What it does in the body
Vitamin B1 is essential for normal growth and development and helps to maintain proper functioning of the heart, nervous system and digestive systems. It is essential for energy production, carbohydrate metabolism and nerve cell function and promotes muscle tone.
Alcoholics, or those with very heavy refined carbohydrate consumption, tend to be deficient in vitamin B1. Deficiency in Vitamin B1 may lead to loss of appetite, weakness, nervousness irritability, insomnia, weight loss, aches and pains, mental depression and constipation. In children it may result in impaired growth. Severe deficiency is common in alcoholics.
- Natural sources of vitamin B1 include dried yeast, rice husks, whole wheat, oatmeal, peanuts, pork, most vegetables and milk. It is common for thiamin to be added to white bread; however, orthomolecular scientists generally consider this to be a less than ideal source due to the negative effects of white flour on the body.
Recommended Dietary Allowance
- RDA for thiamin ranges from 0.9 mg to 1.4 mg.1
Thiamin is the anti-polyneuritis or anti-beriberi vitamin. It is used as an adjunct in the treatment of certain depressions and is specific for Wernicke-Korsakoff disease. The megadose level ranges up to 3,000 mg. per day, but this is rare. The usual megadose range for an average person is from 100 to 3000 mg, most often nearer the lower level.2
1 Canadian Health Network Public Health Agency
2 Hoffer, Abram, PH.D., M.D. and Walker, Morton, D.P.M. Orthomolecular Nutrition: New Lifestyle for Super Good Health. Keats Publishing Inc., Connecticut: 1978. Pg. 121 - 122.