Vitamin B-1

Vitamin B1 or Thiamin:

Sources of vitamin B-1

Deficiency of Vitamin B1

Thiamin is also called as vitamin B1.

thiamin infographic

Functions of Vitamin B1:

Vitamin B1 helps in the conversion of food into energy that is utilized by the body. Vitamin B1 is essential for the proper growth, development, and for proper functioning of the cells in the body.

Amount of Vitamin B1 required:

Requirements of Vitamin B1 depends on sex and age. On average recommended amounts of vitamin B1in milligrams on daily basis are listed below:


Life StageRecommended Amount
Birth to 6 months0.2 mg
Infants 7–12 months0.3 mg
Children 1–3 years0.5 mg
Children 4–8 years0.6 mg
Children 9–13 years0.9 mg
Teen boys 14–18 years1.2 mg
Teen girls 14–18 years1.0 mg
Men1.2 mg
Women1.1 mg
Pregnant teens and women1.4 mg
Breastfeeding teens and women1.4 mg

Sources of Vitamin B1:

Naturally vitamin B1 is found in many foods. Vitamin B1 is also added to some fortified foods. Recommended amounts of vitamin B1 can also be obtained by eating variety of foods such as:

·         Fortified bread and whole grains, pasta, rice and cereal.

·         Fish and meat, especially pork meat.

·         Legumes including soybeans and black beans, nuts and seeds.


(mg) per
B0reakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for thiamin, 1 serving1.5100
Rice, white, long grain, enriched, parboiled, ½ cup1.473
Egg noodles, enriched, cooked, 1 cup0.533
Pork chop, bone-in, broiled, 3 ounces0.427
Trout, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces0.427
Black beans, boiled, ½ cup0.427
English muffin, plain, enriched, 1 muffin0.320
Mussels, blue, cooked, moist heat, 3 ounces0.320
Tuna, Bluefin, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces0.213
Macaroni, whole wheat, cooked, 1 cup0.213
Acorn squash, cubed, baked, ½ cup0.213
Rice, brown, long grain, not enriched, cooked, ½ cup0.17
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice0.17
Orange juice, prepared from concentrate, 1 cup0.17
Sunflower seeds, toasted, 1 ounce0.17
Beef steak, bottom round, trimmed of fat, braised, 3 ounces0.17
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 cup0.17
Oatmeal, regular and quick, unenriched, cooked with water, ½ cup0.17
Corn, yellow, boiled, 1 medium ear0.17
Milk, 2%, 1 cup0.17
Barley, pearled, cooked, 1 cup0.17
Cheddar cheese, 1½ ounces00
Chicken, meat and skin, roasted, 3 ounces00
Apple, sliced, 1 cup0

Dietary Supplements of Vitamin B1:

Vitamin B1 can be obtained from multimineral/multivitamin supplements, dietary supplements of B-complex and supplements composed of only vitamin B1. Commonly Vitamin B1 is found in the dietary supplements as thiamin hydrochloride and thiamin mononitrate. Synthetic form of vitamin B1 or thiamin is also used by some supplements termed as benfotiamine.

People suffering from deficiency of Vitamin B1:

People in the United States, mostly get sufficient amount of vitamin B1 from the foods they eat. In this country deficiency of vitamin B1 is rare. Although some groups of people feel trouble in getting enough amount of vitamin B1 than others. Some of these are discussed below:

·         Alcohol dependent people

·         Individuals with old age

·         People suffering from diabetes

·         People suffering from AIDS/HIV

·         People who had undergone bariatric surgery

Before taking any vitamin B1 supplements people should take proper advice from the health care provider.

Deficiency of Vitamin B1:

Thiamin deficiency can be developed if a person doesn’t obtain sufficient amount of vitamin B1 from the foods. If a body absorbs too little vitamin B1 or alternatively eliminates too much amount of vitamin B1 it can also result in vitamin B1 deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency:

Deficiency of vitamin B1 can result in:

·         Weight loss

·         Memory loss

·         Appetite loss

·         Confusion

·         Heart problems

·         Muscle weakness

Severe deficiency of vitamin B1 results in a disease termed as beriberi. Symptoms of beriberi include numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, poor reflexes, muscle loss. Commonly beriberi is not found in United States and other developed countries.

In United States, common example of vitamin B1 deficiency is Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. People with alcoholism are mostly affected by this syndrome. Symptoms caused by this syndrome include numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, disorientation, confusion and severe memory loss.

Health effects of Vitamin B1:

Scientists are studying the health effects of vitamin B1 for better understanding. Some of these are discusses below:


People suffering from diabetes often have lower levels of vitamin B1 in their blood. Scientists are studying whether supplements of vitamin B1 help in improving blood sugar levels and glucose tolerance in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Research is also ongoing whether a synthetic form of vitamin B1 termed as benfotiamine supplements help in preventing the nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Heart Failure:

Low levels of vitamin B1 is mostly found in people with heart failure. Scientists are conducting research whether supplements of vitamin B1 might help people with heart failure.

Alzheimer’s disease:

According to the scientists there is possibility that deficiency of vitamin B1 could also involved in effecting the dementia of Alzheimer’s disease. However, further research is needed to confirm that whether supplements of vitamin B1 help in increasing the mental function in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Harmful Effects of Vitamin B1:

Vitamin B1 has not been shown to cause any harmful effects.

Interactions of vitamin B1 with other medicines:

Some medications are involved in lowering the vitamin B1 levels in the body. Couple of examples are discussed below:

·         Drug used for the treatment of high blood pressure and swelling due to excess fluid in the body such as Furosemide (Lasix®)

·         Drugs used in chemotherapy for treatment of certain types of cancer such as Fluorouracil (Adrucil® and 5-fluorouracil)

Patient should discuss or take advice from pharmacist or health care professional before using any medication show that he/she will be aware about the possible interactions of medications with vitamin B6 supplements.(234)

Healthful Eating and Vitamin B1:

According to the Dietary Guidelines of federal government for Americans most of the nutrients should be obtained from healthy foods. Foods are composed of dietary fibers, minerals, vitamins and some other substances that provide health benefits. In certain cases, dietary supplements and fortified foods may help in providing nutrients that may be otherwise consumed in less-than- recommended amounts.(1234)


This fact paper by Office of Dietary Supplements gives a piece of knowledge that should not replace the medical prescription. We foster you to communicate with your healthcare adviser (doctor, pharmacist, dentist etc.) for your interest in, queries about, or use of supplements and what could be best for your health.