Thiamine (vitamin B1) and pyridoxine(vitamin B6) are two essential nutrients that play important roles in the body. Despite their significance, these vitamins often go overlooked, leading to a wide range of health issues.

Thiamine is responsible for converting food into energy and plays a key role in nerve function. It's found in whole grains, pork, nuts, and beans. Pyridoxine is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions in the body and is important for brain function and mood regulation. It's found in foods like fish, poultry, nuts, and bananas.

A deficiency in thiamine can cause a condition known as beriberi, which can lead to heart failure, muscle weakness, and nerve damage. Prolonged thiamine deficiency can also result in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a condition that can cause memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with coordination.

B6 deficiency can also cause a host of health issues, including skin rashes, depression, confusion, and anemia. It's important for maintaining healthy levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for regulating mood and behavior. B6 is also critical for the production of hemoglobin, which is essential for healthy blood.

Factors like a poor diet, alcohol consumption, and certain medications can increase the risk of thiamine and B6 deficiencies. In addition, genetic variations like MTHFR can make it more difficult for the body to absorb and use these nutrients.

The good news is that these deficiencies are preventable and can be addressed through a balanced diet or supplementation. For those who may be at risk of deficiency, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider to discuss potential supplementation options.

In summary, thiamine and B6 deficiencies are often overlooked but can have serious consequences on health. By prioritizing a balanced diet and working with a healthcare provider, individuals can ensure they are getting the necessary nutrients for optimal health and well-being.

Photos by Nicolas Solerieu and Deniz Altindas.