Thiamin: What You Should Know

Sources, Benefits, Forms, Dosage 

What is Thiamin?

Thiamin is one of the thirteen essential vitamins, and also one of the eight B vitamins, Vitamin B1. Essential vitamins need to be present in the diet because the human body cannot make the nutrients on its own, or in sufficient amounts to sustain normal and healthy bodily functions.1 Thiamin is considered an essential vitamin due to its many physiological health benefits, and along with being essential it is also water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and the eight B vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored in the liver or fatty-tissue like with fat-soluble vitamins.1 Since water-soluble vitamins are easily flushed out of the body it is uncommon to develop toxic side effects.

Benefits of Thiamin – There are many

Thiamin is involved in energy metabolism and is required to make ATP, and metabolize amino acids, fats, and glucose. Thiamin also lowers glucose levels ad research shows it may be beneficial for those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.1,2 In addition to energy metabolism, thiamin is involved nerve function, circulation, and cellular health as it plays a role in cell growth, development, and function.1,2,3 As thiamin is an antioxidant it protects the body from free radicals and the progressive effects of aging.3

The different forms of Thiamin

For thiamin to be used, the body needs to alter thiamin into the active form. Thiamin pyrophosphate also called thiamin diphosphate, is involved in DNA synthesis and is the most metabolically active coenzyme form that is predominantly found in the body.1,2,4 Other forms of thiamin include thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin triphosphate.4

Benfotiamine, a fat-soluble form of this water soluble vitamin is a synthetic form that converts into thiamin when ingested and is used in some nutrition supplements.2,3

Thiamin hydrochloride and thiamin monoitrate are other common forms that are found in supplements.2

 

The video below further explains more about the benefits of the essential vitamin, Thiamin.

Sources of Thiamin – From food and nutrition supplements

Thiamin is naturally sensitive to heat and light, therefore the nutrient content can be diminished or destroyed when preparing meals.2 To preserve the nutrient content it is best to cook thiamin rich foods for shorter durations at lower temperatures. Dietary sources with high amounts of thiamin include pork chops, peas, tuna, black beans, rice, whole grains, enriched cereals, and soy milk.1,5 Cereals, flours, rice, and other food products that are enriched undergo a fortification of certain nutrients, such as thiamin, four of the B vitamins, and iron that may have been lost during food processing.1

Thiamin found in nutrition supplements can be created using either natural whole food sources, or the synthetic forms. Many supplements such as B-complex vitamins include thiamin in addition to the other B vitamins, and it can also be found as the sole ingredient in certain products.

Recommended daily dose of Thiamin – What physicians advise

The recommended daily dose for nutrients is unique to a person’s age, gender, and other personal factors. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for thiamin as a reference to meet the needs of healthy individuals. For infants the RDA has not been established, but an adequate intake (AI) level of 0.2 – 0.3 mg has been set as a guideline for nutritional adequacy. The RDA for thiamin for healthy adults is 1.2 mg/day for men and 1.1 mg/day for women.1

Most individuals within the United States consume adequate amounts of thiamin.2 However, thiamin intake can alter the nutrient’s bioavailability. When thiamin intakes are low that is when the vitamin is most bioavailable as opposed to when intakes are high the absorption process for this nutrient is much slower.1

Recommended Dietary Allowance
(RDA) Thiamin
Infants (0 – 12 months) 0.2 – 0.3 mg/day AI
Children (1 -8 years) 0.5 – 0.6 mg/day
Adolescents (9 – 18 years) 0.9 – 1 mg/day
Adults (19+ years) 1.1 – 1.2 mg/day
Pregnant and Lactating Women 1.4 – 1.5 mg/day

Table 1: Daily Thiamin Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) to Meet the Needs of Healthy Individuals4

Certain populations may need to be more mindful when evaluating their thiamin needs. Although thiamin is not a particular nutrient that interacts with a lot of medications, those using certain medications such as the diuretic Lasix®, or the chemotherapy drug Adrucil® may be at risk to develop a nutrient deficiency or develop a different adverse event.2 Certain antacids that contain aluminum and magnesium can also interact and inhibit thiamin absorption when taken together during meals.6 With any particular medication or health condition it is always best to consult with your primary healthcare provider before taking the Healthycell® products or any nutrition supplement.

Thiamin toxicity – Very rare

As thiamin is a water-soluble B vitamin it is easily flushed out of the body when consumed in excess amounts. Since it is not stored in fat cells of fatty tissue it does not have any known toxic effects. As thiamin is considered non-toxic, a maximum daily consumption level that may cause an adverse event, or a tolerable upper intake level (UL) has not been established.1

Thiamin deficiency, symptoms, and people at risk

Thiamin deficiency results in a disease called beriberi, a nervous system disease, which is uncommon in the United States but very common in developing countries.3 There are four forms of beriberi. Dry beriberi is found in adults which includes symptoms of muscle loss and leg cramps; Wet beriberi is characterized be severe edema which can result in heart failure; Infantile beriberi is found in newborns who are breastfed by malnourished mothers; And cerebral beriberi is described as decreased muscle coordination and paralysis of the eyes, which is also related to alcoholism.1

Alcohol can interfere with the absorption process and storage of thiamin and can lead to a nutrient deficiency or health condition called Wenicke-Korsakoff syndrome with symptoms of memory loss, confusion, and abnormal movements.1,3 In addition to alcohol abuse, other populations who are at risk of developing a thiamin deficiency include the elderly, those living in developing countries, bariatric patients, diabetics, and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and HIV/AIDS.1,2,4

Thiamin in Healthycell® Pro – Only the best form

The source of thiamin, Vitamin B1 in Healthycell® Pro is thiamine mononitrate.The dosage of thiamin in Healthycell® Pro is 5 mg in the morning formula and 5 mg in the evening formula, for a daily dose of 10 mg, satisfying 666% of the Daily Value (%DV).

The source of thiamin found in Healthycell® is thiamin HCl (hydrochloride). The dosage of thiamin in Healthycell® is 3 mg in the morning formula and 3 mg in the evening formula, for a daily dose of 6 mg, satisfying 400% of the Daily Value (%DV). Nutrition supplement labeling and food labeling guidelines use Reference Daily Intake (RDI) as the standard for dosage.

References

1. McGuire, Michelle, PhD, and Kathy Beerman A., PhD. “Chapter 10 Water-Soluble Vitamins.”

Nutritional Sciences: From Fundamentals to Food. 2nd ed. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth,

  1. 446-449. Print.

2. “Thiamin — Health Professional Fact Sheet.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department

of Health & Human Services, 11 Feb. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

3. Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. 4th ed. New York: Avery, Print.

4. Brasaemle, Dawn, PhD. “Thiamin Niacin Riboflavin Lecture.” Rutgers University–

Thiamin. New Brunswick. 2015. Lecture

5. Marcason, Wendy, RDN. “What Are B-Vitamins and Folate?” Ear Right. Academy of

Nutrition and Dietetics, 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

6. Haley’s, M. “Drug and nutrient interactions.” Am Fam Physician 44 (1991): 1651-8.

7. “Your Organic Source for Energy.” Orgen-B® | Organic B Vitamins | Orgen® Family.

N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2017.

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