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Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 or thiamine helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy and it is necessary for the heart muscles, nervous system and brain to function properly. Very low levels of Vitamin B1 can lead to Beriberi - a cardiovascular and neurological disease. Deficiency of Vitamin B1 can cause weight loss and weakness. Fortified breads, cereals, pasta, meat, fish, dried beans, leafy vegetables, whole grains, egg yolk, soy foods and peas contain Vitamin B1. Brewer's yeast is a natural source high in thiamine.

RDA - Recommended Daily Allowance:

Adults - Men: 1.2 mg
Adults - Women: 1.1 mg
Pregnant Women: 1.4 mg
Breastfeeding Women: 1.5 mg

Vitamin B1 is generally well tolerated and rarely produces adverse side effects with high doses. Deficiency of Vitamin B1 can result in Beriberi ( literally 'I can't' in Sinhalese language) - a disease with the symptoms of loss of appetite, weakness, irritability, tingling of nerves, poor muscles coordination and muscular pain in the calves. This disease is due to poor metabolization of glucose.

Vitamin B complex

B Vitamins - the group of water soluble vitamins essential for the normal functioning are not usually produced by our bodies and require to be replenished regularly.

Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
Vitamin B3 - Niacin, Niacinamide
Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
Vitamin B7 - Biotin
Vitamin B9 - Folic Acid
Vitamin B12 - Cyanocobalamin

Some Vitamin B Complex formulations, in addition to the above major B Vitamins, may contain inositol, choline bitartrate and Para Amino Benzoic Acid - PABA.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 also known as Pantothenic acid is often used in combination with other B Vitamins in Vitamin B formulations. Vitamin B5 is primarily used for treating dietary deficiencies, acne, alcoholism, allergies, baldness, asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, burning feet syndrome, yeast infections, heart failure, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory disorders, celiac disease, colitis, conjunctivitis, convulsions and cystitis. Some times Vitamin B5 is also used for controlling dandruff, depression,tongue infections, gray hair, headache, hyperactivity, low blood sugar, insomnia, irritability, muscular dystrophy, muscular cramps in the legs associated with pregnancy or alcoholism and improving athletic performance.

RDA - Recommended Daily Allowance:
Adults - Men: 5 mg
Adults - Women: 5 mg
Pregnant Women: 6 mg
Breastfeeding Women: 7 mg
Vitamin B5 is generally well tolerated in moderate doses but may produce adverse side effects like diarrhea with high doses.

Biotin or Vitamin B7: RDA - Recommended Daily Allowance:
Adults: 30 microgram
Biotin deficiency manifests in the form of scaly inflammation of the skin, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, anemia, depression and general weakness.


The term Amaurosis is taken from Greek meaning dark or obscure. It is loss of vision or weakness that occurs without any apparent lesion affecting the eye. Amaurosis is often a short lived episode of blindness in one eye and is referred to as 'fleeting blindness'. An episode of amaurosis if often frightening. Although the visual loss gradually resolves, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately as this may be one of the warning signs of a stroke. Amaurosis is caused due to blood clot or a small piece of cholesterol that breaks off from a large artery and travels upward to the brain or eye. This gets lodged in the main artery supplying blood to the eye. Amaurosis is also caused by blood clots from heart valves or the heart itself due to underlying heart disease.

There are various types of amaurosis. The Leber's congenital amaurosis is inherited. This results in optic atrophy and results in severe vision loss. Amaurosis fugax is a temporary loss of vision in one eye. This is caused by decreased blood flow to the retina. While the majority experiencing amaurosis have a complete symptom abeyance within a few minutes, there is a minority who experience a stroke or a vision loss as a result of amaurosis.

Diabetes, hypertension and smoking tend to aggravate this condition. Sometimes, surgical repair of the mitral valve may result in amaurosis. Deficiency of Vitamin B1 due to Thiamine related cerebrocortical necrosis can also result in amaurosis. Treatment of amaurosis depends mainly upon identifying the source of blood clots and cholesterol that have caused this block in the artery. An ultrasound of the carotid arteries of the neck, a study of the electrical system of the heart and a magnetic resonance angiography scan of the head and neck, an echocardiogram of the heart are often included to reveal the source of the problem and decide on the treatment options.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 18, 2019