphate. The biochemically active derivative of thiamine, the pyrophosphate ester of thiamine. It is coenzyme which is concerned in a number of important metabolic process. These include the decarboxylation of alpha-oxoglutaric acid in citric acid cycle and the conversion of alanine, via pyruvic acid to acetyl coenzyme A. The actions of thiamine pyrophosphate are all similar in that they involve the intermediacy of the active aldehyde attached (as carbinol substituents) to the thiaole ring at position 2.

Good sources of sources Vitamin B1 are yeast eggs and germ of cereals. It is not present in polished rice and other highly purified cereal products. The minimum required daily dose is believed to be about 2 mg.

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for February 1997 )