Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs in the human body as free thiamin and as various phosphorylated forms: thiamin monophosphate (TMP), thiamin triphosphate (TTP), and thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP). Vitamin B1 was the first vitamin identified in 1926.

Health functions

Thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP), synthesized from free vitamin B1 (thiamin), requiring magnesium, acts as coenzyme for a small number of very important enzymes (e.g., pyruvate dehydrogenase).

Disease risk reduction

Some preliminary evidence suggests that vitamin B1 (thiamin) ─ along with other micronutrients such as vitamin A and vitamins of the B complex (B2, B9, B12) ─ may protect the eyes’ lens and lower risk of getting cataracts.

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Things to know about Vitamin B1

  • Other applications

    Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder caused by vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency.

  • Intake recommendations

    Because vitamin B1 (thiamin) facilitates energy utilization, requirements are tied to energy intake, which can be very much dependent on activity levels. The recommendations are based on an average caloric intake.

  • Supply situation

    National nutrition surveys in European countries provide an indication of current intake of some B vitamins.

  • Deficiency

    Vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency affects the cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, and gastrointestinal systems.

  • Sources

    Whole grain cereals, legumes (e.g., beans and lentils), nuts, lean pork, and yeast are rich sources of vitamin B1 (thiamin) (2).

  • Safety

    To date, no well-established toxic effects from the consumption of excess thiamin in food or through long-term oral supplementation (up to 200 mg/day) are known (15, 20).

  • References

    Consult the full list of scientific references.