Dr.Abhay Kumar Pati, Author, Best Nutrition Inc USA,,,

Thiamin is known as “the morale vitamin” because of the beneficial effects it has on the nervous system and morale. People with heart disease have been found to have lower than normal levels of thiamin in their heart muscle.  Beriberi is a condition, which includes symptoms of general weakness and decreased appetite and was found to be preventable if whole brown rice was eaten instead of refined white rice. In 1926 two doctors isolated the active ingredient missing from the refined grain, which was named thiamin.

Thiamin is a very delicate and easily destroyed vitamin. After vitamin C, it is the least stable of all vitamins. For example, alcohol destroys thiamin. Also, people with a low level of thiamin seem to be troubled more by insects.

Thiamin ensures mental alertness. It is vital for the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and alcohol, and generally aids digestion. During pregnancy, thiamin ensures the correct growth of the fetus.

Severe deficiency is now extremely rare in the Western world, but very low intake leads to beriberi, the symptoms of which include muscle weakness, nausea, loss of appetite and water retention. Minor deficiency of thiamin will lead to mental and emotional problems, such as loss of concentration, memory loss, depression, and irritability. Weight loss and digestive upset may also occur. Probably, the earliest symptom of deficiency is continuous nausea.

Therapeutic uses

  • sciatica and low back pain (lumbago)
  • deterrence of insects


  • the elderly
  • pregnant women
  • smokers
  • alcoholics
  • people under physical or mental stress
  • people who have a high carbohydrate intake
  • people convalescing from surgery or injury


Age Thiamin/Vitamin B1 (mg/day)
0-6 months 0.3
6-12 months 0.4
1-3 years 0.7
4-6 years 0.9
7-10 years 1.0
11-14 years (males) 1.3
15-18 years (males) 1.5
19-24 years (males) 1.5
25-50 years (males) 1.5
51+ years (males) 1.2
11-14 years (female) 1.1
15-18 years (females) 1.1
19-24 years (females) 1.1
25-50 years (females) 1.1
51+ years (females) 1.0
Pregnancy 1.5
Lactation, 0-6 months 1.6
Lactation, 6-12 months 1.6



Food Thiamin (mg/100g)
yeast extract 3.1
fortified breakfast cereal 1.8
soya beans, dry 1.10
pork chop 0.57
rice 0.41
bread, whole-meal 0.34
peas, frozen 0.32
peanuts, roasted 0.23
bread, white 0.21
potatoes 0.2
chicken 0.11
beef 0.06
milk 0.05


Thiamin is a very safe vitamin. High dosages of thiamin can be taken for prolonged periods by adults without causing problems. Allergic reactions do sometimes arise when thiamin is injected.

Thiamin is one of the B-complex vitamins and so ideally should be taken as part of the complex, although single supplementation may be acceptable as part of a nutritional therapeutic program.

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