Thiamin is needed to use energy in the body and possibly in nerve conduction.
Thiamin deficiency is called beriberi and includes the symptoms of loss of appetite, muscle weakness and wasting, peripheral neuropathy, rapid heart beat, confusion, decreased short-term memory, and irritability.
Sources & Absorption:
The body is unable to store Thiamin for later use, therefore it must be consumed daily or every few days. Thiamin is found in meat, peas, beans, lentils, carob, peanuts, and grains.
Thiamin is easily absorbed, however it can be destroyed by enzymes (thiaminases) in raw fish and chemicals (polyhydroxyphenols) in coffee, tea, blueberries, black currants, Brussels sprouts, and red cabbage, when consumed with these foods. Vitamin C being consumed at the same meal may prevent Thiamin destruction by polyhydroxyphenols. Alcohol consumption may interfere with Thiamin absorption.
Thiamin is not stored in the body and there appears to be little to no risk of toxicity from consuming it.
* This information is not intended to encourage self-supplementation. As you will read in individual nutrient content, self-supplementation can be unnecessary or even dangerous. I highly recommend micro-nutrient blood testing before choosing to take any supplements that are not whole-foods based.
Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; 2009.
Mahan L, Escott-Stump S, Raymond J. Krauses's food and the nutrition care process. 13th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
Linda Beeker, RDN
I love sharing the power of nutrition - a gift of God's design.