What is the cause of beriberi?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Today, white rice is often enriched with thiamine and other nutrients lost during milling. However, beriberi is still prevalent in many parts of Asia, where white rice supplies up to 80 percent of the total calories. Beriberi and many other nutrient deficiencies in third-world countries could be prevented if the people simply ate whole grains.

The story of beriberi and the discovery of thiamine highlights the value of whole grains over polished grains. In addition to many known nutrients, whole grains provide substantially more phytochemicals, and possibly many unknown compounds with health-promoting properties as well.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

More About this Book

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

Continue Learning about Diet & Nutrition

Chocolate: A Heart-Smart Treat?
Chocolate: A Heart-Smart Treat?
Chocolate has acquired quite a reputation as a not-so-sinful sweet indulgence. And though it may seem too good to be true, research does show that one...
Read More
How can I start eating healthier?
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RDLaura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Eating healthy requires planning. Make a grocery list and keep your refrigerator and cupboards stock...
More Answers
5 Tips for Tailgating
5 Tips for Tailgating5 Tips for Tailgating5 Tips for Tailgating5 Tips for Tailgating
Get your head in the game with these tips for a healthy tailgate party.
Start Slideshow
How to Stop Food Cravings in 10 Minutes or Less
How to Stop Food Cravings in 10 Minutes or Less

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.