Defination of Beriberi

Deficiency disease caused due to lack of vitamin B 1 called’ thiamine’ in the diet over a long period.

More About Beriberi

  • It is characterised by loss of appetite, vigour, weak heart beat and weakness in the body
  • The nerves and the muscles become weak and cause muscle etropy, even paralysis
  • It is most common among alcoholics as; alcohol inhibits the absorption of Thiamine
  • Beriberi is of three types

A ) Dry Beriberi:

  • - It affects the nervous system
    - Symptoms include difficulty in walking, loss of sensitivity in hands and legs, strange eye movements, pain and speech difficulties

B) Wet Beriberi:

  • - It mainly affects the cardiovascular system
    - Symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling in lower legs, increased heart beat.

C) Infantile Beriberi:

  • - This occurs in infants aged between 2-6 months who are breast fed
    - The breast feeding mothers lacking thiamine in their diet cannot pass it on to the infant
    - It is mainly characterised by heart failure, aphonia leading to death within few days
  • Thiamine is a major component of coenzyme carboxylase required for carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism.
  • It is also important for proper functioning of neuron and the nervous system
  • Polished rice (processed rice) lack thiamine as the bran that contains the thiamine is removed during processing
  • Consuming such polished white rice for prolonged period leads to thiamine deficiency
  • Thiamine rich foods such as Wheat flour, oatmeal, Eggs, Yeast, Legumes, Brown rice, sunflower seeds, fish, sesame seeds, asparagus, nuts and peas should be taken to avoid thiamine deficienc

Questions based on Beriberi

Questions:- 1) Beriberi is mainly caused due to ____.

a) Vitamin K
b) Vitamin B12
c) Vitamin B1
d) Vitamin B complex

Solution: (c) Beriberi is caused due to Vitamin B1

Questions:- 2) Another name for Vitamin B1 that causes beriberi is ____.

a) Niacin
b) Thiamine
c) Pyridoxine
d) Biotin

Solution: (c) Vitamin B1 is also called Thiamine

Questions:- 3) Beri beri is caused due to the removal of which of the following vitamin during the processing of the rice ?

a) Vitamin K
b) Vitamin C
c) Vitamin B
d) Vitamin B1

Solution: (c) (d) Polished rice (processed rice) lack Vitamin B1
(thiamine) as the bran that contains the thiamine is removed during processing.