Image for Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Allithiamine, aneurine, aneurine HCl, aneurine mononitrate, antiberiberi factor, antiberiberi vitamin, antineuritic factor, antineuritic vitamin, anurine, B-complex vitamin, benfotiamine, beta-hydroxy-ethylthiazolium chloride, sulfotiamine, thiamin chloride, thiamin diphosphate, thiamin HCl, thiamin hydrochloride, thiamin monophosphate (TMP), thiamin nitrate, thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP), thiamin tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide, thiamin triphosphate (TTP), thiamine, thiamine chloride, thiamine diphosphate, thiamine HCl, thiamine hydrochloride, thiamine monophosphate (TMP), thiamine nitrate, thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide, thiamine triphosphate (TTP), thiaminium chloride HCl, thiaminium chloride hydrochloride.
  • Dietary sources of thiamine: Beef, brewer's yeast, legumes (beans, lentils), nuts, oats, pork, rice, seeds, wheat, whole-grain cereals, yeast, fruit (such as oranges), milk, milk products, and fortified white rice or white flour products.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Thiamine (also spelled "thiamin") is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin, previously known as vitamin B1 or aneurine. Thiamine was isolated and characterized in the 1920s and was one of the first organic compounds to be recognized as a vitamin.
  • Thiamine is involved in numerous bodily functions, including nervous system and muscle functioning; the flow of electrolytes in and out of nerve and muscle cells (through ion channels); multiple enzyme processes (via the coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate); carbohydrate metabolism; and the production of hydrochloric acid (which is necessary for proper digestion). Because there is very little thiamine stored in the body, depletion may occur quickly, within 14 days. Severe chronic thiamine deficiency (beriberi) may result in potentially serious complications involving the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, and gastrointestinal system.
  • Dietary sources of thiamine include beef, brewer's yeast, legumes (beans, lentils), nuts, oats, pork, rice, seeds, wheat, whole-grain cereals, and yeast. Thiamine is also found in fruit (such as oranges), milk, and milk products (1;2;3). In industrialized countries, foods made with white rice or white flour are often fortified with thiamine (because most of the naturally occurring thiamine is lost during the refinement process).
  • Thiamine is used as part of a treatment for metabolic disorders (including subacute necrotizing encephalopathy, maple syrup urine disease, pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, and hyperalaninemia) and thiamine deficiency symptoms (beriberi, Wernicke's encephalopathy, Korsakoff's psychosis, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome), and in alcoholic individuals. It has been studied as part of a treatment for other uses as well; however, conclusions are lacking.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.