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Home > Health Library > Theamine -Vitamin B1
Theamine -Vitamin B1
Overview

Vitamin B1 is a water soluble vitamin that readily enters and exits the body daily so it must be taken internally on a daily basis. Vitamin B1 is a crystalline, yellow-white, water-soluble compound that is heat and alkali reactive when placed in solution. Thiamin helps maintain a normal metabolism and helps burn carbohydrates. Vitamin B1 is found in most whole grains. Vitamin B1 is a group of water-soluble vitamins that participates in many of the chemical reactions in the body. It is also called thiamine, thiamin and aneurin. Thiamin, in the form of thiamin pyrophosphate, plays an essential role as a cofactor in key reactions in carbohydrate metabolism. It is also involved in the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids and may have non-coenzyme (non-cofactor) roles in excitable cells.

Vitamin B1 is essential for the body to be able to use carbohydrate as an energy source as well as for metabolising amino acids. A person's requirements for vitamin B1 are increased when they are relying heavily on carbohydrates for their main source of energy. In humans, thiamin can be synthesized in the large intestine as thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP). The main circulating form of vitamin B1 is thiamine diphosphate (TDP) which is found almost completely in red blood cells. TPP is too large a molecule to be absorbed across the intestinal mucosa. It requires the use of an enzyme to cleave the smaller thiamin molecule out of the compound. TDP is a cofactor for several enzymes - pyruvate dehydrogenase and transketolase (activity is sometimes measured as an indicator of vitamin B1 deficiency) and thiamine triphosphate is thought to be important in nerve conduction.

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. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of hydrochloric acid, which is important for proper digestion. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) also enhances circulation and optimizes cognitive activity and brain function. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) has a positive effect on energy, growth, normal appetite, and learning capacity, and is needed for muscle tone of the intestines, stomach, and heart. Vitamin B1 acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from generative effects of aging, alcohol consumption, and smoking. May improve glucose tolerance and retard arterial blockages, especially in diabetics.

What is Thiamine ?
Thiamine is one of the B vitamins, a group of water-soluble vitamins that participate in many of the chemical reactions in the body.
Thiamine (vitamin B1) helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.

Where it is found
Thiamine is found in fortified breads, cereals, pasta, whole grains (especially wheat germ), lean meats (especially pork), fish, dried beans, peas, and soybeans.
Dairy products, fruits, and vegetables are not very high in thiamine, but when consumed in large amounts, they become a significant source.

 
See Thiamine related videos:
video icon Thiamine deficiency in diabetes (video module - 6.39 minutes)
video icon Facts about Thiamine (video module - 2.57 minutes)
video icon Thiamine Aids Vascular Health in Diabetics (video module - 1.06 minutes)
Product related PDF file
Benfo600Study
Benfotiamine
 

Benefits / uses
Thiamine works with the other B vitamins to change protein, carbohydrate, and fat to energy. It is especially vital for changing carbohydrates to energy. It is a key factor in the healthy functioning of all the body's cells, especially the nerves. Vitamin B1 helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. As a coenzyme, thiamin plays a key role in energy production, conversion of glucose to fat. 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.

Thiamin is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. It is especially involved in carbohydrate metabolism in the brain. Thiamin has an important function in nerve membranes and in nerve conduction, although the mechanism is unclear. Thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP) has a specific role in neurophysiology separate from its co-enzyme function. It works at the nerve cell membrane to allow displacement so that sodium ions can freely cross the membrane. Thiamin is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. It is especially involved in carbohydrate metabolism in the brain. Thiamin may be used to support nerve health, and minimize numbness and tingling, helping to protect against this condition. Thiamine aids the nervous system and is essential for the functioning of important enzymes. These enzymes have vital roles in the processes that make energy available in the body. Thiamine is essential for the transmission of certain types of nerve signal between the brain and the spinal cord. Depression, poor memory, muscle weakness and stiffness, nerve tingling, burning sensation and numbness, tiredness, headache, loss of appetite and nausea are some of the symptoms and signs of its deficiency.

Supplemental thiamin can help protect against some of the metabolic imbalances caused by heavy alcohol consumption. It helps protect against some forms of brain damage seen in some alcoholics, some with HIV-disease, some with anorexia nervosa and others. It may be helpful in alcohol withdrawal. It is needed in those who receive total parenteral nutrition, particularly to prevent lactic acidosis due to thiamin deficiency. It may increase glucose tolerance and may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly in diabetics. It has been used in congestive heart failure with benefit under certain circumstances and may be helpful in some other forms of heart disease.

