Vitamin B1 Thiamine
Thiamin (or thiamine) is one of the water-soluble B vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B1. Thiamin is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism and, therefore, in the growth, development, and function of cells.
Supporting research & information
Thiamine is a vitamin, also called vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 is found in many foods including yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat. It is often used in combination with other B vitamins, and found in many vitamin B complex products. Vitamin B complexes generally include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid. However, some products do not contain all of these ingredients and some may include others, such as biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline bitartrate, and inositol.
People take thiamine for conditions related to low levels of thiamine (thiamine deficiency syndromes), including beriberi and inflammation of the nerves (neuritis) associated with pellagra or pregnancy.
Thiamine is also used for digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, and ongoing diarrhea.
Thiamine is also used for AIDS and boosting the immune system, diabetic pain, heart disease, alcoholism, aging, a type of brain damage called cerebellar syndrome, canker sores, vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, and motion sickness. Other uses include preventing cervical cancer and progression of kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Some people use thiamine for maintaining a positive mental attitude; enhancing learning abilities; increasing energy; fighting stress; and preventing memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease.
Healthcare providers give thiamine shots for a memory disorder called Wernicke's encephalopathy syndrome, other thiamine deficiency syndromes in critically ill people, alcohol withdrawal, and coma.
Vitamin B1, thiamin, or thiamine, enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin, as are all vitamins of the B complex.
Vitamins are classified according to the materials they dissolve in. Some dissolve in water, and others dissolve in fat. Water-soluble vitamins are carried through the bloodstream. Whatever the body does not use is eliminated in urine.
Humans need a continuous supply of vitamin B1, because it is not stored in the body. It should be part of the daily diet.
Vitamin B1, or thiamin, helps prevent complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach, and intestines. It is also involved in the flow of electrolytes into and out of muscle and nerve cells.
It helps prevent diseases such as beriberi, which involves disorders of the heart, nerves, and digestive system.
Uses in medicine
Patients who may receive thiamin to treat low levels of vitamin B1 include those with peripheral neuritis, which is an inflammation of the nerves outside the brain, or pellagra.
Some athletes use thiamin to help improve their performance. It is not a prohibited substances for athletes in the U.S.
Other conditions in which thiamin supplements may help include:
- canker sores
- glaucoma and other vision problems
- cerebellar syndrome, a type of brain damage
- cervical cancer
- diabetic pain
- heart disease
- kidney disease in patients with diabetes type 2
- motion sickness
- a weakened immune system.
Not all of these uses have been definitively confirmed by research.
A deficiency of vitamin B1 commonly leads to beriberi, a condition that features problems with the peripheral nerves and wasting.
Weight loss and anorexia can develop.
There may be mental problems, including confusion and short-term memory loss.
Muscles may become weak, and cardiovascular symptoms can occur, for example, an enlarged heart.
All B vitamins are water-soluble. They help to convert carbohydrates, fats, and protein into energy, or glucose.
B vitamins are necessary for keeping the liver, skin, hair, and eyes healthy. They also play a role in the nervous system, and they are needed for good brain function.
The B vitamins are sometimes called anti-stress vitamins, because they boost the body's immune system in times of stress.
Vitamin B1 is a vital human nutrient that belongs to the vitamin B complex. It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and improving the cardiovascular functioning of the body.
Vitamin B1 is one of the eight water-soluble vitamins in the B complex family. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn is used to produce energy for carrying out various bodily functions. Vitamin B1 is also required for the breakdown of fats and protein.
In addition to these health benefits, it maintains the muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract and promotes the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.  It also improves the body’s ability to withstand stress and is often called the “anti-stress” vitamin.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B1
Thiamine helps in many important functions and is one of the vital nutrients in the body. Its benefits include the following;
Promotes Energy Production
Sugar is the principal source of energy in our body, where it is oxidized to form a usable form of energy due to the presence of vitamin B1. It is part of a complex enzyme system called the pyruvate dehydrogenase system, which helps in the oxidation of sugar. It is also required for the functioning of this enzyme system, which releases energy for a variety of functions in the body.
Vitamin B1 helps in the proper development of myelin sheaths around nerves. A deficiency of this vitamin may result in the degeneration of these coverings, which can result in nerve damage and death.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
Vitamin B1 is known to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. When treated with vitamin B1 supplements of 100 mg per day, patients with this disease felt relief. There are placebo-controlled trial studies currently ongoing to determine more about the mechanism by which this occurs.
Vitamin B1 can improve your memory and concentration power. It is also used in the management of many nervous disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Bell’s palsy. It is better known as a “morale vitamin” for its positive impact on the nervous system and a healthy mental attitude.