Common Name: Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 also called thiamine.
What does it do?
Vitamin B1 is needed to process carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Every cell of the body requires vitamin B1 to form the fuel the body runs on〞ATP. Nerve cells require vitamin B1 in order to function normally.
Where is it found?
Wheat germ, whole wheat, peas, beans, enriched flour, fish, peanuts, and meat are all good sources of vitamin B1.
Vitamin B1 has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
Adult Maintenance(Therapeutic Range): 10 - 500 mg
Vitamin B1 - thiamine - is required for:
Thiamin may enhance circulation, helps with blood formation and the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is also required for the health of the nervous system and is used in the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is used in the manufacture of hydrochloric acid, and therefore plays a part in digestion.
It is also great for the brain and may help with depression and assist with memory and learning. In children it is required for growth and has shown some indication to assist in arthritis, cataracts as well as infertility.
Deficiency of vitamin B1:
A deficiency will result in beriberi, and minor deficiencies may be indicated with extreme fatigue, irritability, constipation, edema and an enlarged liver. Forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart changes, irritability, labored breathing and loss of appetite may also be experienced.
With too little thiamin around a person may also experience nervousness, numbness of the hands and feet, pain and sensitivity, poor coordination, tingling sensations, weak and sore muscles, general weakness and severe weight loss.
Health Concerns :
Anemia (for genetic thiamine-responsive anemia)
Childhood intelligence (for deficiency)
Dialysis (for encephalopathy and neurologic damage; take only under medical supervision)
Low back pain (in combination with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12)
Cardiomyopathy (only for wet beri beri)
Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
Pre- and post-surgery health
Increased Risk for Deficiency:
Deficiencies of magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate
Excess glucose infusion
Refined carbohydrate diets
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
An herb is primarily supported by traditional use, or the herb or supplement has little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
Who is likely to be deficient?
A decline in vitamin B1 levels occurs with age, irrespective of medical condition.1 Deficiency is most commonly found in alcoholics, people with malabsorption conditions, and those eating a very poor diet. It is also common in children with congenital heart disease.2 People with chronic fatigue syndrome may also be deficient in vitamin B1.3 4 Individuals undergoing regular kidney dialysis may develop severe vitamin B1 deficiency, which can result in potentially fatal complications.5 Persons receiving dialysis should discuss the need for vitamin B1 supplementation with their physician.
How much is usually taken?
DRI (RDA or AI for Adults):
15-18 years old: 1.5 mg
19-24 years old: 1.5 mg
25-50 years old: 1.4-1.5 mg
more than 50 years old: 1.2 mg
15-18 years old: 1.1 mg
19-24 years old: 1.1 mg
25-50 years old: 1.0-1.1 mg
more than 50 years old: 1.0 mg
4-6 years old: 0.9 mg
7-10 years old: 1.0-1.2 mg
Male 1.4 mg per day and female 1.0 mg per day, although 50 mg is usually used in supplementation.
Can I take too much?
Vitamin B1 is nontoxic, even in very high amounts.
Are there any interactions with other nutrients? :
Vitamin B1 works hand in hand with vitamin B2 and vitamin B3. Therefore, nutritionists usually suggest that vitamin B1 be taken as part of a B-complex vitamin or other multivitamin supplement.
Are there any drug interactions?
Certain medications may interact with vitamin B1. Refer to the drug interactions safety check for a list of those medications.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake:
Thiamin toxicity is uncommon; as excesses are readily excreted, although long-term supplementation of amounts larger than 3 gram have been known to cause toxicity.
Best used with:
Thiamin should be taken with the B group vitamins and manganese.
When more may be required:
When taking alcohol, antacids and birth control pills or if you have hormone replacement therapy, you need to look at your thiamin intake. People suffering from depression or anxiety and those passing large volumes of urine, or suffering from an infection may all require more thiamin.
Enemy of vitamin B1:
Thiamin is destroyed in cooking, and intake may be low if the diet is high in refined foods. Do not add soda if you are boiling green vegetables since soda is alkaline and will destroy thiamin.
Other interesting points:
It is thought that thiamin can be useful for motion sickness in air and sea travel, and that this vitamin also repels insects when excreted through the skin.
Food sources of vitamin B1:
Sunflower seeds, peanuts, wheat bran, beef liver, pork, seafood, egg-yolk, beans all contain good amounts of thiamin.
1. Wilkinson TJ, Hanger HC, George PM, Sainsbury R. Is thiamine deficiency in elderly people related to age or co-morbidity? Age Ageing 2000;29:111每6.
2. Shamir R, Dagan O, Abramovitch D, et al. Thiamine deficiency in children with congenital heart disease before and after corrective surgery. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2000;24:154每8.
3. Heap LC, Peters TJ, Wessely S. Vitamin B status in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J R Soc Med 1999;92:183每5.
4. Grant JE, Veldee MS, Buchwald D. Analysis of dietary intake and selected nutrient concentrations in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Am Diet Assoc 1996;96:383每6.
5. Hung SC, Hung SH, Tarng DC, et al. Thiamine deficiency and unexplained encephalopathy in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis 2001;38:941每7.
6. Cheraskin E, Ringsdorf WM, Medford FH, Hicks BS. The ※ideal§ daily vitamin B1 intake. J Oral Med 1978; 33:77每9.