Vitamin B1. Thiamine.

In a nutshell

In a nutshell

  • This B vitamin is crucial for the proper functioning of the brain and nerves. Deficiency can lead to slowness, sleepiness, depression ...
  • This vitamin is essential in converting the sugars of foods into energy.
  • Because thiamine is water-soluble and required for so many critical body systems, it is essential to get enough of this nutrient regularly.
Essential for:
Brain health

Brain health

nervous system

Nervous system



Immune System

Immune system


Energy production

Key sources:

Rice bran


Oat bran


Wheat bran


Sunflower seeds

sesame seeds

Sesame seeds









Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

At first, Vitamin B1 has named "Aneurine" due to its ability to alleviate neuritis and nerves inflammation. Later it was named "Thiamine". This water-soluble vitamin is necessary for vital functions of so many critical body systems. It is essential to get enough of this nutrient in the daily diet.

Vitamin B1 health benefits

Like other B vitamins, vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays a significant role in the metabolism process. B1 is vital in converting the sugars of foods into energy. This B vitamin is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain and nerves. It is also helpful at keeping a strong and healthy immune and digestive systems. This vitamin helps balance electrolyte levels, especially in nerves and muscles. It is also essential for proper nerve signal transmission and muscle contractions, as well. 

Vitamin B1 deficiency

It is thought that the modern world has left severe health problems connected to the lack of vitamin B1 faraway in history. But not far as 2003 in Israel, three babies wear died, and 20 other struggled terrible disabilities due to shortage of this vitamin in the few batches of the infant formula, produced by the local company.
Those with restricted diets, eating disorders, alcoholics, and those who drink lots of tea and coffee or who eat lots of raw fish may have this deficiency.
Deficiency symptoms may include:
• depression;
• fatigue;
• slowness;
• weakness;
• nerve damage;
• psychosis.

Deficiency leads to troubles with nerves, brain, muscles, heart, and gastrointestinal system. Certain diseases and medical conditions may also be related to a lack of this vitamin, including:
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome;
• Alzheimer's disease;
• heart failure;
• cataracts and optic neuropathy;
• coma and death.

Vitamin B1 overdose

This vitamin appears to be safe and non-toxic even when taken in higher doses. It is a water-soluble vitamin, and its excessive quantity is being removed with urine. There has been no upper limit determined in taking this vitamin. Huge doses have been associated with drowsiness and muscle relaxation. Specific forms of this nutrient may also slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. An allergic reaction may occur in rare cases, and skin irritation has been noted. The best advice is to take doses no more extensive than what is available in over the counter supplements. If you have other health concerns or take other medications, it is best to speak with your physician to see if supplements are indicated.

Daily Recommended Intake

Daily Recommended Requirements for thiamine are typically based on age and gender. Infants should consume 0.2 mg to 0.3 mg the first year of life. Children over 1 year of age should take 0.5 mg, slowly increasing the dose until about 0.9 mg for those up to age 13. Teenage and adult males should aim for 1.2 mg, while teenage and adult females should try to get 1.0 to 1.1 mg per day.

Sources of vitamin B1

The following foods have high amounts of vitamin B1:
• Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) (100g) -  9.7 mg;
Rice bran (100g) - 2.7mg;
Sunflower seeds (100g) - 1.5 mg;
Oat bran (100g) -1.2 mg;
 Whole roasted sesame seeds (100g) -  0.8 mg;
Wheat bran (100g)0.9 mg;
Pine Nuts (100g) - 0.4 mg.

Other important sources of Vitamin B1:
• Brewer's yeast;
• Pork, organ meats, and beef;
• Tuna;
• Dried herbs and spices;
• Asparagus, kale, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli;

• Pineapple, oranges, grapes.

Why "Thiamine"?

This B vitamin was first isolated from grain in 1911 by Casimir Funk, who named the compound a vitamin. This active component was further isolated and crystallized in 1926 by Barend Coenraad Petrus Jansen and Willem Frederik Donath. In the 1930s, the structure was determined, and the vitamin was able to be effectively synthesized. Researchers first attempted to isolate this compound due to beriberi, which was determined to be caused by a nutrient deficiency.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) was one of the first vitamins to be identified by scientists. At first, Vitamin B1 has named "aneurine" due to its ability to alleviate neuritis and nerves inflammation. The vitamin later was named thiamine in 1937 by Dr. Robert R. Williams from "thio" meaning sulfur, and "amine" possibly from vitamin, due to the sulfur component of this organic compound. The designation of "B1" came later, with the number 1 designating it as the first B vitamin to be discovered.