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Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Vitamin B1 measurement is used to check hypovitaminosis, to monitor supplement therapy as well as to investigate patients with behavioral disorders, ocular symptoms, gait disorders, delirium, and encephalopathy as well as to monitor the nutritional status of patients who are given insulin.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is a water-soluble vitamin found in foods such as meat, yeast, and whole grains. Vitamin B1 is absorbed into the duodenum in the presence of folic acid and excreted in the urine. About 80% of vitamin B1 in the human body is in the blood within the red blood cells. Vitamin B1 acts as an enzyme in the decarboxylation of alpha-ketoacids, connects the glycolytic cycle to the Krebs cycle, and activates the cGMP guanylate cyclase system (guanosine cyclic monophosphate).

Vitamin B1 deficiency causes three types of beriberi disease. The "wet" form of beriberi is characterized by congestive heart failure. The "dry" form of beriberi is characterized by peripheral neuritis, muscle paralysis, atrophy, myelin degeneration and degradation, weakness, and confusion. The "brain" form of beriberi (Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome) occurs in chronic alcoholics and is characterized by encephalopathy, ataxia, ocular disorders, and ocular neuropathy.

Increasing the percentage of carbohydrates in the diet has been shown to lower vitamin B1 levels. Also, patients who consume large amounts of freshwater fish or drink too much tea may have low levels of vitamin B1 because these foods contain certain substances that are antagonists of thiamine.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Excessive intake of vitamin B1 supplements
  • Decrease: Alcoholism (chronic), beriberi, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic renal failure, dialysis patients, diarrhea (chronic), hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Medications: Diuretics (long-term use).



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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