Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

The vitamin B group includes eight different compounds. One of them is thiamine. Most of it is known as vitamin B1. The substance is responsible for the metabolic processes, growth, development and normal function of the digestive organs, heart muscle and nervous system. Its deficiency is dangerous for the body. Without a sufficient amount of thiamine, the functioning of systems and organs is disrupted, and a person becomes susceptible to serious nervous disorders.

Vitamin B1 plays an important role in the body, which not everyone knows about. To evaluate the full benefits of this compound, it is necessary to consider all its features, the consequences of a periodic and systematic deficiency, as well as which products contain the most thiamine.


  • 1 Functions of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • 2 Thiamine Value for Athletes
  • 3 daily requirement
  • 4 Consequences of Thiamine Deficiency
  • 5 Overdose
  • 6 What foods contain vitamin B1

Functions of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 is an organic compound. It does not dissolve in alcohol, but disintegrates in water. The substance can occur in four different forms. Thiamine diphosphate is one of the most abundant in the human body. About 30 grams of this compound can accumulate in body tissues (mainly muscle).

Thiamine performs the following functions in the human body:

  • directly involved in carbohydrate, protein, fat metabolism;
  • participates in the synthesis of ATP - the energy necessary for the implementation of intracellular processes;
  • promotes the transition of carbohydrates into glucose, which the body requires for vigorous activity;
  • promotes the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats coming with food;
  • helps to form functional blood cells;
  • contributes to the full growth and development of systems and organs;
  • responsible for the normal functioning of the digestion;
  • normalizes heart function;
  • protects the nervous system from stress factors, since it is involved in the formation of the nerve endings of the myelin sheath, which protects cells from destruction;
  • increases the protective functions of the body;
  • improves the assimilation of nutrients by maintaining a smooth muscle tone in the digestive system;
  • positively affects the nervous central system, and a lack of this compound leads to negative consequences for cognitive abilities;
  • responsible for the normal state of the organs of vision.

Thiamine is often also called anti-stress vitamin, which fully reflects its most important role for the human body. Apathy amid a lack of this substance develops due to a general decline in strength and weakness, which leads to a depressive state.

Thiamine Value for Athletes

Thiamine is one of the key substances for bodybuilders and athletes involved in other disciplines. This vitamin is a direct participant in the synthesis of protein from food, and without protein normal muscle tissue growth is impossible. Athletes who want to build good muscle need to eat both protein foods and control the amount of vitamin B1 they enter into the body along with the foods. Thiamine deficiency leads to disruption in the process of transporting oxygen to muscle tissues.

This will lead to a decrease in strength and endurance, which negatively affects physical exercise. To avoid adverse effects, athletes need to take care of the additional intake of thiamine bromide and other varieties of this vitamin. Due to this, the performance during exercises increases many times. Such supplements do not have any side effects for the body.

Daily requirement

The norm depends on age, lifestyle, and gender:

  • 0.2-0.9 mg in different years of life is enough for small children;
  • women - 1.1, and during the period of bearing a child and breastfeeding - 1.5 mg;
  • men - from 1.2 to 2.5 mg;
  • athlete and adults engaged in hard physical labor (gender does not matter) - 2.5-3 mg.

A deficiency of this vitamin is necessary to the doctor. The specialist will determine the dosage and form of the drug that should be taken.

The effects of thiamine deficiency

A large number of foods consumed by humans contain thiamine, but its lack is quite common. Deficiency can be either temporary or systematic. In the latter case, severe disorders develop, especially nervous ones.

Beriberi disease, characteristic of many regions with unfavorable living conditions and frequent lack of food, against the background of a lack of thiamine is characterized by weakness and atrophy of muscle tissues, weight loss and intellectual impairment, the development of pathologies of the digestive system and heart, as well as paralysis.

Another form of this disease is Korsakov’s syndrome, but it develops more often in those who suffer from alcoholism, which helps to reduce thiamine in the body. The progression of the disease causes irreversible damage to the brain - impaired mental activity and memory. Only the timely detection of the problem and treatment can save the patient, when various dosage forms of thiamine, including hydrochloride, are introduced into the body until the investment occurs.

Periodic deficiency in adults is less dangerous, but also has negative consequences, can go into a systematic one. The main signs of a deficiency are disorders in the cardiovascular and digestive systems, as well as atrophy of muscle tissue. In childhood, a lack of thiamine causes a delay in physical development.

People living in favorable conditions can eat varied and balanced. Regardless, lack of thiamine is not uncommon. In the early stages, deficiency is rarely diagnosed, but even when a periodic deficiency is observed for several years, the situation can be corrected.

The following symptoms allow you to recognize a shortage:

  • insomnia;
  • frequent shortness of breath;
  • constant feeling of tiredness and depressed feeling of hunger;
  • loss of concentration and frequent forgetfulness;
  • constipation and nausea;
  • tingling sensation in the limbs;
  • depressive state, apathy, which are replaced by irritability.

A constant lack of substance leads to a worsening of the condition and more dangerous consequences. Experts advise not to bring this up, but to review their diet, including in the menu products that have a lot of vitamin B1 in their composition. If the condition is serious, it is better to resort to taking thiamine chloride and other drugs.

Thiamine does not always enter the body in the amount found in raw or fresh foods. Part of the substance is lost during long-term heat treatment, as well as the addition of a large amount of salt. In the digestive system, vitamin is destroyed by alcohol, tea, and coffee. Therefore, if there is a deficiency, it is better to completely abandon these drinks.


Excess vitamin also has a bad effect on the body. Overdose most often occurs after the use of pharmacy drugs without observing the dosages and prescriptions. If the amount of thiamine received exceeds the daily norm, a person suffers from insomnia, an unreasonable sense of fear, an allergic reaction, including both mild urticaria and anaphylactic shock.

What foods contain vitamin B1

Thiamine is found in many products, but in the greatest amount it is present in:

  • barley and oatmeal;
  • hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios;
  • sunflower seeds;
  • green vegetables, greens;
  • carrot;
  • pumpkin;
  • Tomatoes
  • bell pepper;
  • legumes (lentils, beans, peas);
  • pork;
  • liver;
  • Brewer's yeast.

These products must be included in the daily menu. This is especially true for those people who play sports. And if the first signs of thiamine deficiency are noticed, you should immediately consult a doctor.