IMPORTANCE OF THIAMIN
Thiamin plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. Thiamin pyrophosphate is necessary for the decarboxylation and
transketolation reactions that are involved in the use of carbohydrate for energy and conversion to fat and the
metabolism of fatty acids, nucleic acids, steroids, and certain amino acids. Because of its importance in carbohydrate
metabolism, an animal’s thiamin requirement is influenced by the level of carbohydrate present in the diet.
A deficiency of thiamin can significantly affect the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) because of the
system’s dependency on a constant source of carbohydrate for energy. Natural food sources of thiamin include lean
pork, beef, liver, wheat germ, whole grains, and legumes. Although it is present in a large variety of foods, thiamin
is a heat-labile vitamin and thus readily destroyed by the high heat involved in the processing of many pet foods.
Naturally occurring thiamin deficiency is very rare in dogs and cats and is usually the result of the presence of antithiamin factors in the diet rather than an absolute vitamin deficiency.