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Thiamine is important for normal digestion, the metabolism of carbohydrates, for liver and pancreas, brain and nerves. It is a strong antioxidant, especially preventing nerves from alcohol-caused oxidation. So, if you drink a lot of alcohol you need extra thiamine.
This vitamin is a moderate diuretic - deficiency can be a cause of oedema; it improves memory and appetite, and is important for cardiovascular health.
Official RDA: 1.4-2.5mg.
Some natural sources: brewer's yeast, wheat germ, beans, eggs, and most meat from mammals and fowl (although see next sentence).
Thiamine is extremely heat-sensitive. It is almost totally destroyed by cooking.
Thiamine is known to interact especially with vitamin B2, B3, B6, C, and D.
Riboflavin, vitamin B2, is a co-enzyme to many of the enzymes that are regulating functions on a cellular level. It is necessary for normal growth and reproduction; for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins; for regulating thyroid activity; for the function of several transmitter substances; for the production of red blood cells; for antibody formation; for the function and health of skin, hair and nails and for the eyes. It is a strong antioxidant and can be one of the most important nutrients for cancer prevention.
Deficiency often shows first as various eye problems, or skin/hair disorders, muscular weakness, or mental problems.
Being yellow-orange in colour, riboflavin is used for colouring other foodstuffs or to protect them or fortify them. And, if you take it as a supplement, urine is coloured by it. It is a harmless condition.
Official RDA: 1.7-2.5mg.
Some natural sources: wheat germ, brewer's yeast, green leaves, beans, avocado, milk.
This vitamin is destroyed by light and by certain medicines.
Riboflavin is known to interact especially with vitamin A, B1, B3, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, and Biotin.
Pyridoxine is necessary for protein metabolism. The more protein you eat, the more pyridoxine you need. It is also essential for the synthesis of RNA and DNA, and for immunity; it is involved in the production of various neurotransmitters, and it is a moderate diuretic.
B6 deficiency can contribute to the development of various neurological problems, oedema and varicose veins, allergies, metabolic disturbance, and joint ailments.
A Dr. John M. Ellis once invented a test to detect early pyridoxine deficiency. I would not say that it is foolproof, but it certainly can detect early tendencies to joint ailment, which could then be examined further.
You can do this test yourself. Hold out your open hands, palms upward. Without moving the hands or the knuckles, bow the fingers (two joints per finger) and try to touch the palms with the fingertips. If you cannot, or if it is hard, you probably have a beginning joint ailment.
Official RDA: 1.4-2.5mg.
Do not exceed 200mg/day; it could lead to peripheral neuropathy, a nerve damage, which cannot easily be healed.
Some natural sources: brewer's yeast, bananas, pears, herring, liver.
B6 is known to interact especially with vitamin B1, B2, B3, Folic Acid, Biotin, C, E, and Magnesium.
WARNING: If you are under medication for Parkinson's disease, consult your physician before taking extra B6.