Why do I need Thiamine?

Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin that transforms carbohydrates into usable energy.

Thiamine is available in supplemental form and many foods are fortified or “enriched” with lab-made thiamine, but it’s always best to get nutrients from food.

 ERA (Estimated Average Requirement)

  • Adult women—0.9 mg/day
  • Adult men—1.0 mg/day

VITAMIN B1 PROVIDES SUPPORT TO

  • Brain function
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Immune function
  • Metabolism
  • Mood
  • Muscle function
  • Red blood cells
  • Vision

DISEASE CONDITIONS OR SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY A DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN B1

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anorexia
  • Beriberi
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Heart failure
  • Irritability
  • Korsakoff’s psychosis
  • Korsakoff’s syndrome (neuropsychiatric syndrome as a result of alcoholism)
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nerve damage
  • Optic neuropathy

HEALTH CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH TOXICITY (too much)

  • Studies are lacking but exercise caution and moderation anyway.

RISK FACTORS (Conditions or behaviors that increase the risk of deficiencies)

  • Age (more risk as you age)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Folate deficiency
  • Heart disease
  • HIV/Aids
  • Some medications

BEST SOURCES OF VITAMIN B1 (in descending order)

  1. Fortified cereals
  2. Enriched egg noodles
  3. Pork chop with bone
  4. Trout
  5. Black beans boiled
  6. Blue mussels
  7. Bluefin tuna
  8. Whole wheat noodles
  9. Acorn squash
  10. Brown rice not enriched
  11. Whole wheat bread
  12. Orange juice
  13. Sunflower seeds
  14. Beef steak
  15. Yogurt, plain
  16. Oatmeal
  17. Corn
  18. Milk
  19. Barley, pearled
  20. Cheddar cheese
  21. Chicken
  22. Apple

NOTES

  • Thiamine is used to treat maple syrup urine disease and Leigh’s disease.

CAUTIONS

  • Heating or otherwise processing thiamine-containing foods reduces thiamine.
  • Some people have allergic reactions to thiamine supplements.
  • When you cook foods with thiamine in water, try to use the water in a soup, as thiamine is water-soluble.
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