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What is Vitamin B1 (And Why is it a Good Choice for Neuropathy Treatment)?

Vitamin B1 is essential for several metabolic functions in your body. Insufficient levels of this vitamin may worsen nerve pain.

Also known as thiamin or benfotiamine, vitamin B1 has the role of turning carbohydrates into energy. This vitamin is critical for glucose metabolism as well, not to mention it helps maintain the normal function of the heart, muscles, and nerve system.

Like all B-complex vitamins, vitamin B1 is water-soluble and travels through the bloodstream. And under normal circumstances, the body removes excess or unused vitamin B1 through urination.

Also, vitamin B1 is a critical component for the flow of the electrolytes between nerve and muscle cells. This means it is responsible for relaying correct messages between your muscles, blood, and nerves. That function makes it effective in reducing inflammation, which is one of the causes of neuropathy.

Aside from natural treatment of neuropathy, vitamin B1 can help with various conditions, including:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Motion sickness
  • AIDS
  • Brain damage
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart disease

But what happens when your body doesn't have enough vitamin B1?

One of the most common effects of vitamin B1 deficiency is beriberi, which is characterized by muscle atrophy and peripheral nervous system disorders.

If left untreated, vitamin B1 deficiency may cause rapid weight loss, anorexia, and cognitive issues like short-term memory loss and general confusion.

In light of all the above, it's safe to say that vitamin B1 is a vital component in fighting neuropathy and other potentially debilitating conditions.

Take a look at the correlation between vitamin B1 and neuropathy and discover the vitamin's other beneficial functions.

Vitamin B1 and Neuropathy

A 2017 study showed that vitamin B1, in combination with different herbs, significantly reduced nerve pain. The herbs examined in the study include:

  • Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)
  • Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • Celery (Apium graveolens)
  • Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)

So, how does the blend of common herbs and vitamin B1 lessen your pain?

These herbs are active in a range of anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the body. They can recognize the source and location of inflammation and help you fight it off.

For example, garlic is rich in enzymes like alliinase, which can transform into other chemicals that your body needs. The process happens pretty quickly and while it targets inflammation, it's also beneficial to your immune system as a whole.

In addition to that, the herbs work as a powerful natural pain-reliever, allowing your nerves and muscles to recover faster.

Celery is another fitting example here as it promotes neurogenesis, the process of neuron creation and recovery in the body. A recent study confirmed that apigenin, celery's active ingredient, boosts your body's capacity to create nerves.

More research is necessary to determine the mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of apigenin. For now, preliminary results indicate that it can boost memory and learning abilities.

But where does vitamin B1 fit into the story?

Since vitamin B1 improves the flow of electrolytes and metabolic processes, it potentiates the active ingredients in the herbs

Additionally, the herbs have antioxidant properties, so adding vitamin B1 into the mix expedites the removal of damaging free radicals from the body.

You can increase vitamin B1 intake with foods like beef, whole grains, and nuts. However, taking a supplement that contains both the herbs and vitamin B1 could be the best path forward.

The Other Benefits of Vitamin B1

Benefit #1 - Better Glucose Metabolization

Thiamine diphosphate is the primary active form of vitamin B1 that's responsible for glucose metabolization. Poor regulation of sugars increases your risk of diabetes, consequently increasing the risk of neuropathy.

Keep in mind that diabetics have very low levels of thiamine, which is not enough for the metabolism to process glucose.

Of course, ramping up vitamin B1 levels will help treat symptoms of diabetes, especially if the condition is detected early.

But even if you don't have diabetes, your nerve pain gets alleviated because of better metabolic functions between the blood and nerves.

Benefit #2 - Improved Brain Function

Studies indicate that vitamin B1 supplementation is beneficial for those who suffer from ataxia, a severe condition where people lose the ability to move. Ataxia is also linked to nervous system damage.

But how does vitamin B1 help?

Research shows that the vitamin helps protect and rejuvenate the myelin on nerves, the protective coating that can get damaged as a result of excessive inflammation. The brain needs healthy and well-protected nerve cells to function properly, which vitamin B1 can help with. It also promotes the normal function of the brain's supporting cells.

There's no doubt that vitamin B1 is vital to both the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Benefit #3 - Better Immunity

Some people refer to vitamin B1 and other B-complex vitamins as anti-stress. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties do wonders for one's overall immunity. And the better your immunity, the more you're able to handle stress.

To that end, there's a 1979 study that confirms the detrimental effect of vitamin B1 deficiency on mammals. Researchers gave lab rats vitamin B1 blockers and it resulted in the destruction of the rats' immune system.

And although the study is quite old and done on rodents, the function and operational mechanisms of vitamin B1 are the same for all mammals.

Benefit #4 - Lower Risk of Cataract

Some people refer to vitamin B1 and other B-complex vitamins as anti-stress. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties do wonders for one's overall immunity. And the better your immunity, the more you're able to handle stress.

To that end, there's a 1979 study that confirms the detrimental effect of vitamin B1 deficiency on mammals. Researchers gave lab rats vitamin B1 blockers and it resulted in the destruction of the rats' immune system.

And although the study is quite old and done on rodents, the function and operational mechanisms of vitamin B1 are the same for all mammals.

Benefit #5 - Better Digestion

Thiamine, the active form of vitamin B1, plays a role in maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

If your body does not have enough vitamin B1, the digestive system will struggle to produce hydrochloric acid. That acid is necessary to decompose foods properly and absorb nutrients.

Benefit #6 - Improved Cardiovascular Function

A severe lack of vitamin B1 may lead to heart failure, wherein one of the first symptoms is an enlarged heart.

With cardiovascular patients, vitamin B1 deficiency may happen due to several factors. These could include auxiliary comorbidities, diuretic treatment, old age, and long hospitalizations.

The alarming thing is that the vitamin B1 levels of cardiovascular patients may drop to 12% of what's considered normal. Combine that with poor nutrition and the deficiency can make heart problems worse despite patients being on medication.

There's also a high chance of developing neuropathy even if you haven't experienced any pain or tingling before.

One Mighty Vitamin

When all is said and done, vitamin B1 is a nutrient you can't do without. And considering its profound influence on different systems in the body, this is surely a vitamin to keep an eye on.

But getting enough vitamin B1 isn't as difficult as you might think.

Start by making changes to your diet and include foods like long-grain rice, pecans, dairy, lentils, and such. This step is absolutely critical if you have a heart condition or diabetes and nerve pain at the same time.

By adding healthy food to your diet, you'll also increase the intake of other nutrients and vitamins. In turn, you'll be giving your immune system a better fighting chance in its quest to remove free radicals and pain.

In addition to a better diet, you should start taking a supplement nerve support vitamin that contains vitamin B1 and other beneficial herbs if you want the fastest possible results.

One such supplement is Nervexol, featuring vitamins B12 and B6 together with B1. Nervexol is also loaded with beneficial herbs like corydalis. This herb is used in traditional medicine to treat pain, nerve damage, gastrointestinal problems, and tremors.

If you want to know more about Nervexol, click here.

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