Salmon contains a lot of Vitamin B1

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In this article we are going to explore Vitamin B1, Thiamine or Thiamin. More specifically, What is Vitamin B1, what are Vitamin B1 health benefits, Foods with Vitamin B1 , Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms, Recommended Daily Allowance and potential side effects.

What is Vitamin B1

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is one of the eight essential B vitamins that has many important functions throughout the body.

It has been given various names since its discovery such as ”aneurine” and, since 2000, thiamine.

It is used by almost all cells in the body and is responsible for converting food into energy. It is an essential nutrient, a water-soluble vitamin that all body tissues need to function properly.

It was the first vitamin B to be discovered by scientists, which is why its name is numbered 1. Thiamin was identified as a vitamin in 1912 and its structure was clarified in 1936.

KEY TAKEAWAY
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin responsible for converting food into energy.

Vitamin B1 Health Benefits

Vitamin B1 offers many health benefits such as:

  • It helps prevent complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach and intestines.
  • It is involved in the flow of electrolytes in and out of muscle and nerve cells.
  • It helps prevent diseases such as beriberi, which causes disorders of the heart, nerves and digestive system.
  • In medicine it is given to people with peripheral neuritis, ulcerative colitis, persistent diarrhea and reduced appetite.
  • Some athletes use thiamine to improve their performance.

Other health conditions in which thiamine supplements may help include:

  • AIDS
  • Wounds
  • Cataracts, Glaucoma and other vision problems
  • Cerebellar syndrome
  • Cervical cancer
  • Diabetic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes
  • Nausea
  • Weakened immune system

Related: What Are Electrolytes, Benefits, Sources, Imbalance Implications

Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B1 deficiency is quite rare in developed countries. A healthy and balanced diet, especially including the foods mentioned above, can provide the body with the amount of vitamin B1 it needs on a daily basis.

However, certain groups of the population are prone to a lack of this vitamin:

  • People dependent on alcohol
  • People with HIV/AIDS
  • Diabetics
  • People who have undergone bariatric surgery
  • Renal dialysis patients
  • People taking high doses of diuretic drugs

Vitamin B1 deficiency often goes unnoticed, as the symptoms it causes are often mild or suggestive of other conditions.

Some of the Vitamin B1 Deficiency symptoms are:

  • Anorexia
  • Nervousness
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Tachycardia
  • Peripheral neuropathy

KEY TAKAWAY
Vitamin B1 deficiency is quite rare. Certain groups of people are prone to a lack of this vitamin (e.g. diabetics, Alcoholics, HIV/AIDS patients, people who take diuretics).

Vitamin B1 Foods

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Sources, Health Benefits, RDA, Deficiency, Side effects
– Kidney Beans are one of the best Vegan resources of Vitamin B1

It is mainly found in whole grains, meat and fish. Most commercial cereals are fortified with thiamine.

Cooking unprocessed foods can reduce Vitamin B1 significantly as it dissolves in water.

Thiamine is absorbed in the small intestine and stored mainly in the liver, not in large doses. Therefore, we need it regularly.

Cases of thiamine deficiency are fortunately rare and occur only in cases of malnutrition. These are the best dietary sources of thiamine that are not processed.

  • Pork – It is by far the best source of thiamine, to the point where no other food can match it. Choose a fat-free fillet, and in addition to getting almost your entire daily allowance, you’ll also get a significant amount of protein and iron.
  • Salmon – This super healthy fish contains almost 50% of the thiamine we need in a day per fillet, and is also an excellent source of beneficial omega-3 fats.
  • Flaxseed – Flaxseeds contain quite a large amount, but remember that we can’t eat it in large quantities as it’s high in calories. Also, sunflower seeds have similar levels of thiamine.
  • Kidney Beans – Kidney Beans provide us with between 29% and 36% of our daily allowance per cup, depending on their type (black, red, white, giant).
  • Lentils – Lentils offer adequate quantities as they contain 28% of our daily dose per cup.
  • Peas – Peas may not be everyone’s favorite food, but they will provide 35% of our daily thiamine intake per cup. Apart from that, peas are a great source of fibre and vitamins, and contain an unexpected amount of protein.

All three of the above mentioned legumes are excellent sources of protein, iron and fibre and should not be missing from a balanced diet.

  • Brown rice – Apart from the theamine, which will give us 30% of our daily allowance per cup, brown rice is rich in fibre. Oats and quinoa contain about half the amount of thiamine.
  • Asparagus – Asparagus is a vegetable rich in many vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre. One cup contains around 24% of our daily dose of thiamine.
  • Mussels – Of all seafood, mussels and oysters are the richest in thiamine, containing around 20% of our daily dose.

Related: 40 Real Foods to Eat to Live Longer, Happier & Healthier

Vitamin B1 Side Effects

Thiamine does not appear to have toxic side effects except, perhaps, gastric irritation when taken by mouth in large doses.

Vitamin B1 Daily Requirements

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) requirements depend on the energy intake. For this reason, the required amounts are expressed either in mg/1000 kcal or in the estimated average energy requirements for the majority of the population.

AgeRDA (US)RNI (WHO)PRI* (EU)
0-6 months0,2 mg0,3 mg0,2 mg
7-12 months0,3 mg0,3 mg0,5 mg
1-3 years0,5 mg0,5 mg0,5 mg
4-8 years0,6 mg
9-13 years0,9
MEN
11-14 years1,2 mg1,0 mg
15-70+ years1,2 mg
WOMEN
11-14 years1,0 mg0,8 mg
15-18 years0,9 mg0,9 mg
19-50 years1,1 mg
PREGNANCY1,4 mg1,2 mg1,0 mg
BREASTFEEDING1,5 mg0,2 mg1,1 mg

*PRI stands for population reference intake.

Vitamin B1 Supplements

Deficiency of one B vitamin is often accompanied by a deficiency of another B vitamin, it is now advisable to take a B vitamin complex supplement rather than just thiamine alone.

If you are still instructed by your phycisian or doctor to take a Thiamine supplement, here are some options you might want to consider.

  1. NOW Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) – 100mg, 100 Tablets
  1. Solgar Vitamin B1 – 500 mg, 100 Tablets – Energy Metabolism, Healthy Nervous System, Overall Well-Being – Super Potency – Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free.
  1. Nutricost Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – 100mg, 120 Capsules Gluten Free and Non-GMO.
  1. Pure Encapsulations BenfoMax – B1 (Thiamine) Benfotiamine, S-benzoylthiamine-O-monophosphate, is a fat soluble vitamin B1 (thiamine) derivative that exhibits enhanced bioavailability and bioactivity | 90 Capsules.
  1. Nature’s Way Vitamin B-1 – 100 mg per serving, Thiamin HCI, 100 Capsules

Related: Best Vitamin B Complex Supplement & Everything You Need To Know In Between

Vitamin B1 Absorption

The absorption of vitamin B1 is negatively affected by certain preparations, such as:

  • Antacids (calcium carbonate, aluminum hydroxide).
  • Coffee and caffeine-containing preparations may reduce thiamine stores in the body.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics have been associated with decreased levels of thiamine in the body, as they increase its excretion from the urine.
  • Contraceptives: Contraceptives taken orally are reported to have a negative effect on thiamine assimilation.

Final Take

Vitamin B1 is an important Vitamin with many important functions for our bodies. Although it is rare to experience deficiencies – considered that we maintain a balanced diet – people who are alcoholics, drink to many coffee every day and have other serious health conditions should make sure they get adequate thiamin from supplementation or food.

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