Facts & Recommendations
Vitamin B1, also called Thiamine, is essential for carbohydrate metabolism as well as for nerve and muscle function. The importance of this vitamin was discovered in the early 1900s in association with the Beriberi disease.
Long-grain brown rice, whole cereals and grains, lean meat, fish, nuts, beans and seeds are good sources of dietary vitamin B1.
The water-soluble vitamin B1 is extremely sensitive to light and to heat.
When possible, avoid prolonged cooking of food rich in vitamin B1 in order to preserve it.
Thiamine is absorbed through the small intestine and primarily stored in the liver, but in very small amounts. As it has a short half-life, a continuous supply of this vitamin from the diet is necessary.
The most commonly forms of thiamine used in dietary supplements are thiamine mononitrate and thiamine hydrochloride.
Thiamine plays an essential role in energy metabolism and, thus in the growth, development, and function of cells.
Consequences of a vitamin B1 deficiency
Nutritional deficiency for thiamine is rare if your diet is varied and contains whole grains products.
However, excessive vomiting in pregnancy can cause thiamine depletion, in which case prenatal vitamins containing thiamine and other B vitamins may be beneficial.
Requirements for thiamine increase during pregnancy and lactation, and gestational deficiency can lead to widespread metabolic disturbances affecting the placenta and foetus.