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Home Learn Learn About Vitamin B1 in 5 Minutes


Home Learn Learn About Vitamin B1 in 5 Minutes

Learn About Vitamin B1 in 5 Minutes

Table of contents

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.

  • Improves your mood and treats neurodegenerative conditions
  • Boosts your immune system by reducing stress
  • May prevent cataracts, fight back against obesity, and improve your metabolism
  • Staves off vitamin B1 deficiency caused by anorexia, alcoholism, or Crohn’s disease

Why we love vitamin B1

Even though vitamin B1, or thiamin, doesn’t get as much attention as some of the other members of the B vitamin family, your body would be lost without this essential nutrient. Scientists have discovered that thiamin is an integral component of your mood regulation system, and this simple nutrient also appears to reduce stress throughout your body. Medical professionals commonly use vitamin B1 to treat conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, canker sores, and motion sickness, and science backs up the benefits of this incredible vitamin.

Ensuring that you have enough vitamin B1 in your diet protects you against thiamin deficiency. When you’re deficient in this essential nutrient, you can develop beriberi or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. These conditions cause symptoms like difficulty breathing, decreased heart function, brain fog, lack of muscle coordination, and neurodegeneration. Thankfully, you only need to take Feel once a day to keep these neurological illnesses at bay.

Unbelievable benefits of vitamin B1

Scientists have discovered that your body needs plenty of vitamin B1 to regulate various essential processes. Here are some of the top reasons you should ingest the right dose of vitamin B1 on a daily basis:

Neurological Benefits

Supplementing with vitamin B1 appears to be beneficial for older people with Alzheimer’s disease. This supplement also seems to be beneficial for every type of dementia, and making sure that you have enough thiamin in your diet can prevent brain damage and age-related neurodegeneration.

If you’re extremely deficient in vitamin B1, you can develop a condition called Wernicke encephalopathy, which is fatal. While instances of this condition are rare, protecting yourself from this Wernicke encephalopathy is yet another reason you should consume your daily dose of vitamin B1 every single day.

Support your essential cognitive health with Feel Focus, providing 4.4mg of Vitamin B1.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Vitamin B1 is essential for the production of acetylcholine, and your body uses this neurotransmitter to maintain steady and healthy cardiac functioning. Thiamin deficiency can cause irregular heartbeat and other cardiovascular conditions. This essential nutrient also appears to lower your blood pressure, which lowers your risk of developing chronic hypertension.

Other Benefits

Vitamin B1 is essential in the production of glucose, which your body uses to transmit energy to all your organs and tissues. Various conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, are caused or worsened by decreased levels of glucose in the body, and supplementing with vitamin B1 can help you stave off these glucose-related conditions.

Scientists consider vitamin B1 to be an anti-stress nutrient, which means that it helps your body deal with any condition that causes stress. Your immune system, for instance, is compromised by stress, and your mood and overall physiological well-being also suffer when you’re stressed out. A 90-day study found that getting plenty of vitamin B1 in your diet reduces your stress levels, and this study specifically found that thiamin is good for workplace stress.

Thiamin may also be an effective treatment for cataracts. Research suggests that vitamin B1 is critically involved in various metabolic processes throughout the body, which means that supplementing with this vitamin could improve the symptoms of conditions like obesity.

The B vitamins are also essential for supporting baby’s brain development during pregnancy, so we’ve included 10mg of vitamin B1 in Feel Pregnancy.

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?

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.

Consistency is key and our research recommends taking your Feel supplements for at least 3 months to allow your body to adjust and provide the desired benefits

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. 

Make things easy for yourself with Feel Multivitamin, providing 5mg of essential Vitamin B1.

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About the author
Katie Hipwell - Katie is an AfN Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with a specialism in food and is Head of Nutrition at Feel. Katie has worked in the food supplement industry for 10 years. She has completed a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and an undergraduate degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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