Definition of Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1: Thiamine. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of the body. Deficiency of thiamine leads to the disease beriberi, a disease affecting the heart and nervous system.
The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967). At the Lister Institute in London, Funk isolated a substance that prevented nerve inflammation (neuritis) in chickens raised on a diet deficient in that substance. He named the substance "vitamine" because he believed it was necessary to life and it was a chemical amine. The "e" at the end was later removed when it was recognized that vitamins need not be amines.
The letters (A, B, C and so on) were assigned to the vitamins in the order of their discovery. The one exception was vitamin K which was assigned its "K" from "Koagulation" by the Danish researcher Henrik Dam. The vitamins include:
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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