Vitamin B1, Thiamin, or Thiamine, is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining cellular function and consequently a wide array of organ functions. Deficiency of vitamin B1 leads to wholesale degeneration of the body, particularly the nervous and circulatory systems, and eventually death. Further, deficiency of vitamin B1 can lead to development of beriberi and/or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Symptoms of both include severe fatigue, and degeneration of cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, and gastrointestinal systems. Over-consumption of vitamin B1 is unknown and studies show that amounts taken well in excess of the daily value (DV) can actually enhance brain functioning. The current daily value (DV) for vitamin B1 is 1.4mg.
As a supplement it is used to treat and prevent thiamine deficiency and disorders that result from it, including beriberi, Korsakoff’s syndrome, and Korsakoff’s psychosis. Other uses include maple syrup urine disease and Leigh’s disease. It is taken by mouth or by injection.
Side effects are generally few. Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may occur. Thiamine is in the B complex family. It is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates. As people are unable to make it, thiamine is an essential nutrient. Food sources include whole grains, tomatoes, pistachios, and green peas
Thiamine was discovered in 1897, isolated in 1926, and first made in 1936. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Thiamine is available as a generic medication and over the counter. Some countries require its addition to certain foods such as grains.
Information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.