The Importance of Vitamin B1: A Deficiency with Widespread Implications

The video discusses the common occurrence of vitamin B1 deficiency and its various effects on the body. It explains that B1 deficiency often goes undetected in blood tests because the problem lies in the enzyme that allows B1 to function. The video explores the many systems that B1 is involved in, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems, and how deficiency can lead to symptoms like fatigue, digestive issues, nerve pain, vertigo, and more. It also highlights the importance of B1 in energy production and protection against oxidation and glycation. The video suggests taking B1 supplements or consuming foods rich in B1 to address deficiency and improve symptoms.

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Key Insights:

  • Vitamin B1 deficiency is more common than expected and can often go undetected in blood tests.
  • B1 is involved in five different enzymes that play a crucial role in various bodily functions, including energy production in the mitochondria.
  • Common symptoms of B1 deficiency include fatigue and low energy levels.
  • B1 deficiency, also known as beriberi, can mimic other health conditions and is prevalent in individuals with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, high-carbohydrate diets, and alcohol consumption.
  • B1 deficiency affects different body systems, including the cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.
  • Low levels of B1 can lead to heart enlargement, edema, peripheral neuropathy, gastroparesis, and GERD.
  • Other symptoms of B1 deficiency include anxiety, excessive sweating, brain fog, exercise intolerance, insomnia, and vertigo.
  • B1 deficiency is associated with various conditions such as POTS, sleep apnea, panic attacks, and restless leg syndrome.
  • Lack of B1 can result from excessive sugar consumption, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, heat exposure, aging, diabetes, and certain medications.
  • Foods rich in B1 include liver, yeast, pork, fish, sunflower seeds, rice hall, squash, asparagus, and seafood.
  • Diabetics are prone to B1 deficiency due to impaired B1 absorption and should consider supplementation.
  • B1 deficiency can be tested through the transketolase enzyme, but finding labs for this test can be challenging.
  • B1 supplementation, particularly with natural sources like nutritional yeast, can help improve energy levels, exercise tolerance, and alleviate symptoms of deficiency.
  • Benfotiamine, a fat-soluble form of B1, may be beneficial for nerve-related conditions like peripheral neuropathy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.


Hey guys, today we’re going to talk about vitamin B deficiency. Okay, this is actually way more common than you might think. The problem is when you do testing on this, a lot of times it won’t show up in the blood because the problem or the defect is in the enzyme that allows B1 to work. And just if you wanted to get it tested, the enzyme you would get tested for would be trans-ketolase. Okay, it’s just an enzyme that works with B1 in doing its function.

Okay, so the problem is trying to find a lab that will test it’s quite difficult. But anyway, here’s what B1 does generally. It does a lot of things, but it’s involved in five different enzymes. It’s a cofactor in five enzymes. Enzymes are the things that do the work in the body. They’re the workhorse. It’s involved in all sorts of bodily chemistry or chemical reactions, especially in the mitochondria, which is the energy factory. So B1 is essential to make those enzymes work. So if you’re deficient in B1, the enzymes don’t work, and you’re going to get fatigue, which is probably the most common symptom.

When you take vitamin B1, it seems to bring your energy right up most of the time. And instead of going out and getting a test, it’s much cheaper just to take B1 and see if you feel better. Chances are you’re going to feel better. So in the next section, I’ll talk about where to get B1, how much to take, but in this section, I’m going to talk about how many different systems it’s involved with.

B1 deficiency is called beriberi, and it’s known as the great mimicker of disease because it mimics so many other body situations. It’s incredible. It’s very widespread. I think probably if you are pre-diabetic, if you have insulin resistance, if you’re a diabetic, you have a B1 deficiency. If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, you probably have a B1 deficiency. If you have a high carbohydrate diet, you probably have a B1 deficiency because that’s how you develop a B1 deficiency. So you definitely need B1 when you actually digest carbohydrates. So too many refined carbs are going to deplete that.

So it’s involved in making energy. It’s also involved in protecting the cell and the mitochondria against oxidation or free radicals. It’s kind of considered an antioxidant. It also protects the cell against glycation, which is basically when you combine a sugar with a protein or a sugar with a fat, it develops like sticky protein. It also protects you against developing amyloid plaques in the brain. That’s what you see in Alzheimer’s. So it’s kind of like a protein that clogs up the brain’s neural function.

There’s an incredible book by Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, MD. I got the Kindle book. It was like $79, very expensive, but well worth it. I could not stop reading it. Fascinating.

Now, the first system I’m going to talk about is the cardiovascular and respiratory system. These are some of the symptoms that you can develop if you’re B1 deficient: an enlarged heart because the heart has to work harder, and then what happens is the heart gets bigger and bigger, increased pulse rate, edema usually in the lower ankles and things. So you press your lower ankle, and you get this indentation. You see that a lot in diabetics. Microvascular damage, your nerves need a blood supply. So if you’re deficient in B1, you’re going to starve the food supply to the nervous system. That’s why you see something called peripheral neuropathy, tingling, burning, numbness, and pain on your fingertips or the bottom of your feet.

