What Is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Its Role in the Body?

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is essential for everyone, with increased requirements for active men, pregnant women, and those who are breastfeeding. Thiamine, or Vitamin B1, plays a pivotal role in numerous vital bodily functions, including cell growth, function, and activity. This crucial vitamin is naturally present in a variety of foods and is also available in the form of dietary supplements and medications. Foods rich in vitamin B1 include whole grains, nuts, legumes, as well as certain meats and fish.

What Is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)?

Vitamin B1 exists as an organic sulfur compound, appearing as white crystals. Thiamine is water-soluble and is indispensable for metabolic processes, including those related to glucose, amino acids, and lipids.

Uses of Vitamin B1

Thiamine is employed to address various conditions, including:

  1. Thiamine deficiency syndrome due to low thiamine levels.
  2. Beriberi and neuritis linked to pellagra or pregnancy.
  3. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a memory disorder, often treated with Vitamin B1 injections.
  4. Cataracts.
  5. Diabetic nephropathy, a kidney ailment among individuals with diabetes.
  6. Dysmenorrhea, as it appears to alleviate menstrual pain in teenage girls and young women.

Thiamine is also utilized to support the immune system, manage digestive issues, alleviate diabetes-related discomfort, address heart disease, and other conditions. However, it is important to note that scientific evidence supporting these applications is limited.

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Who Benefits from Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Supplementation?

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: Thiamine is considered safe when consumed at the recommended daily dose of 1.4 mg.
  • Individuals with alcohol dependency, the elderly, those with heart failure, individuals with cirrhosis of the liver, or those undergoing dialysis often experience low levels of thiamine. Thiamine deficiency can exacerbate nerve pain associated with alcoholism.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Dosages

Daily Dosage for Adults

  • Typically, adults are advised to take 1-2 mg of thiamine daily.
  • Pregnant women should aim for 1.4 mg.
  • Lactating women require 1.5 mg.

Daily Dosage for Children

  • For infants aged 0 – 6 months: 0.2 mg
  • Infants aged 7 – 12 months: 0.3 mg
  • Children aged 1-3 years: 0.5 mg
  • Children aged 4 – 8 years: 0.6 mg
  • Children aged 9-13 years: 0.9 mg
  • For males aged 14 years and older: 1.2 mg
  • For females aged 14 – 18 years: 1 mg
  • For females over 18 years old: 1.1 mg.

Dosage for Specific Medical Conditions

  • Thiamine deficiency: The usual dosage for thiamine deficiency ranges from 5 – 30 mg per day, either as a single dose or divided into multiple doses over a month. In severe cases, doses can go up to 300 mg per day.
  • To reduce the risk of cataracts: Approximately 10 mg of thiamine is recommended daily in your diet.
  • For kidney damage in individuals with diabetes (diabetic nephropathy): A dosage of 100 mg of thiamine three times daily for 3 months has been utilized.
  • For dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation): A daily regimen includes 100 mg of thiamine, either alone or in combination with 500 mg of fish oil, for a duration of up to 90 days.
  • For brain disorders resulting from low thiamine levels (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome): Healthcare providers administer 5 – 200 mg of thiamine once daily for 2 days.
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Side Effects of Thiamine

Thiamine is generally considered safe when taken orally in appropriate doses. Rare instances of allergic reactions and skin irritations have been reported. However, in some individuals with liver issues, excessive alcohol consumption, or other underlying medical conditions, thiamine may not be absorbed effectively by the body.

Foods Rich in Vitamin B1

Varieties of Beans

Legumes provide vitamin B1

Legumes offer a substantial amount of vitamin B1.

Beans are abundant sources of thiamine and various other B vitamins. They are also packed with a range of essential nutrients. For instance, consuming half a cup of boiled black beans provides you with 27% of your daily thiamine requirement.

Whole Grain Bread and Pasta

Whole grain bread is rich in vitamin B1, which is beneficial for your health.

Whole grain bread is rich in vitamin B1, which is beneficial for your health.

Products labeled as “100% whole grain” bread or pasta indicate that they are crafted using the entirety of the wheat grain. Unlike items made from refined wheat flour, these products offer higher nutritional value, including vitamin B1.

Fortified Breakfast Cereals

Energizing Morning Cereals

Energizing Morning Cereals.

Due to the removal of some thiamine during processing, numerous companies opt to enhance their products with vitamin B1. Breakfast cereals are a prime example of such fortified items. In industrialized nations where fortification is widespread, these fortified foods contribute approximately 50% of the total thiamine intake.


Salmon is an exceptionally nutritious food.

Salmon is an exceptionally nutritious food.


Consuming one serving of cooked salmon provides you with 18% of your daily thiamine requirement. Salmon is also rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.

Important Considerations for Vitamin B1 Use

  • Always consult your doctor before initiating, discontinuing, or altering the dosage of any medication.
  • Ensure you provide a comprehensive medical history, including current medications, dietary supplements, allergies, and any other relevant information, to enable your doctor to offer accurate guidance.
  • If you happen to miss a dose while taking the medication, take it as soon as you remember. However, if your next dose is imminent, it is advisable to skip the missed dose.
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The previous article provided valuable insights into vitamin B1 (thiamine). For more useful information on safeguarding your health and that of your loved ones, please visit increaseheightblog.com.

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