Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Thiamin is a water soluble B vitamin.  It is critical for proper nutrition.  It aids in the production of energy in all tissues in the body but more is used in the heart and skeletal muscle.  Additionally it is necessary for the body to produce the neurotransmitter (chemical used by the nervous system and brain) acetylcholine.

Signs & Symptoms of Vitamin B1 Nutrition Deficiency:

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Edema
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Neuropathy
  • Muscle wasting
  • Fatigue

Vitamin B1 has been shown to be beneficial in the following conditions:

  • Beri Beri (wet and dry – forms affect the nervous system and the heart)
  • Intestinal disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypothyroid
  • Congestive heart failures

Drugs, medications, or additives that may deplete or interfere with Vitamin B1 metabolism:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Diuretics used to lower blood pressure
  • Seizure Medications

The Chart Below Illustrates Common Consequences of Deficiency:

Thiamine deficiency chart


SSRI’s = Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (meds used to treat depression – prozac, paxil, zoloft, etc)
NSAIDS – Non steroidal inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc)
CFS – Chronic fatigue syndrome
CHF – Congestive heart failure

Laboratory testing for Vitamin B1:

  • Erythrocyte Transketolase Activity (ETKA)
  • Leukocyte functional assays (Spectracell labs)

Food Sources:

  • Pork, legumes, watermelon, green beans, asparagus, and organ meats and dairy products