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Vitamin B1 (thiamine) in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) in pregnancy and breastfeeding

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

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date: 27 January 2022

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is involved in nervous system and muscle function and is essential for carbohydrate metabolism. Deficiency is common in Asia, where diets are often high in thiamine-depleted polished rice and can be low in other food sources. Pregnancy imposes an increasing requirement for thiamine over the course of gestation, and deficiency can lead to widespread metabolic disturbances affecting the placenta and fetus. Nutritional deficiency for thiamine is rare in people who consume a moderately varied diet that contains whole grains. However, excessive vomiting in pregnancy can cause thiamine depletion, in which case antenatal vitamins containing thiamine and other B vitamins may be beneficial.

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