What Is The Best Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Supplement?
Recommended Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Supplements
We recommend two different vitamin B1 supplements. The first is for thiamine only, and the second is a B-complex supplement that contains vitamin B1 along with the rest of the B vitamins. B-complex supplements are very popular because the B-vitamins interact with each other while working to keep the body’s metabolism functioning optimally.
- Vitamin B1 Only – Click here to view.
- Vitamin B Complex – Contains B1 and other vitamins essential to your health – Click here to view.
What Is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) & Why Does It Matter?
Thiamine is a vitamin essential to the operation of the human body and is very special in a rather meaningless way: it’s the first in the long number of B vitamins.
The numbering of the B vitamins has to do with historical discoveries of various substances thought to be vitamins but later discarded or reclassified into other substances. Thus, humanity was left with a hodge-podge of differently numbered B vitamins within the B vitamin “complex”, or group of vitamins.
Thiamine is a water soluble vitamin, which means that excess amounts of it are easily disposed of via the urine. It also means that you must be careful to consume the proper amount of it every day or a deficiency can develop quickly, since the vitamin is not stored within the body for very long but only carried around through the blood and then disposed of through the urine.
Vitamin B1 is important for aiding in metabolizing food into energy. It helps the body digest food and turn it into ATP, a type of molecule used as pure energy to power much of the body including your muscles.
Without enough thiamine, the body suffers from a medical condition appropriately named thiamine deficiency. Since thiamine is essential to the healthy operation of the metabolic system, your metabolism can literally come to a standstill and result in death if you do not have enough of it.
Vitamin B1 also helps keep your nervous system working well. It does this by helping to metabolize the food we eat into energy that is then provided directly to our nerves.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Supplements – Save An Alcoholic’s Life?
Alcoholism is a deadly disease, but in more ways than just the damage it does to your liver.
Alcohol must be processed by the body, and to do so it requires a lot of nutrients that get “used up” during the process.
Thiamine is one of the vitamins involved in metabolizing alcohol, and thus alcoholics are particularly susceptible to thiamine deficiency, along with deficiency of a few other vitamins as well.
A long night of heavy drinking can also cause normal people to temporarily suffer from thiamine depletion.
If you are a heavy drinker who doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon, you most certainly want to consider taking a multi vitamin that is rich in thiamine and other important nutrients for alcoholics to receive.
In particular, it’s said that vitamins B1, B3, and B6 are especially depleted by heavy alcohol consumption.
Who Needs Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)?
Everyone needs vitamin B1 every day of their lives.
Failure to consume vitamin B1 can be a fatal mistake. This is because thiamine deficiency, caused by a lack of vitamin B1 in the diet, is a deadly condition that can and will kill you if you don’t prevent it.
People who consume alcohol regularly are almost certainly in need of vitamin B1 supplementation if their diet is not very nutrient-rich throughout the day. And let’s be honest, those nachos and other high calorie snacks that you eat while drinking with your buddies probably aren’t the most nutrient-dense things you could be eating.
It’s important to compensate for the nutrients lost via alcohol consumption by supplementing with a proper multi vitamin or several single vitamin concentrated supplements.
Recommended Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Intake Levels
Here you’ll see the recommended daily intake of vitamin B1 thiamine for your age and gender demographic.
Everyone 0-6 months
At least 0.2 mg/day
Everyone 7-12 months
At least 0.3 mg/day
Everyone 1-3 years
At least 0.5 mg/day
Everyone 4-8 years
At least 0.6 mg/day
Everyone 9-13 years
At least 0.9 mg/day
Males 14+ years
At least 1.2 mg/day
Females 14-18 years
At least 1.0 mg/day
Females 19+ years
At least 1.1 mg/day
Pregnant females 14+ years
At least 1.4 mg/day
Lactating females 14+ years
At least 1.4 mg/day
As with all other nutrients, pregnant and nursing women of all ages require more vitamin B1 in their diet than anyone else. This is simply because they have two mouths to feed and much of their nutrients are going to the development of their baby instead of their own bodily functions.
You might be wondering why there are no recommended maximum intake levels for thiamine in the above graph. That’s because thiamine is a water soluble vitamin. Water soluble vitamins are thought by science to be almost impossible for an average person to overdose on. This is because excess amounts of the vitamin are easily disposed of via the body’s urine throughout the day.
The lack of an upper limit also means that the safest thing you can do with water soluble vitamins is to supplement them every day and get more than is necessary rather than risk the possibility of getting less than is necessary. Since there’s no upper limit, you can’t overdose. But with a lower limit, you can definitely suffer from a deficiency.
Symptoms of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Deficiency
Thiamine deficiency is a medically recognized term that refers to a range of disorders that can occur when the body lacks enough thiamine intake.
The most common disease caused by thiamine deficiency is a condition called beriberi. This condition is effectively a way to say that the body simply begins wasting away. It involves all sorts of metabolic problems, drastic weight loss, failure of the nervous system, mental problems, chronic pain in various parts of the body, and more. This condition can eventually kill you if not treated properly.
Vitamin B1 deficiency is a common problem in alcoholics and thus is also co-morbid with alcohol-related degeneration of the body and alcohol-related disorders. One such disorder is called WKS, or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. WKS is a combined disorder that involves both mental and bodily problems caused by over consumption of alcohol paired with a thiamine deficiency.
There is also evidence that people who suffer from diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, may have thiamine deficiencies caused by the changes in the body brought about by diabetes. Patients with diabetes should strongly consider taking a B vitamin supplement.
In short, there are a vast array of very bad things that can happen to your body and your mind if you have a thiamine deficiency, especially if you consume alcohol regularly or are diabetic.
Symptoms of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Overdose
Since Vitamin B1 is a water soluble vitamin, most human bodies will be incapable of ever producing an overdose of the substance. Excess vitamin B1 is simply excreted via the urine. This means that you don’t have to worry about taking too much of it via dietary supplements.
It’s been said that some individuals may suffer from an allergic reaction to taking too much thiamine via supplements. If you take a vitamin B1 supplement and experience a stomach ache, nausea, or a skin rash, then consider lowering your dosage or breaking up your dosage into multiple doses spread throughout the day.
But for most people, an overdose of vitamin B1 thiamine is simply not going to be a problem.
Conclusion & Summary
Vitamin B1, also called thiamine or thiamin (spelling sometimes differs), is a substance required by the body to continue operation of a healthy metabolism. Thiamine promotes a healthy metabolism and nervous system via its actions throughout the body.
A deficiency in thiamine can lead to serious health problems and eventually death. A complete lack of this vitamin in your diet can and will certainly kill you if not treated promptly.
Most people probably consume some, but not enough, vitamin B1 in their diet. People at risk of suffering from B1 deficiency include pregnant and nursing women, who always need more of every nutrient in the body.
Alcoholics of all ages are especially at risk of thiamine deficiency. The more alcohol you consume regularly, the more strongly I recommend that you take a vitamin B1 or B-complex supplement. A B-complex supplement is a supplement that provides multiple B vitamins in a single pill instead of just one.
Some drinks, such as tea and coffee, may lead to vitamin B1 depletion as well. This is because these foods prevent vitamin B1 from being properly used by the body.
Finally, people who suffer from diabetes type 1 or 2 may also suffer from B1 deficiency.
Since thiamine is a water soluble vitamin, there is no serious risk of overdose. This means that supplementing vitamin B1 in your diet is always a safer choice than going without supplementation and just hoping you get enough from your normal foods.