When to take/Types to take
Vitamin B1 supplements are best taken with a meal.
Commercially, vitamin B-1, is available as thiamine hydrochloride or thiamine mononitrate. Thiamine hydrochloride is derived from acetic acid (from the distillation of wood). Thiamine mononitrate is prepared from thiamine hydrochloride by removing the hydrochloride and substituting nitric acid. Either form provides a reliable sources of vitamin B-1.

Doses
The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following dietary intake for thiamine:
Infants

arw 0 - 6 months: 0.2 milligrams per day (mg/day)
   
arw 7 - 12 months: 0.3 mg/day
Children
   
arw 1 - 3 years: 0.5 mg/day
   
arw 4 - 8 years: 0.6 mg/day
   
arw 9 - 13 years: 0.9 mg/day
Adolescents and Adults
   
arw Males age 14 and older: 1.2 mg/day
   
arw Females age 14 to 18 years: 1.0 mg/day
   
arw Females age 19 and older: 1.1 mg/day
 

Specific recommendations for each vitamin depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). Adults and pregnant or lactating women need higher levels of thiamine than young children.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
A deficiency of thiamine can cause weakness, fatigue, psychosis, and nerve damage. Thiamine deficiency in the United States is most often seen in those who abuse alcohol (alcoholism). A lot of alcohol makes it hard for the body to absorb thiamine from foods. Unless those with alcoholism receive higher-than-normal amounts of thiamine to make up for the difference, the body will not get enough of the substance. This can lead to a disease called beriberi.

In severe thiamine deficiency, brain damage can occur. One type is called Korsakoff syndrome. The other is Wernicke's disease. Either or both of these conditions can occur in the same person.

There is no known poisoning linked to thiamine.

Research studies / References

arw Anon. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lactic acidosis traced to thiamine deficiency related to nationwide shortage of multivitamins for total parenteral nutrition--United States, 1997. JAMA 1997;278(2):109, 111.
   
arw Abbas ZG, Swai AB. Evaluation of the efficacy of thiamine and pyridoxine in the treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy. East Afr Med J 1997;74(12):803-808.
   
arw Avenell A, Handoll HH. Nutritional supplementation for hip fracture aftercare in older people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;(2):CD001880.
   
arw Benton D, Fordy J, Haller J. The impact of long-term vitamin supplementation on cognitive functioning. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1995;117(3):298-305.
   
arw Cook CC, Hallwood PM, Thomson AD. B Vitamin deficiency and neuropsychiatric syndromes in alcohol misuse. Alcohol Alcohol 1998;33(4):317-336.
   
arw Hamadani M, Awan F. Role of thiamine in managing ifosfamide-induced encephalopathy. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2006 Dec;12(4):237-9.
   
arw Kabat GC, Miller AB, Jain M, et al. Dietary intake of selected B vitamins in relation to risk of major cancers in women. Br J Cancer 2008 Sep 2;99(5):816-21.
   
arw Nakasaki H, Ohta M, Soeda J, et al. Clinical and biochemical aspects of thiamine treatment for metabolic acidosis during total parenteral nutrition. Nutrition 1997;13(2):110-117.
   
arw Nolan KA, Black RS, Sheu KF, et al. A trial of thiamine in Alzheimer's disease. Arch Neurol 1991;48(1):81-83.
   
arw Olsen BS, Hahnemann JM, Schwartz M, et al. Thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anaemia: a cause of syndromic diabetes in childhood. Pediatr Diabetes 2007 Aug;8(4):239-41.
   
arw 1Ranganathan LN, Ramaratnam S. Vitamins for epilepsy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;(2):CD004304.
   
arw Saif MW. Is there a role for thiamine in the management of congestive heart failure? South Med J 2003;96(1):114-115.
   
arw Seligmann H, Halkin H, Rauchfleisch S, et al. Thiamine deficiency in patients with congestive heart failure receiving long-term furosemide therapy: a pilot study. Am J Med 1991;91(2):151-155.
   
arw Sohrabvand F, Shariat M, Haghollahi F. Vitamin B supplementation for leg cramps during pregnancy. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2006 Oct;95(1):48-9.
   
arw Yates AA, Schlicker SA, Suitor CW. Dietary Reference Intakes: the new basis for recommendations for calcium and related nutrients, B vitamins, and choline. J Am Diet Assoc 1998;98(6):699-706.