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Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

What is Vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine is an essential water soluble vitamin. It is needed for sugar and amino acid metabolism, as well as the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Where Does Vitamin B1 Come From?

Many foods contain some vitamin B1. However, the richest sources are yeast (Vegemite) and pork. Whole grains, beans, nuts, eggs, and other meat are also good sources.

Vitamin B1 Benefits

Much like other vitamins, vitamin B1 is needed for proper functioning of your body. Thiamine is needed to strip carbon atoms off molecules such as pyruvate so it can be used in the Krebs cycle for energy production. It does the same thing to metabolites of certain BCAAs such as leucine and isoleucine (Lord & Redmond).

All parts of the body rely on the actions of thiamine, especially the nervous system and heart. This is because these systems heavily rely on energy derived from thiamine dependant reactions. A lack of vitamin B1 impacts these systems and causes a condition known as beriberi, in which movement, co-ordination, and muscle function become severely impaired.

Vitamin B1 is especially important for those who drink large amounts of alcohol, coffee, and/or tea. These beverages contain compounds that inhibit the absorption and normal metabolism of thiamine (NIH, 2011).

Vitamin B1 Negatives & Side Effects

Vitamin B1 is a vital nutrient and is safe for consumption. However, there have been reports of individuals experiencing toxicity from excessive consumption. These symptoms include headache, increased irritability, insomnia, elevated heart rate, weakness, and trembling (Clarence, 1941). It is therefore advised that you do not greatly exceed recommended doses.

Vitamin B1 Recommended Doses & Ingredient Timing

The recommended intake of vitamin B1 is around 1.2 mg/day for adults. The demands are higher for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. There is no specific timing that is important for vitamin B1, it can be broken up into smaller doses and consumed throughout the day.

Vitamin B1 Supplements

Vitamin B1 can be found as a stand-alone vitamin supplement. However it is far more common as part of a multivitamin supplement. It can also be found in protein powders such as blended proteins, weight gainers, and soy protein. Many other supplements such as protein bars, BCAAs, and fat burners also contain vitamin B1. If you are looking for vitamin B1, remember to also look out for other name, thiamine.

Stacking Vitamin B1

Vitamin B5 can be stacked with anything, but it is most often stacked together with other B group vitamins.

Clarence (1941), Thiamine overdosage and toxicity. JAMA, 116: 2101
Lord & Redmond (2008), Vitamins IN Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine. Metametrix Institute, Duluth
NIH (2011), Thiamine (Vitamin B1). Medline Plus

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