MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
(Thiamine / Thiamin)
"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
VITAMIN B-1 DESCRIPTION & OVERVIEW
Thiamine (also spelled thiamin) is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. Water soluble means it can dissolve in water. Commonly known as vitamin B-1 and previously known as aneurine, thiamine was isolated and characterized in the 1920s and thus was one of the first organic compounds to be recognized as a vitamin. We need vitamin B-1 so that our bodies can use carbohydrates (sugar and starch) as energy. It is essential for glucose metabolism. Vitamin B-1 also plays a key role in nerve, muscle and heart function. Thiamine is a co-enzyme - helping some enzymes work properly. It is not only important for carbohydrate metabolism, but for the maintenance of normal growth and transmission of nerve impulses.
As the first B vitamin discovered, thiamine can rightly claim the name of vitamin B-1. This nutrient is essential to normal growth and development. Thiamine enhances circulation, promotes proper functioning of the heart, and assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of hydrochloric acid, which is important for proper digestion. Thiamine also optimizes proper functioning of the nervous system, cognitive activity and brain function. It has a positive effect on energy, growth, normal appetite, and learning capacity, and is needed for proper muscle tone of the intestines, stomach, and heart. Thiamine also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from the degenerative effects of aging, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
At one time, cases of severe thiamine deficiency was common in the United States until the 1940s when authorities started to require that any B vitamin removed during grain processing be added back in. Today, vitamin B-1 is so widely available in foods that most people get more than enough to satisfy basic requirements. Beriberi, a nervous system disease, is caused by a deficiency of thiamine. Other symptoms that can result from thiamine deficiency include constipation, edema, enlarged liver, fatigue, forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart changes, irritability, labored breathing, numbness of the hands and feet, pain and sensitivity, poor coordination, tingling sensations, weak and sore muscles, general weakness, and severe weight loss.
VITAMIN B-1 HEALTH BENEFITS
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) is involved in numerous body functions, including nervous system and muscle functioning, the flow of electrolytes in and out of nerve and muscle cells through ion channels, multiple enzyme procuesses via the coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate, carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of hydrochloric acid necessary for proper digestion. Because there is very little thiamine stored in the body, depletion can occur quickly within 14 days.
Vitamins are categorized by the materials they dissolve in. There are two types of vitamins - water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins are carried through the bloodstream. Whatever out bodies do not used up is eliminated in urine. Therefore, we need a continuous supply of vitamin B-1, consumed daily through our foods and nutritional supplements. Severe chronic thiamine deficiency (known as beriberi) can result in potentially serious complications involving the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart and gastrointestinal system. Antibiotics, sulfa drugs, and oral contraceptives may decrease thiamine levels in the body. A high-carbohydrate diet increases the need for thiamine. There are still groups of people at risk of developing a thiamine deficiency: older adults and alcoholics in particular.
There are also certain ailments for which extra thiamine can be beneficial. For example, thiamine supplements may help to guard against a thiamine deficiency caused by taking diuretics, a standard treatment for congestive heart failure. Thiamine may lessen numbness and tingling in individuals with diabetes and other disorders that can cause nerve damage. Thiamine has shown promise in treating a number of other disorders, including depression, anxiety, and stress.
Because it works synergistically with other B vitamins, it is best to get thiamine as part of a B-complex supplement rather than on its own.
VITAMIN B-1 USES & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Thiamine is used as part of a treatment for metabolic disorders (including subacute necrotizing encephalopathy, maple syrup urine disease, pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, and hyperalaninemia) and thiamine deficiency symptoms (including beriberi, Wernicke's encephalopathy, Korsakoff's psychosis, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome), and in alcoholic individuals. It has been studied as part of a treatment for other uses, but conclusions cannot be drawn at this time. Vitamin B-1 may possibly be ineffective for repelling mosquitoes. Some research shows that taking B vitamins, including thiamine, does not improve mosquito repellency.
Some patients take thiamine for thiamine deficiency syndromes, when their levels of vitamin B-1 are too low, including those with beriberi, peripheral neuritis (inflammation of the nerves outside the brain) associated with pregnancy, or pellagra (a vitamin-deficiency disease). Patients with ulcerative colitis, persistent diarrhea, and poor appetite may also be given thiamine.
