Polarised light micrograph of crystals of thiamin, also known as vitamin B1 or aneurin. A deficiency of thiamin causes beriberi, a disease which is widespread in societies whose diet is based on polished rice, where the thiamin-rich seed coat has been removed. The disease takes a wet and a dry form: wet beriberi is characterised by an accumulation of tissue fluid (oedema), and dry beriberi by extreme emaciation. Nervous degeneration occurs in both types, and death may result from heart failure. Sources of vitamin B1 include cereals, beans, meat, potatoes, and nuts. Magnification: x50 at 35mm size.
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