Thiamine (Vitamin B1) Supplement Benefits and Dosage

Find out the benefits of thiamine (also known as vitamin B1), and why it’s important for braincare.

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1 is an essential vitamin, which everyone needs. It helps with processing food into energy and is used by every tissue in the body. In this article, we’ll go through what thiamine is, vitamin B1 functions in our bodies, what the benefits are, and what the symptoms of low levels.

What is thiamine?

Thiamine is a water-soluble nutrient. It plays a vital role in metabolism, helping the body break down and release energy from food. It’s also important in maintaining the health of the nervous system.

It can’t be stored in the body, and therefore we need to get thiamine from an outside source, every day. Vitamin B1 is present in several common foodstuffs, such as whole grains, peas, nuts and lean pork.

Typically, it hasn’t been considered a nutrient that we are often deficient in. However, we conducted a vitamin deficiency study to establish levels of 5 different B vitamins, and found that 71% of participants were deficient or borderline deficient in B1.

Thiamine (vitamin B1) dosage

The nutrient reference value (NRV) is around 1.2mg per day. The NRV is really the minimum amount and higher doses have been shown to be beneficial.

The best foods for thiamine (vitamin B1)

You can get thiamine from a variety of food sources, both animal-based and vegan. Some of the best examples are:

  • Rice

  • Wholegrain breads

  • Fortified cereals

  • Mussels

  • Pork

  • Liver

  • Peas

  • Nuts

How thiamine interacts with other B vitamins

While thiamine is available through diet, many people can benefit from supplementation. To optimise the release of energy, it’s best to consume thiamine with other B vitamins. You can read more about each of these vitamins here:

The benefits of thiamine

As we mentioned above, thiamine is one of the essential vitamins that we all need. So what is thiamine used for? It’s used by every cell in the body. Among its most important benefits, vitamin B1 function is:

  • Essential for energy release.

  • Important in the growth, development, and function of cells.

  • Key to maintaining the health of the nervous system.

There have also been studies that suggest high thiamine levels are beneficial to mental health.

What are low thiamine symptoms?

In its early stages, low thiamine can lead to weight loss, confusion, and short-term memory loss. If left untreated over a long period of time, it could result in cardiovascular symptoms, such as an enlarged heart.

Thiamine and alcohol addiction

Misuse of alcohol can damage the body and mind in complex ways, including the depletion of essential vitamins and nutrients. Thiamine (vitamin B1) functions include processing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to be used as energy by the heart and brain, so not getting enough B1 can severely affect the body.

A thiamine deficiency can be caused by excess drinking in two ways:

  • A lack of vital nutrition from a poor diet.

  • By damaging the stomach lining.

Essential for brain function, one of the first signs of low vitamin B1 is confusion, delirium, and memory loss.

Are there any side effects to thiamine?

There aren’t any known side effects to thiamine, in any quantity. That means that there’s no established safe upper limit (SUL).

About the author:
store logo
Sophie Medlin

Know your own mind?

The average brain health score is 51/100. Take our 3-minute quiz to learn how yours measures up and how to boost it.

Related articles