Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH

We know that B vitamins work together and all are essential for maintaining our mental health, mood, normal metabolism, and energy levels, among other functions. One of the most important B vitamins is Vitamin B1, known also as Thiamine. Unfortunately due to poor nutritional habits, high stress levels, regular use of alcohol and other factors deficiency of this vitamin is very common today and leads to tiredness, heart complications, low mood, irritability, confusion, muscle weakness, indigestion, appetite problems and nerve damage. Thiamine helps us to maintain normal body weight and avoid tiredness by breaking down food to provide energy. On the other hand, deficiency of this vitamin may lead to lack of appetite, weight loss and underweight. It also helps support muscle function (including heart muscle), immune system, digestion, endocrine function (hormonal balance), and maintains a healthy nervous system, vision, memory, focus and mood.

Boosts metabolism, helps maintain normal body weight & energy levels

Thiamine helps us to control body weight and feel energised by converting carbohydrates into glucose, which is the preferred source of energy our body uses to keep metabolism running smoothly. In addition, Vitamin B1 also helps break down fats and proteins. That is why its deficiency leads to digestive problems and fatigue. Another reason why Thiamine helps us to feel better is the fact that it is also required for the production of red blood cells, which are used for an ongoing energy.

Prevents nerve damage

Together with Vitamin B12 Thiamine is also required for proper development and protection of the myelin sheaths, which wrap around nerves preventing their damage and death. For this reason supplements containing Vitamin B1 and B12 are often recommended for those who are on statins and other medications that are known to impose damaging effect on nerves.

Improves mood, memory & focus

Thiamine is a critical vitamin for maintaining and improving focus, mood and memory. It also increases our ability to fight chronic stress. That is why it is often called the “anti-stress” vitamin. Scientific research has linked deficiency of this vitamin to learning difficulties. One of the studies also demonstrated that Thiamine supplements speed up reaction times in those taking tests.

Promotes healthy heart

Thiamine is essential in our body for the production of neurotransmitter acetylcholine used to send messages between nerves and muscles. Since heart and other internal organs are basically muscles they all rely on these vital for their proper function signals. Medical research has shown that Vitamin B1 plays very important role in maintaining healthy heart (especially ventricular) function.