The first of the B vitamins to be discovered, scientists found it was the lack of this vitamin that caused the disease beriberi.
Thiamin deficiency results in beriberi, a disease resulting in atrophy, weakness of the legs, nerve damage, and heart failure.
It is on clinical grounds that beriberi, scarlet fever, measles, &c., are recognized as belonging to the same class, and evolving in phases which differ not in intimate nature but in the more superficial and inessential characters of time, rate and polymorphism; and the impression is gaining strength that acute rheumatism belongs to the group of the infections, certain sore throats, chorea and other apparently distinct maladies being terms of this series.
The grave palsies in such diseases as influenza, diphtheria, beriberi, or ensuing on the absorption of lead, are in the main not central, but due to a symmetrical peripheral neuritis.
It was never sufficient to keep us in health and very soon we contracted beriberi and other illnesses.