Thiamine may also be used for patients with:
Aging. Some people use thiamine for maintaining a positive mental attitude, enhancing learning abilities, increasing energy, fighting stress and preventing memory loss including Alzheimer's disease. AIDS. Alcohol dependency. Healthcare providers may give thiamine shots for alcohol withdrawal Canker sores. Cataracts, glaucoma and other vision problems. Preventing cataracts. Cerebellar syndrome (type of brain damage). Cervical cancer to slow down or stop its progression. Preventing cervical cancer. Some research suggests that increasing intake of thiamine from dietary and supplement sources, along with other folic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, might decrease the risk of precancerous spots on the cervix. Diabetic pain. Heart Disease. Kidney disease (patients with diabetes type 2). Preventing kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Developing research shows that taking high-dose thiamine (100 mg three times daily) for three months significantly decreases the amount of albumin in the urine in people with type 2 diabetes. Albumin in the urine is an indication of kidney damage. Motion sickness. Weakened immune systems. Thiamine is used to boost the immune system. Wernicke's encephalopathy syndrome (a memory disorder). Patients in coma may be given thiamine shots. Athletes may use thiamine to help improve their performance.
VITAMIN B-1 DIETARY SOURCES
All living organisms use thiamine, but it is synthesized only in bacteria, fungi, and plants. Animals must obtain it from their diet, and thus, for them, it is an essential nutrient. Vitamin B-1 is found in high concentrations in the outer layers and germ of cereals. The richest food sources of thiamine include lean beef, brown rice, dried milk, egg yolks, fish, legumes, liver (organ meats), nuts and seeds, peanuts, peas, lean pork, poultry, pulses, rice bran, wheat germ, and whole grains and enriched grain products (from cereals to pasta and white rice) and yeast. Dairy products, fruits and vegetables are not very high in thiamine, but when eaten in large amounts, they can become a significant source.
Other sources are Asparagus, dried Beans, Brewer's Yeast, Blackstrap Molasses, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Dulse, Kelp, most nuts, Oatmeal, Plums & dried Prunes, raisins, Spirulina, and Watercress.
Herbs that contain thiamine include Alfalfa, Bladderwrack, Burdock Root, Catnip, Cayenne, Chamomile, Chickweed, Eyebright, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek, Hops, Nettle, Oat Straw, Parsley, Peppermint, Raspberry Leaf, Red Clover, Rose Hips, Sage, Yarrow, and Yellow Dock.
VITAMIN B-1 DOSAGE INFORMATION
Vitamin B-1 can be found in Multivitamins (including children's chewable and liquid drops), B-Complex Vitamins, or can be sold individually. It is available in a variety of forms including tablets, softgels, and lozenges. It may also be labeled as thiamine hydrochloride or thiamine mononitrate. Thiamine is often used in combination with other B vitamins, and found in many vitamin B complex products. Vitamin B complexes generally include Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B-3 (Niacin/Niacinamide), Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin), and Folic Acid. However, some products do not contain all of these ingredients and some may include others, such as Biotin, Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Choline Bitartrate, and Inositol.
Having adequate amounts of Thiamine, enhances cognitive activity and brain function. Thiamine also helps stimulate overall growth, energy, and normal appetite. This vitamin improves circulation and aids in the function of blood. It also produces hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for proper digestion. As with all medications and supplements, check with your healthcare provider before giving vitamin B-1 supplements to a child.
RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE
Daily recommendations for dietary vitamin B-1 are listed below. To take as a daily supplement, read and follow product label directions. Thiamine may be takenn with or without food. If you miss a dose of thiamine for one or more days, there is not cause for concern. If your health care provider recommended that you take it, try to remember your dose every day.
- Newborns to 6 months: 0.2 mg (adequate intake)
- Infants 7 months to 1 year: 0.3 mg (adequate intake)
- Children 1 to 3 years: 0.5 mg (RDA)
- Children 4 to 8 years: 0.6 mg (RDA)
- Children 9 to 13 years: 0.9 mg (RDA)
- Males 14 to 18 years: 1.2 mg (RDA)
- Females 14 to 18 years: 1 mg (RDA)
- Males 19 years and older: 1.2 mg (RDA)
- Females 19 years and older: 1.1 mg (RDA)
- Pregnant females: 1.4 mg (RDA)
- Breastfeeding females: 1.5 mg (RDA)
DISORDER-SPECIFIC DOSAGE RECOMMENDATIONS
Doses for conditions like beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are decided by your healthcare practitioner in an appropriate clinical setting. For Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, thiamine is administered by venous injection under a health care provider's supervision.
AILMENTS DOSAGE 200 mg a day 500 mg every morning
VITAMIN B-1 SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS
Consult your health care provider before taking thiamine supplements to treat a medical or psychiatric condition. Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or mega vitamin therapy) unless directed by your health care provider. If you become pregnant while taking thiamine, discuss with your health care provider or midwife the benefits and risks of thiamine supplements during pregnancy. It is unknown if thiamin is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using thiamine, check with your health care provider, pharmacist or midwife to discuss the risks to your baby.
