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Learn Your Vitamin B1 in 5 Minutes

by Wearefeel Team |

– The Health Dossier with WeAreFeel

What is vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is an essential component of the B vitamin complex. In conjunction with the other constituents of this nutrient group, vitamin B1 controls energy levels throughout your body, and supplementing with thiamin also prevents the dangerous symptoms of deficiency that are specific to this compound.


Is vitamin B1 water-soluble or fat-soluble?

All the nutrients in the B vitamin complex are water-soluble. Nutrients that are water-soluble dissolve and flush out of the body rapidly, and they don’t usually build up in any bodily tissues.


Where can vitamin B1 be found naturally? Common sources of vitamin B1:

Vitamin B1 is naturally present in certain grains, and in grains and cereals that have been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, thiamin is present in various types of meat and fish.


5 foods/drinks containing vitamin B1

1. Butternut squash 13% DV per half a cup

2. Sunflower seeds 7% DV per 28g

3. Black beans 27% DV per ½ cup or 64g

4. Mussels 20% DV per 85g

5. Brown rice 7% DV per half a cup


What is the recommended daily intake for vitamin B1?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established the recommended daily amount (RDA) for thiamin at 1.2mg for adult men and 1.1mg for adult women. This RDA increases to 1.4m for women who are pregnant or lactating.


What to consume to get a full daily dose of vitamin B1?

Butternut squash - approximately 845g

Sunflower seeds - approximately 400g

Black beans - approximately 2 cups or 256g

Mussels - approximately 425g

Brown rice - approximately 1.5kg


Can you absorb enough of vitamin B1 from food?

Vitamin B1 is not very plentiful in food. While this nutrient is available from a variety of different sources, none of these sources contain your full RDA of this nutrient. Therefore, it’s best to get the amount of thiamin you need to stay healthy from a daily multivitamin supplement.


Why is vitamin B1 necessary for your body?

Along with the other B vitamins, vitamin B1 plays a critical role in energy production and distribution throughout your body. Additionally, thiamin is essential for neural signalling, and this nutrient is also used to transfer important signals within your cells.


Functions of vitamin B1

Neurological functions: Vitamin B1 boosts the signals your brain sends throughout your body, and it also prevents a fatal condition called Wernicke encephalopathy.

Cardiovascular functions: Your body needs thiamin to make the cardiovascular neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and vitamin B1 also lowers your blood pressure.

Stress reduction: Adequate vitamin B1 intake reduces stress throughout your body.

Cataract prevention: Medical professionals may use high doses of vitamin B1 as a treatment for cataracts.


Symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency

Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Syndrome

Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome are unique conditions that only occur as a result of thiamin deficiency. While Wernicke encephalopathy can usually be reversed with vitamin B1 administration, this condition causes mental confusion, poor muscle coordination, and vision problems.

Korsakoff syndrome causes similar symptoms, but it is usually irreversible. While these two conditions are distinct, researchers sometimes combine them into a condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Burning Pain in Your Legs

Severe vitamin B1 deficiency can cause a burning pain in your lower legs called paresthesia. This symptom will worsen over time if left unchecked.

Neurological Disturbances

Mild cases of thiamin deficiency can result in neurological disturbances like poor memory, difficulty sleeping, and irritability.


How long do you need to take vitamin B1 to start experiencing its benefits if you’re deficient?

Since vitamin B1 is water-soluble, it’s usually possible to experience the benefits of treatment with this essential nutrient immediately. Keep in mind, however, that some of the conditions associated with vitamin B1 deficiency are irreversible, so it’s important to avoid becoming deficient in this nutrient.


How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb vitamin B1?

Your body can absorb up to 5mg of thiamin almost immediately. Bodily tissues can only store a maximum of 30mg of thiamin, however, and any excess vitamin B1 intake will not be absorbed.


How long does vitamin B1 stay in your body after you take it?

Most of the vitamin B1 you consume is excreted within 24 hours. Small portions of consumed thiamin may remain present in your system for 2-3 days prior to excretion.


Is vitamin B1 an antioxidant?

While thiamin isn’t one of the most potent antioxidant nutrients, this substance does impede the effects of free radicals and protect your tissues from oxidative stress.


Can you overdose on vitamin B1? What are the effects?

Taking excessively high amounts of thiamin does not appear to result in any disastrous consequences. Scientists have administered doses as high as 50mg per day, and the excess thiamin that wasn’t used by the body was simply excreted without any noticeably negative results. Still, it’s best to avoid exceeding your RDA for this essential nutrient by taking a daily multivitamin that contains exactly how much thiamin your body needs.


Does vitamin B1 dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Vitamin B1 flushes out of your body rapidly, and it does not build up in any of your bodily tissues to a significant degree.


Can you take vitamin B1 during a diet?

Taking vitamin B1 won’t interfere with any dietary restrictions.


Are there synthetic forms of vitamin B1?

There is a synthetic form of vitamin B1 called benfotiamine. This substance is derived from thiamine, but it has completely different properties.


Why might synthetic forms of vitamin B1 be better?

Since benfotiamine is fat-soluble instead of water-soluble, this form of thiamine builds up in your tissues, and it isn’t excreted immediately.


Absorption rate of synthetic vitamin B1

While reliable data aren’t available, it’s likely that benfotiamine has a lower absorption rate than normal thiamin due to its fat solubility.


Why might natural forms of vitamin B1 be better?

Not enough data are available to establish the relative safety of benfotiamine as compared to thiamine. While excessive levels of thiamin do not appear to be harmful, it’s possible that a buildup of synthetic benfotiamine in your system could cause unwanted negative effects.


How to take vitamin B1

You can consume vitamin B1 by eating thiamin-rich foods, and you can also take this nutrient as a daily supplement.


Vitamin B1 trends in medicine

Recently, scientists examined the potential relationship between thiamin deficiency and the development of myeloproliferative neoplasms, which are blood cancers that cause your cardiovascular system to be flooded with excessive amounts of red blood cells. This 2019 study built on previous inconclusive research into this subject, and it still isn’t entirely clear whether supplementing with thiamin may be able to prevent this type of cancer. Nonetheless, researchers continue to do their best to discover new potential uses for this important nutrient.


Why everyone should be taking WeAreFeel supplements

Thiamin is one of the hardest B vitamins to get in food; there are no plentiful sources of this nutrient, and unless you consume animal products, getting enough thiamin in your diet can be practically impossible. In an industry flooded with synthetic forms of thiamin and potentially unsafe concentrations of this nutrient, we sought out to provide you with exactly the right amount of vitamin B1 you need to stay happy and healthy. We understand it can be quite hard to consume a kilogram of rice a day, so make things easy for yourself with Feel.




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