Okay, so now let’s go to the digestive system. You’ll feel a full sensation in your stomach, like you’re always kind of stuffed. You can get constipated, gastroparesis. Now what is that? That’s a condition where your digestive system is very sluggish. Food is going through very, very slow. GERD, which is kind of like the valve on the top of the stomach doesn’t close, and you get acid that comes up through this way. Now, these two conditions really come from low stomach acids, hydrochloric acid. And so, vitamin B1 deficiency will create a situation where you have lower HCl, hydrochloric acid, thereby causing a sluggishness in the digestive system and causing GERD because it takes an acid stomach to keep that valve closed.

Okay, so you can see that it’s just so widespread. It just goes way over here, and it goes way over here, and then the nervous system. We talked about peripheral neuropathy, but just neuritis, in general, any type of nerve pain or nerve damage that’s occurring. B1 is very intimately involved in that. Okay, vertigo, which is kind of a dizziness when you actually stand up too fast or even when you’re standing and you feel like, you know, you’re on a ship, that could be coming from a B1 deficiency. And then it affects something called the autonomic nervous system. This is like the combination between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, and these are the two systems that work automatically. So they do a lot of different things. So you can imagine how many different symptoms can occur from a problem within this system. It’s very widespread. Lack of tears, excessive sweating, or no sweating. A lot of people have that, and they don’t really know what it is, and it’s hard to find the cause of that, but usually, it’s a B1 deficiency. Anxiety, especially nervous tension, can’t relax, excessive thinking, brain fog, exercise intolerance. I mean, how many people have a resistance to exercise, right? They just don’t feel like they have the energy to exercise. B1, insomnia, you can’t sleep. A condition called POTS, POTS is a condition where your ability to adapt to gravity and positional change is completely ruined because the autonomic nervous system, especially the sympathetic nervous system, is dysfunctional. So when you stand up, the blood flow does not keep up into the brain, and you just get dizzy all the time. So you basically have to lay around all day. You can’t quite get up and down without feeling dizzy. So these people absolutely, positively should never go on a roller coaster because that would really mess them up. But this is a B1 deficiency, fascinating. Sleep apnea because the nerves that are affected in the brainstem control the respiratory centers. So if those are not working because there’s not enough B1, you can have problems breathing. And even just breathing, in general, is going to be a problem. Like you’re going to feel like you can’t get enough air. And that’s not just for this reason. There are a couple of other ones we’ll get to. Panic attacks, B1 deficiency, nightmares at night, classic B1 deficiency, lack of stamina, just especially when you’re exercising, you just don’t feel like you want to exercise because you just run out of gas real fast. Why? Because B1 is intimately involved in five enzymes in your mitochondria. So if those enzymes aren’t working, your mitochondria is tired. And all the different autoimmune diseases usually have a common symptom of fatigue. That’s usually the B1. So if you have Hashimoto’s or MS and you’re tired, take some B1 and see if you don’t just feel a lot better. A buildup of lactic acid. You see, B1 helps get rid of lactic acid, which is a byproduct of something in your metabolism in the mitochondria. So if you don’t have B1, you can’t clear it out. So you build up lactic acid. You get this condition called lactic acidosis. So you see that in restless leg syndrome. You see that too in people that have problems breathing. If you’re a diabetic, for example, and you’re taking metformin, one of the side effects is lactic acidosis. That’s why they actually have a black label, which is a more severe label that it can cause this condition. Well, the reason why it causes that condition is because one of the side effects of metformin is a B1 deficiency. Makes sense? So you can’t get rid of the lactic acid, so it builds up, and you start becoming more acidic, and then you have breathing problems, recurrent ear infections, interesting, you have a problem with excess estrogen. The worst type of estrogen you can have, too much of, is estradiol. So, without enough B1, you can’t clear it out because one of the functions of B1 is to get rid of excess estradiol from your liver. Okay, this next one, let me explain, is called ROS. I’m not going to get into exactly what it is, but just realize it’s like a free radical oxidation particle, okay? And it’s developed by your cells, and B1 helps to reduce that oxidation. Remember, it’s an antioxidant. So you’ll have greater amounts of ROS if you don’t have enough B1. Now, when a woman is pregnant and she’s delivering a baby, there’s a condition called toxemia, which is very dangerous for the baby and the mother. The organs start becoming toxic, and the heart becomes a problem, the kidneys become an issue, high blood pressure, and even it’s life-threatening as well. So B1 will help prevent toxemia. Okay, so the beta cells, or the pancreas, are affected. Those are the cells in the pancreas that basically make insulin. So without enough B1, you’re not going to make enough insulin. If you’re type 1 diabetic, you need a lot of insulin because diabetics, they can’t really absorb B1 too well. So they have to take even more than the average healthy person. Stress buildup. So when you don’t have enough B1, you’re going to be highly irritable, edgy. Little things will bug you. You won’t have very much tolerance for stress. And a condition called SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. That’s a B1 deficiency because the infant just stops breathing in their sleep. It’s all because of the B1 effect on the respiratory centers. Okay, so let’s go to the next part. Now, why would you be deficient? Okay, mainly sugar, refined sugar, empty calories. If you take two diabetics and they’re both consuming sugar, and one is deficient in B1, but the other one is not, this diabetic will experience a lot of the complications of diabetes. This one will experience a lot less. So B1 helps prevent the damage, or at least the complications or the symptoms from high sugar. Okay, carbs in general, because the more carbs you consume, the more B1 you need to metabolize those carbs. White rice, and this is a carb, but I wanted to put this there because it’s really how they discovered beriberi. White rice and all the B vitamins are on the hull. So when you actually take the hull out, so brown rice has the hull, so they take it out, and then you have this just pure carbohydrate white rice, and then you consume that and you create a vitamin B1 deficiency. That’s why if you actually consume rice hulls, you would get B1 from that. But this is the waste product of the white rice. Alcohol, that depletes B1 big time. Also, heat, like in pasteurization or cooking food, you’re going to destroy B1. Aging, the older you are, the lower B1 you’re going to have. Alright, diabetes. Okay, so diabetics are nearly always deficient in B1. That’s because B1 is intimately involved in the cell that makes insulin. Okay, so if we have a problem with that, then we’re going to actually have a deficiency. Something called polyphenols, that would be coffee, tea, and wine. So if you consume a lot of coffee or tea, don’t be surprised if you end up with a B1 deficiency, especially if you get that jittery feeling. If you drink a lot of coffee and you feel that jittery feeling, just take some B1, it goes away within about four minutes. Gastric bypass, you’re going to have a deficiency of B1 simply because they’re taking out the first part of the small intestine. Well, guess where B1 is absorbed? The first part of the small intestine. If you have a gastric bypass, I would recommend taking more B1 to somehow get it absorbed. Sulfites can create also a B1 deficiency, and also raw fish. If you have liver damage, you’re not going to be able to absorb the B1 as well. Anti-acids and antibiotics also deplete vitamin B1. Caffeine will deplete it, and if you don’t have enough stomach acid, you also will not be able to absorb B1. But it also takes B1 to actually help you make stomach acid. So it’s kind of like it goes back and forth. Vaccinations can trigger a B1 deficiency and give the person POTS. There’s a certain vaccine I’m not going to get into it too much, but you can look it up. You’ll find a lot of data on it. But vaccinations will deplete your B1.