There are no side effects associated with commonly recommended dosages of thiamine; the body efficiently flushes out any excess through urine. There is no known poisoning linked to thiamine. However, extremely high oral doses can cause drowsiness and there may be a risk that cancer cells grow faster when there is too much vitamin B-1. Check with your health care provider if any of the most common side effects seen in high doses occurs, such as feeling of warmth, fluid retention, flushing, hives, itching, nausea, restlessness, sweating, tingling and weakness. Seek medical attention right away if severe side effects occur such as severe allergic reactions (hives, rash, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue), bluish skin or discoloration. This is not a complete list of all possible side effects that may occur. Contact your health care provider for medical advice about dosage and potential side effects associated with that dosage. Do not use thiamine if you are allergic to any ingredient in thiamine or a food allergy to any thiamine-rich food product. Contact your health care provider right away if you have an allergic reaction.
A lack or deficiency of thiamine can cause weakness, fatigue, psychosis, and nerve damage. Thiamine deficiency in the United States is most often seen in people who abuse alcohol (alcoholism). A lot of alcohol makes it hard for the body to absorb thiamine from foods. Unless those with alcoholism receive higher-than-normal amounts of thiamine to make up for the difference, the body will not get enough of the substance. This can lead to a disease called beriberi. In severe thiamine deficiency, brain damage can occur. One type is called Korsakoff syndrome. The other is Wernicke's disease. Either or both of these conditions can occur in the same person.
Oral vitamin B-1 is generally nontoxic. There are no known safety issues associated with Thiamine when taken in the recommended doses. The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods. Stomach upset can occur at very high doses (much higher than the recommended daily amount).
It is best to take thiamine with meals because the stomach acid produced to digest the food helps the absorption of the vitamin. Taking antibiotics, phenytoin (Dilantin), sulfa drugs, and oral contraceptives may decrease Thiamine levels in the body. Heavy alcohol or caffeine consumption can decrease Thiamine levels as well. High carbohydrate diets increase the need for Thiamine. Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare provider.
Taking any one of the B-complex vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, it is generally important to take a B-complex vitamin with any single B vitamin.
POSSIBLE MEDICATION INTERACTIONS
If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use vitamin B-1 without first talking to your healthcare provider. Taking antibiotics, phenytoin (Dilantin), sulfa drugs, and oral contraceptives may decrease thiamine levels in the body. Heavy alcohol or caffeine consumptions can decrease thiamine levels as well. High carbohydrate diets increase the need for thiamine.
Antibiotics, Tetracycline: Vitamin B-1 should not be taken at the same time as the antibiotic tetracycline because it interferes with the absorption and effectiveness of this medication. Vitamin B-1 either alone or in combination with other B vitamins should be taken at different times from tetracycline. (All vitamin B complex supplements act in this way and should therefore be taken at different times from tetracycline.)
Antidepressant Medications, Tricylic: Taking vitamin B-1 supplements may improve treatment with antidepressants such as nortriptyline, especially in elderly patients. Other medications in this class of antidepressants include desimpramine and imipramine.
Chemotherapy: Although the significance is not entirely clear, laboratory studies suggest that thiamine may inhibit the anti-cancer activity of chemotherapy agents. How this will ultimately prove relevant to people is not known. However, it may be wise for people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer to not take large doses of vitamin B-1 supplements.
Digoxin: Laboratory studies suggest that digoxin (a medication used to treat heart conditions) may reduce the ability of heart cells to absorb and use vitamin B-1; this may be particularly true when digoxin is combined with furosemide (a loop diuretic).
Diuretics: Diuretics (particularly furosemide, which belongs to a class called loop diuretics) may reduce the levels of vitamin B-1 in the body. In addition, similar to digoxin, furosemide may diminish the heart's ability to absorb and utilize vitamin B-1, especially when these two medications are combined.
Scopolamine: Vitamin B-1 may help reduce some of the side effects associated with scopolamine, a medication commonly used to treat motion sickness.
POSSIBLE FOOD INTERACTIONS
Tea & Coffee: Tannins, chemicals that exist in coffee and tea, may interact with thiamine. Tannins can convert thiamine into a more difficult form for the body to absorb, leading to possible thiamine deficiency. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) reported on a community in rural Thailand with considerably higher rates of vitamin B-1 deficiency where people drank at least one liter of tea per day or chewed on fermented tea leaves for many years. Scientists stress that the risk of thiamine deficiency caused by coffee/tea consumption is only a potential problem if the person has a low vitamin B-1 or C intake. They reported that vitamin C appears to prevent the interaction between tannins and thiamine.
