Vitamin B1 (thiamin)

The body has only a small storage capacity for vitamin B1 (thiamine). In its active form, vitamin B1 is a vital coenzyme for energy production.

The functions of vitamin B1 in the body

  • Energy metabolism
    In its active form TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate, a compound with magnesium), vitamin B1 is a vital coenzyme for energy production in the mitochondria of cells and in the construction of molecules for hereditary material (ribose-5-phosphate).
  • Nervous system
    Vitamin B1 is found in the cell walls of nerve cords and thus participates in the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain and peripheral nerve cells. It is also important for the metabolism of important neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Protein synthesis
    Thiamine appears to play a role in the synthesis of collagen; therefore, thiamine deficiency is associated with decreased production of collagen and worsened wound healing. 

Indications for vitamin B1

  • Alcohol consumption
    With regular, heavy alcohol consumption, vitamin B1, like all B vitamins, is increasingly excreted and must be substituted accordingly.

  • Heart failure
    Administration of 200 to 300 mg of vitamin B1 per day for 1 to 4 weeks can significantly improve cardiac output.

  • Physical training, physical activity and sports
    Hard physical work and athletic training increase the need for thiamine.

  • Neuralgia, chronic pain
    Since thiamine deficiency can lower pain thresholds, thiamine administration is able to relieve chronic pain.

  • Central nervous system disorders
    Vitamin B1 may be beneficial in Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and depression.

Can vitamin B1 be overdosed?

Vitamin B1 has a wide therapeutic range. Amounts of >200 mg may cause dizziness in some people. In a few cases, severe allergic reactions occurred as a result of intravenous administration of thiamine (>400 mg).

Good to know about vitamin B1

  • The daily requirement of vitamin B1 (thiamine) is between 1.1 and 1.3 mg for men and 1 mg for women.
  • Whole grain products are rich in vitamin B1. In cereals, it is mainly found in the germ, so that most of it is lost when the grain is milled.
  • High temperatures and long cooking times destroy the vitamin
  • Vitamin B1 is also produced by the body's own intestinal bacteria.

Vitamin B1 deficiency - the symptoms

  • depression
  • impaired protein synthesis
  • frequent headaches
  • skin and mucous membrane changes
  • heart palpitations
  • learning and memory disorders
  • fatigue
  • weak muscles
  • staggering gait
  • confusion, irritability

Vitamin B1 in food

100 g contain:

brewer's yeast        12,00 mg            sunflower seeds     2,00 mg
ham     0,80 mg   oatmeal    0,65 mg
green peas     0,32 mg      


Products with B1 (thiamine)