What is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)?

Vitamin B1, also known by the name of thiamine, thiamin or aneurin is an essential mineral needed by the body. It is water soluble and belongs to the B group of vitamins. It helps to convert the carbohydrates of the body into glucose thus, producing the much needed energy of the body.

Functions of B1

Vitamin B1 is used in a number of body functions.

  • Helps in the good functioning of the central nervous system of the body
  • Needed for the good functioning of the brain
  • Helps in the maintenance of healthy skin, eyes, liver and hair
  • Build up the body’s immune system
  • It improves the flow of electrolytes in and out of the nerve and muscle cells
  • It helps in the production of hydrochloric acid, needed for proper digestion
  • It also helps to metabolize fats and protein
  • Thiamine enhances circulation and formation of blood in the body.

Vitamin B1 Deficiency

A deficiency of B1 will result in the following:

  • Chronic Diseases like Beriberi; a neurological and cardiovascular disease.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe weight loss
  • Optic neuropathy
  • Weakness and extreme fatigue
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, an alcoholic brain disorder which is caused by malnutrition and excess consumption of alcohol
  • Constipation and digestive disorders
  • Poor heart condition
  • Irritability, numbness of hands and feet etc

Symptoms of Vitamin B1 Deficiency

Some of the symptoms of thiamine deficiency are difficulty in digesting carbohydrates, fatigue, depression, discomfort, abdominal problem.

Sources of Vitamin B1

  • Highly concentrated source of Vitamin B1 are found in such food source as yeast and pork
  • Cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, eggs, liver, oatmeal, legumes, nuts, pulses, flax, whole grain, beef, liver, seafood etc are good source of vitamin B1.
  • Vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, beans, beetroot, carrots etc are also rich in thiamine.
  • It can be found in various multivitamins available in such forms as tablets, lozenges, softgels etc.   

Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin B1

Age Group Adequate Intake mg/day
Infants0-6 months7-12 months

 

0.2mg

0.3mg

Children 1-3 years4-8 years

 

0.5mg

0.6mg

Males9-13 years14 years and older

 

0.9mg

1.2mg

Females9-13 years14-18 years19 years and older

 

0.9mg

1mg

1.1mg

Pregnant Females

1.4mg

Breast-Feeding Females

1.5mg

Tips and Warning:

  • A daily dose of 50-100 mg of vitamin B1 can be taken as supplement.
  • Vitamin B1 is generally safe. However, high doses and prolong intake of vitamin B1 can result in stomach upset may result in the discrepancy of other vitamin supplements in the body and may also cause toxicity.
  • If you are using such medicines as Digoxin, Phenytoin(Dilantin), Diuretics (water pills), you should first consult your doctor before consuming vitamin B1.
  • It is advisable to take thiamine or vitamin B1 along with B group of vitamins and manganese.
  • Thiamine is also recommended to avoid motion sickness in air and sea travel.
  • Thiamine is usually destroyed in cooking.
  • Mixing of soda is known to destroy the thiamine present in green vegetables.