Now, the foods that are high in B1 would be liver, yeast, both baker’s yeast and nutritional yeast. I like the nutritional yeast a little bit better because the taste of baker’s yeast is not that great. And also, it’s hard to find the quality. Now, as far as the source of B1, I like the nutritional yeast unfortified. I’m not opposed to you taking B1 by itself, even if it’s synthetic, as long as you take either a natural source of B vitamins with it or if you just take nutritional yeast with it. Because anytime you take like one single vitamin over a long period of time, it could deplete or throw out of balance the other factors because vitamin B is a complex. It has a lot of different vitamins. Pork is high in B1. Eggs, fish, sunflower seeds, rice hulls, squash, asparagus, and seafood. And again, if you wanted to know the test that will determine if you’re B1 deficient, transketolase. That’s the name of it. It’s hard to find a lab that will do that on you. Tender calves, that’s a good way to pick it up. If you reach down, you grab your calf and it’s real tender, you could have a B1 deficiency. And increased effort to exercise. So it really takes a tremendous amount of effort to start exercise. So you just don’t have that get-up-and-go mojo. Okay, and then take some B1. And then if you feel better and all of a sudden now you can exercise, then you’re good to go. Personally, when I exercise, I take B1. I might take like 100 milligrams, but then I’ll take some nutritional yeast at the same time. And I’ll go exercise on my bike. And I notice when I take the B1, I can go a lot further. In fact, I probably can double the workout. And I just feel like my body just has to exercise. It’s very interesting. And that’s basically kicking in that mitochondria Benphotamine. That’s a fat-soluble version of B1. It is synthetic. However, there haven’t been any side effects known when they studied this. So I think this is totally fine. But again, make sure you take your nutritional yeast with it just to make sure you have the whole balance. But Benphotamine is really important with people that have nerve problems, or Alzheimer’s, or any Parkinson’s, or any type of damage to the brain with memory, because it innervates the brain 25 times more than the regular B1 that you would get that’s water-soluble, because what they did is they made B1 into a fat-soluble, so it penetrates the brain, which is all fat, and the nerves. So it’s great for peripheral neuropathy. So if you were going to take Benphotamine, I would just take four tablets, or I think they come in capsules, just throughout the day. And you should probably see some great results, especially if someone has Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or memory problems. You’re going to see some great improvement or peripheral neuropathy. All right, I know it’s a very long video, but I wanted to give you all the aspects of B1. It’s a very vital vitamin. Thanks for watching. So I want to know about what you think about this video. So please comment below and tell me what you think.