Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Function And Benefits

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Function And Benefits

What Is Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)?

Vitamin B1, known as Thiamine, is one of the eight essential B vitamins (B vitamins complex). It is a water-soluble vitamin which is stored primarily in the liver. However, storage only lasts up to 18 days.

The absorption of Vitamin B1 occurs in the duodenum and requires magnesium to convert it to its active form and make it ready for your body to use.

Your body cannot produce Vitamin B1 on its own and, therefore, it must come from your diet.

Vitamin B1, similar to all the other B Vitamins, is mainly involved in the conversion of food (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) into energy.

Thiamine also has many other health benefits that we will discuss below.

Please Note

Supplemental forms of Vitamin B1 can be purchased online and do not require any prescription. However, we highly recommend that you seek advice from your doctor before buying any supplements.

Always seek advice from a qualified health professional if you are in doubt.

This article has been written for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a replacement for professional advice.

Quick facts about Vitamin B1:
  • Recommended Daily Intake:
    • 1.2 mg | For adults and children over 4 years old.
    • 0.5 mg | For children between 1 and 3 years old.
    • 0.3 mg | For infants up to 12 months old.
    • 1.4 mg | For pregnant women and lactating women.
  • Is 1 of the 8 essential B Vitamins:
    Your body cannot produce vitamin B1 on its own and, therefore, it must be obtained from your diet.

  • Food sources:
    Vitamin B1 is found in a wide variety of foods such as meat, whole grains, nuts, dried beans, peas, and soybeans. Bread and cereal are commonly fortified with thiamine.

1. Supports Energy Metabolism & Nervous System

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is known to play a fundamental role in energy metabolism. It helps your body to breakdown fats and converts carbohydrates into energy.

Vitamin B1 is also essential for the correct functioning of the central nervous system. A deficiency of this crucial vitamin may cause severe neurological symptoms.


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) plays a role in energy metabolism and is essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system.

2. Reduces Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms (PMS)

PMS is the name for the symptoms that women can experience during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Most women experience PMS at some point. There is help available from your local general practice if it affects your daily life.

The most common symptoms of PMS include:

  • Feeling anxious, angry or irritable

    Anger and irritability are the most severe complaints and start slightly earlier than other symptoms

  • Mood swings

  • Depression or feelings of sadness

  • Feeling tired

  • Sleeping problems

  • Changes in appetite

  • Less interest in sex (reduced sex drive)

  • Headaches or concentration problems

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) can reduce symptoms of the syndrome by affecting your metabolic system, which plays a vital role in PMS.

A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at the dormitories of Jahrom University of Medical Sciences to research the effects of Vitamin B1 on PMS.

Eighty students with PMS were divided randomly into two groups, Vitamin B1 and placebo. The students recorded the severity of the symptoms before and during the intervention.

The clinical trial concluded that Vitamin B1 is indeed useful in reducing mental symptoms by up to 35.08% and physical symptoms by up to 21.2%.


Most women experience PMS at some point. A clinical trial has shown that Vitamin B1 is effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS.

3. Supports Cardiovascular Health

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficiency is believed to have a link with the development of many cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as dry beriberi, wet beriberi, and Wernicke‐Korsakoff.

Dry beriberi involves neurological complications, whereas wet beriberi involves cardiovascular (CV) complications.

Wernicke‐Korsakoff can cause confusion, persistent memory, and learning deficits.


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficiency can lead to the development of many cardiovascular diseases such as dry beriberi, wet beriberi and Wernike‐Korsakoff.

4. Supports Mood

A clinical trial was conducted on 120 young adult females who took either a placebo or 50 mg vitamin B1 (thiamine), each day for two months. Before and after the consumption of the tablets, mood, memory, and reaction times were monitored.

The results showed that the females who took the thiamine supplement were more clearheaded, composed, and energetic compared to the placebo group.

Vitamin B1 did not show any signs on memory, but reaction times were faster following supplementation.


A clinical trial suggested that Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) can affect your mood, make you more clearheaded and energetic.

5. Deficiency

A deficiency can occur based on the following factors:

  • Alcohol Abuse

  • Poor Diet

  • Some medications

  • Obesity.

A deficiency can cause the following:

  • Depression

  • Feeling Fatigue, weak and irritable

  • Blurry Vision

  • Slower heart rate

  • Nausea and Vomiting

  • Changes in appetite

  • Delirium:
    Is a very serious clinical condition that causes mental disturbances which can result in confused thinking and reduced awareness of the environment.

  • Beriberi:
    Is a disease that can cause inflammation of the nerves and heart failure.

  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS):
    Is a type of brain disorder that affects your mental health.

6. Conclusion

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is part of the essential B vitamins complex. It contributes to your metabolism, nervous system, and supports cardiovascular health.

A deficiency of Vitamin B1 is not common in developed countries. However, factors such as a poor diet, alcohol consumption, and obesity can increase the risk of developing a deficiency.

If you are concerned about your Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) levels, we highly recommend that you seek advice from your healthcare provider.