Vitamin B1 is also referred to as thiamine.  It is found in many foods including yeast, grains, beans, nuts, and meat. It is often used in combination with other B vitamins.  Vitamin B complexes generally include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobolamine), and folic acid. Various products contain all the B vitamins, and some may include biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline bitartrate, and inositol.

Thiamine is used for digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, and ongoing diarrhea.  It is also used for boosting the immune system, diabetic pain, heart disease, alcoholism, aging, a type of brain damage called cerebellar syndrome, canker sores, vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, motion sickness, and improving athletic performance. Other uses include preventing cervical cancer and progression of kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes.  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.

Healthcare providers give thiamine shots for a memory disorder called Wernicke's encephalopathy syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, and coma.

Symptoms of a B1 deficiency include:

  • Heart palpitations or gallop rhythm

  • Slow heartbeat or rapid heartbeat

  • Vague chest pains, shortness of breath

  • Enlarged heart

  • Diastolic blood pressure over 90

  • Forgetfulness, poor memory, short attention span

  • Muscular tenderness, weakness or wasting

  • Irritability

  • Feel depressed

  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight

  • Numbness, pricking or tingling in hands or feet

  • Loss of ankle or knee jerk reflexes

  • Poor co-ordination

  • Stiffness or swelling in ankles, feet or legs

  • Cramping pains in legs, especially after exercising

  • Tenderness in calf muscle under pressure

  • Constipation

  • Vulnerability to insect bites, exp. mosquitoes or fleas

Supplementary range:  50 – 100 mg daily.


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