Raw Freshwater Seafood: There are chemicals in shellfish and fish that can destroy thiamine. If you eat large quantities of raw shellfish or fish long-term there is a higher risk of having a vitamin B-1 deficiency. This is not the case if these foods are cooked. Cooking destroys the chemicals which interact with thiamine.
POSSIBLE HERBAL INTERACTIONS
Areca (Betel Nuts): Areca (betel) nuts change thiamine chemically so it does not work as well. Regular, long-term chewing of betel nuts may contribute to thiamine deficiency.
Horsetail (Shavegrass / Equisetum): Horsetail contains a chemical that can destroy thiamine in the stomach, possibly leading to thiamine deficiency. The Canadian government requires that equisetum-containing products be certified free of this chemical. Stay on the safe side, and do not use horsetail if you are at risk for thiamine deficiency.
VITAMIN B-1 (THIAMINE / THIAMIN) & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
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VITAMIN B-1 (THIAMINE / THIAMIN) SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
It is evident from the neurological disorders caused by thiamine deficiency that this vitamin plays a vital role in nerve function. It is unclear, however, just what that role is. Thiamine is found in both the nerves and brain.
HerbsPro: Coenzymated B-1 Sublingual, Source Naturals, 25 mg, 30 Tabs (6260)
HerbsPro: Coenzymated B-1 Sublingual, Source Naturals, 25 mg, 60 Tabs (6259)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1, Country Life, 100 mg, 100 Tabs (37519)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1, Source Naturals, 100 mg, 100 Tabs (3788)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 100 mg, 100 VCaps (100549)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1, Twin Lab, 100 mg, 100 Caps (19432)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin), Solgar, 100 mg, 100 VCaps (36814)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1, Source Naturals, 100 mg, 250 Tabs (3789)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1, TwinLab, 500 mg, 100 Caps (19433)
HerbsPro: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin), Solgar, 500 mg, 100 Tabs (36817)
HerbsPro: Benfotiamine Thiamine B-1, Futurebiotics, 120 Caps (93610)
HerbsPro: Benfotiamine With Thiamine, Life Extension, 100 mg, 120 Caps (91878)
LIFE EXTENSION PRODUCTS
LEF: Benfotiamine with Thiamine, Life Extension, 100 mg, 120 VCaps
LEF: Mega Benfotiamine, Life Extension, 250 mg, 120 VCaps
Benfotiamine, a fat-soluble form of Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine), supports healthy blood sugar metabolism and helps protect the bodys tissues against advanced glycation end products and oxidative stress.66 For example, the enzyme transketolase is critical to blood sugar metabolism.
LEF: Vitamin B-1 Plasma Blood Test
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) is an essential nutrient as it plays a vital role in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Thiamine deficiency can develop after only one month of a thiamine-free diet. Mild thiamine deficiency occurs in pregnant women (increased requirement), in alcoholics, the elderly, and in malabsorption syndromes. Severe thiamine deficiency is a disorder called beriberi. Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed. Special Note: Plasma thiamine levels show only recent intake rather than body stores; therefore, whole blood is the preferred specimen for thiamin assessment.
LEF: Vitamin B1 Whole blood Blood Test Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is an essential nutrient as it plays a vital role in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Thiamine deficiency can develop after only one month of a thiamine-free diet. Mild thiamine deficiency occurs in pregnant women (increased requirement), in alcoholics, the elderly, and in malabsorption syndromes. Severe thiamine deficiency is a disorder called beriberi. Whole blood is the preferred specimen for thiamin assessment since plasma thiamine levels show only recent intake rather than body stores. Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.
Kalyx: Benfotiamine, FutureBiotics, 150 mg, 120 VCaps: HF Futurebiotics Benfotiamine is a pure, pharmaceutical grade, fat soluble form of Thiamine (Vitamin B-1) 150 mg per Capsule Benfotiamine is a more bioavailable and physiologically active derivative of Thiamine. Unlike regular thiamine, a water-soluble nutrient also known as Vitamin B-1, Benfotiamine is lipid (fat) soluble. Benfotiamine readily passes through intestinal mucosal cells, where it is converted into physiologically active thiamine. And clinical research has shown that Benfotiamine’s unique open-ringed structure, making it a fat-soluble nutrient, increases its bioavailability. Free Of Yeast, sugar, salt, starch, soy, wheat, gluten, dairy, artificial colors, preservatives and animal products.
Kalyx: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine HCL), Kalyx, 25 kg (55 lbs): GF
Amazon: Vitamin B-1 Supplement Products
Amazon: Thiamin Supplement Products
Amazon: Benfotiamine Supplement Products
Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) Supplement Information
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