Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)? is water-soluble and so the body does not store it. Depletion can occur within 14 days. Thiamine contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism. It contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system. In the brain, thiamine is required by nerve cells and supporting nervous system cells or glial cells and to create neurotransmitters. It contributes to normal psychological function ? thiamine pyrophosphate is necessary to create some neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that are essential for normal psychological function. It contributes to the normal function of the heart.? The heart is particularly sensitive to thiamine deficiency, and impairment of the thiamine pyrophosphate dependent enzymes primarily affects the heart and nervous system.
Deficiency is rare as foods and cereals are fortified but symptoms of deficiency might include tiredness, confusion and irritability, apathy; decrease in short term memory, depression and abdominal discomfort. There is a specific deficiency disorder called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (a neurological disorder), which can occur commonly in malnourished chronic alcoholics, which is a result of thiamine deficiency. The active transport of thiamine in the small intestine is inhibited by alcohol and folic acid deficiency.