• Thiamine was the first of the water soluble
B vitamins to be identified as an essential
nutrient. Chemically, it consists of a
substituted pyrimidine ring (A) and a
thiazole, connected by a methyl group.
The term vitamin B1 encompasses
several compounds with thiamine-like
• Naturally occurring B1 consists mostly of
thiamine phosphates. In pharmaceuticals,
water-soluble thiamine derivatives like
thiamine hydrochloride or nitrate as well
as lipophilic thiamine analogues like
benfo-thiamine or fursulthiamine are used.
Absorption and excretion
It is readily absorbed from both small & large
The capacity of human intestine to absorb this
vitamin is limited to about 5mg per day.
Any excess supply of thiamine is excreted in
BIOCHEMICAL FUNCTIONS: THIAMINE
• TPP [cocaroxylase] being an essential
part of the decarboxylating
dehydrogenases acts as a cofactor in
many important reactions in carbohydrate
metabolism i.e., dehydrogenase [PDH]
complex and α-ketoglutarate
dehydrogenase [αKGDH] complex
i. Oxidative Decarboxylation of α-ketoacids
ii. Conversion of α-Ketoglutarate to succinyl-
iii. TPP acts as coenzyme in reactions
catalyzed by transketolase
iv. Tryptophan metabolism:
v. TPP is a coenzyme for mitochondrial
branched chain α-ketoacid
dehydrogenases [decarboxylases] which
oxidatively decarboxylate α-ketoacids
formed in the catabolsim of valine, leucine
v. In the nervous system: TPP is a cofactor
for the synthesis of acetylcholine.
vi. TPP also acts as a coenzyme [co-
carboxylase] for pyruvate carboxylase in
yeast for non-oxidative decaroxylation of
pyruvate to acetaldehyde.
Essential for normal growth and development
Essential for maintaining nerves in normal
Nervous tissue – it plays important role in the
normal functioning of the entire nervous
Digestion – it aids in the digestion especially
that of carbohydrates.
Essential for normal functioning of nerves
Co-enzymatic activities- carbohydrate,
nucleic acid and energy synthesis
heaviness and weakness of legs.
Nervous disorders – when cells cannot
metabolize glucose, it affects the nervous
system first, since it depends entirely on
glucose for its energy requirement. & There is
Digestive symptoms- it occurs due to
defective hydrochloric acid production in the
stomach patient complains of loss of appetite,
poor digestion, loss of weight.
a) DRY BERI BERI
b) WET BERI BERI..
c) INFANTILE BERI BERI
Other diseases which can be associated with it
Early symptoms: Irritability, fatigue, restlessness,
tingling numbness in the extremities
loss of conscious
DRY BERI BERI
it is peripheral neuropathy.
In long standing cases, there is degeneration
and demyelination of both sensory & motor
INFANTILE BERI BERI
Wet beri beri Dry Beri beri
Oedema of legs, face Progressive muscle weaknes and
trunk and serous cavities. disability
Calf muscles are swollen and tender Neurological manifestations
Palpitation and breathlessness
Low diastolic BP, high systolic.
Heart becomes weaker
and patient dies of heart failure
Wet beri beri
It is marked by cardiac dilation with four chamber
enlargement, pallor and flabbiness of
Alcoholics- interferes with intestinal absorption
Infantile Beri beri
Infants born to mother with low thiamine in
their breast milk.
Restlessness and sleeplessness
Anorexia, vomiting and breathlessness
cardiac dilatation and failure.
Sudden death if not treated urgently with
There is hypersensitivity of oral mucosa
Pain in tongue, teeth, jaw, and face
Incomplete metabolism of glucose
Accumulation of pyruvic acid & lactic acid in
tissue & body fluid
Dilation of peripheral blood vessels
Fluid may leak out through capillaries,
High cardiac output, heart dilation.
Thiamine 50mg IM for 3 days then 10mg 3
times daily by oral route.
Infantile beriberi is treated via mothers milk.
The mother should receive 10,000mcg twice
daily, in addition infant should be given
thiamine in doses of 10,000 to 20,000 mcg IM
once in a day for 3 days
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