vitamin B1
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What Is Vitamin B1 Aka Thiamin?

Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1 is the first vitamin to be discovered. It helps the body break down and release energy from food. Through the decarboxylation of branched-chain amino acids and alpha-keto acids, it serves as a catalyst for the production of energy. Thiamine pyrophosphate, which it takes the form of, also serves as a coenzyme for trans ketolase processes. Additionally, thiamine participates in maintaining the myelin sheath as well as an undetermined involvement in the transmission of nerve impulses. (Source)

In simple words, Thiamin (thiamine), or vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in some foods, added to foods, and sold as a supplement. Thiamin plays a vital role in the growth and function of various cells.  Only small amounts are stored in the liver, so a daily intake of thiamin-rich foods is needed.

What Are The Functions Of Vitamin B1 Aka Thiamin?

Energy Metabolism: Thiamin is a critical component of several enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates. It plays a fundamental role in converting glucose (sugar) into energy that the body can use.

Nervous System Function: Thiamin is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit nerve signals. Thiamin is particularly important for maintaining healthy nerve cells and ensuring the proper transmission of nerve impulses.

Heart Health: Thiamin supports heart health by assisting in the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It helps the heart muscle function effectively and is essential for overall cardiovascular health.

Muscle Function: Thiamin is necessary for normal muscle function. It aids in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy needed for muscle contractions and physical activities.

Digestive System Support: Thiamin is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is crucial for the digestion of food. It helps in breaking down food for nutrient absorption.

Cognitive Function: Thiamin plays a role in maintaining cognitive function and mental alertness. A deficiency in thiamin can lead to problems with memory and concentration.

Appetite Regulation: Thiamin is essential for maintaining a healthy appetite. Deficiency can lead to a loss of appetite and a reduction in food intake.

Stress Response: During periods of physical or emotional stress, the body’s demand for thiamin may increase. Thiamin supports the body’s ability to respond to stress effectively.

Growth and Development: Thiamin is important for normal growth and development, particularly in children and adolescents.

Immune System Function: Thiamin supports the immune system and overall immune function.

Detoxification: It is involved in the detoxification of certain drugs and chemicals by the liver.

vitamin B1

How Much Vitamin B1 Aka Thiamin Do I Need? What Are The Recommended Amounts?

The amount of thiamin adults (aged 19 to 64) need is:

1mg a day for men

0.8mg a day for women 

You should be able to get all the thiamin you need from your daily diet. Thiamin cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day.

RDA: For men and women in the same age group, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is

  • 1.2 mg per day for men
  • 1.1 mg per day for women.
  • For women who are pregnant or nursing, the dosage rises to 1.4 milligrams per day.

UL: A Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the highest daily dose that is unlikely to have negative side effects on the majority of people. Since there aren’t many studies demonstrating the harms of high thiamin consumption, there isn’t a UL for thiamin.

Also Read: Health Benefits Of Paneer: Nutrients, Nutrition, Healthy Facts

What Happens If There Is Excess Of Vitamin B1 Aka Thiamin?

The consequences of taking daily large doses of thiamine supplements are unknown because there is little data to support them.

What Are The Food Sources?

Numerous food items include thiamin.

Suitable sources include

  • Peas
  • A few seasonal fruits (such as bananas and oranges)
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain bread slices
  • A few breakfast kinds of cereal fortified
  • Liver


Since the majority of Americans consume enough thiamin to meet the RDA, thiamine deficiencies are uncommon in the country. Low intake of thiamin-containing foods, poor gut absorption, or increased urine loss due to alcohol misuse or certain drugs like diuretics is some of the causes of this condition. Beriberi, which results in muscle atrophy and reduced feeling in the hands and feet, can be brought on by a more serious thiamin deficit (peripheral neuropathy).

vitamin B1

Beriberi affects motor and reflex function, which can eventually result in a fatal fluid buildup in the heart and lower limbs. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which can develop from severe thiamin insufficiency and is frequently associated with alcohol consumption, is another symptom. It can lead to confusion, loss of muscle coordination, and peripheral neuropathy. Both kinds of deficiencies are also present among people who have HIV/AIDS, celiac disease, had bariatric surgery, or have poor gastrointestinal health. High-dose supplements or intravenous injections are used as treatment together with a balanced diet.

  • Weight loss
  • Confusion, memory loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Lowered immunity

Toxicity Of Vitamin B1 Aka Thiamin In Case Of Excess Of Vitamin B1 Aka Thiamin

It is unlikely that thiamin intake from food sources alone would reach a hazardous level. When nutrient intake is exceedingly high, the body will absorb less of the nutrient and excrete any extra through urine. There is no known hazardous amount of thiamin.

Also Read: Health Benefits Of Peas: Nutrition, Precautions & Side Effects