Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin C are referred to as the water-soluble vitamins. Solubility in water is one of the only characteristics that they share. Because they are water soluble, these vitamins tend to be absorbed by simple diffusion when ingested in large amounts and by carrier – mediated processes when ingested in smaller amounts. They are distributed in the aqueous phases of the cell. Most are not stored in appreciable amounts, making their regular consumption a necessity. 


Thiamin is one of the B group vitamins, a part of many of the chemical reactions in the body. Thiamin plays essential roles in carbohydrate metabolism and neural function. Thiamin (vitamin B1) helps the body's cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.

The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and nervous system. 

Dietary reference intakes of Thiamin

0.2 – 1.4 mg/day 

Thiamin content of selected foods

Fortified ready to eat cereal, 1 cup (9.90 mg)

Pork chop, lean, 3 oz (1.06 mg)

Ham, lean, 3 oz (0.82 mg)

Sunflower seeds, shelled, 1 oz (0.59 mg)

Bagel, plain, 4 inch (0.53 mg)

Green peas, 1 cup (0.45 mg)

Pasta, spaghetti, cooked, 1 cup (0.29 mg)

Rice, white, enriched, cooked, 1 cup (0.26 mg)

Doughnut, yeast, 1 (0.22 mg)

Orange juice, 6 fl oz (0.2 mg) 

Symptoms of Thiamin deficiency


Weight loss



Heaviness and weakness of legs

Increased pulse rate and palpitations

Anesthesia of skin, particularly at the tibia

Numbness in legs 

Signs of Thiamin toxicity


Muscular weakness

Cardiac arrhythmia

Allergic reactions


  1. Anonymous3/13/2013

    Are B1 supplements necessary for kids under age of 4? Can you recommend any?

    1. Well balanced diet is the best source of vitamins and minerals for your child. Children who are healthy, eat a variety of foods, are active, and see a doctor regularly - don't need vitamin supplements. Parents may think that their child needs vitamins “just because,” even if child is getting a healthy, well balanced diet, but taking supplements may cause problems in children if they do not need them. Large doses of vitamins, may cause these conditions: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nerve problems.