Vitamin B1

The A-B-C's of Vitamin Supplements

Peer Reviewed

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is important for the following bodily functions: breathing, carbohydrate metabolism, and enhanced circulation. It assists in producing hydrochloric acid—key for proper digestion. Beriberi, a disease of the nervous system that is rare in developed nations, is caused by a deficiency of B1.
Vitamin B1 capsule. Pill with thiamine. Dietary supplements. 3d illustrationAlcoholics are at risk for beriberi because excessive consumption depletes the body of thiamine. Other known side effects from a lack of Vitamin B1 include: constipation (poor digestion), edema (swelling), heart changes (even heart failure), memory difficulties, labored breathing, nervousness, and numbness in the hands and feet.

Dosage Guidelines
Vitamin B1 can be taken in the following dosages with water after eating:

  • Adults - between 1.1 mg and 1.5 mg
  • Although women who are pregnant or nursing can take Vitamin B1, it is suggested the dosage be discussed with a medical professional first. Always consult with a medical professional prior to giving thiamine to a child.

Sources of Vitamin B1
This is an easy vitamin to find in everyday food sources: brown rice, egg yolks, soymilk, beans, brewer's yeast, peanuts, whole grains, most nuts, kelp, and some vegetables such as asparagus and Brussel sprouts.

Vitamin B1 is available in table, capsule and chewable form. It is also available in most multivitamins or simply labeled B-complex. Vitamin B1 is labeled two ways: as thiamine mononitrate and thiamine hydrochloride.

Vitamin B1 is basically nontoxic.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 01/22/19
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Thomas G. Lowe, MD
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