Vitamin B1

Thiamin is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps to release energy from foods and promote normal appetite. Also, it is important in maintaining proper nervous system function. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body and needs to be consumed daily.

How much do I need?

  • 1.2 milligrams per day for adult men
  • 1.1 milligrams per day for adult women

For recommendations for infants, children, and teens, check out the chart in CSU Extension’s fact sheet Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C.

Food sources

Thiamin can be found in peas, pork, liver, and legumes. Some of the highest sources include whole grains, and it can also be found in fortified cereals or enriched grains like bread, pasta, rice and tortillas.

What happens if I don’t get enough?

Thiamin deficiency is uncommon in the United States due to a wide variety of enriched grain products. Those with alcoholism and those following low calorie diets are most prone to thiamine deficiency. This can cause mental confusion, muscle weakness, wasting, water retention (edema), and impaired growth. In addition, thiamin deficiencies can lead to beriberi, a disease that severely affects the nervous and cardiovascular system.

Can I get too much?

No known risks are associated with high levels of thiamin. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid consuming large amounts of thiamin until more information is known.

Did You Know?

Thiamin shots have been effective in treating and preventing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS). WKS is common among those with alcoholism due to the low levels of thiamin in their bodies. Shots are given to decrease risk of WKS and reduce its symptoms during alcohol withdrawal.