Also indexed as: Thiamin, Thiamine
Vitamin B1 is is a water-soluble vitamin needed to process carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Every cell of the body requires vitamin B1 to form the fuel the body runs on—adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Nerve cells require vitamin B1 in order to function normally.
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):
|Science Ratings||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)
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
Cardiomyopathy (only for wet beri beri)
Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
Pre- and post-surgery health
and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
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.
While the ideal intake is uncertain, one study reported the healthiest people consumed more than 9 mg per day.6 The amount found in many multivitamin supplements (20–25 mg) is more than adequate for most people.
Vitamin B1 is nontoxic, even in very high amounts.
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
Certain medicines may interact with vitamin B1. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.
1. Wilkinson TJ, Hanger HC, George PM, Sainsbury R. Is thiamine deficiency in elderly people related to age or co-morbidity? Age Ageing 2000;29:111–6.
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;24:154–8.
3. Heap LC, Peters TJ, Wessely S. Vitamin B status in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J R Soc Med 1999;92:183–5.
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;96:383–6.
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;38:941–7.
6. Cheraskin E, Ringsdorf WM, Medford FH, Hicks BS. The “ideal” daily vitamin B1 intake. J Oral Med 1978; 33:77–9.
Copyright © 2007 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com
Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.
Learn more about the authors of Healthnotes.
The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.