B vitamins are the largest group of essential micronutrients known today. B1 vitamin (thiamine) is one of the most well-researched of them. It’s also the first one to be discovered by scientists, which eventually led to discoveries of other chemicals from this group.
Thiamine is needed mainly to help your body turn food into energy, as it takes part in glucose metabolism. Also, it helps alleviate digestive problems and has neuroprotective properties.
If you want to know more about this nutrient and check reviews of the best thiamine supplements available on the market today, continue reading this article.
- 1 3 Top-Rated B1 (Thiamine) Supplements on the Market
- 2 What Is Thiamine and Why Is It Essential for Your Body?
- 3 Best Thiamine-Rich Foods
- 4 Health Benefits of Vitamin B1
- 5 Dosage and Side Effects
- 6 Conclusion
3 Top-Rated B1 (Thiamine) Supplements on the Market
Nutricost Vitamin B1 Caps
Nutricost produces one of the best vitamin B1 supplements with high potency. One serving is equal to one capsule and provides you with 500 mg of vitamin B1 in the form of thiamine mononitrate. This dosage makes as much as 33,333% of the daily value, so it can suit individuals with moderate to severe vitamin B1 deficiency.
One bottle packs 120 capsules, but you can purchase two or three-pack as well to save a few bucks. Thus, the Nutricost thiamine is a good choice for long-term supplementation.
The capsules don’t contain any irritating additives or allergens. However, since gelatin in one of the ingredients, they aren’t suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
EZ Melts Thiamine Sublingual Vitamins
If you want supplementation for your child or need something with higher bioavailability, choose EZ Melts. This manufacturer can offer you one of the best thiamine supplements in the form of dissolvable tablets. Just eat them like a simple candy and get all the benefits instantly.
One serving is equal to 2 tablets and packs 25 mg of thiamine, which is more than enough to satisfy your daily intake. Also, the pills are vegan-friendly, as they don’t have animal-based products.
The tablets contain xylitol and mannitol as sweeteners, so they might not be the right choice for people who are intolerant to these compounds.
Mason Naturals Vitamin B1 Tablets
Finally, the last option on this list of the best vitamin B1 supplements is the Mason Naturals capsules. This product offers 250 mg of B1 per capsule and packs 100 servings in one jar.
Along with B1 vitamin, the manufacturer offers B-complex, which includes other vitamins from this group. So, if you need complex supplementation, this may be your go-to option.
The only issue with the Mason Natural thiamine is that one of the ingredients is lactose. Thus, this supplement won’t suit vegans and individuals with lactose intolerance.
What Is Thiamine and Why Is It Essential for Your Body?
So, you surely know that all vitamins are essential, but do you know that when it comes to vitamin B1, you literally get a working horse among the vitamins?
Here are just a few of its main thiamine functions:
- ATP synthesis. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the primary source of energy for every cell in your body. Brain, heart, and muscles are the main consumers of ATP. Thiamine helps convert glucose in ATP and deliver it to cells.
- Neuroprotective properties. Thiamine may work as a booster for neurotransmitters and repair the nerve coating.
- Sleep improvement. B1 vitamin takes part in serotonin and melatonin production. Both of these hormones are essential for good sleep.
“Incorporating thiamine-rich foods into your diet might also help you control stress levels and may serve as a productivity boost.”
What Will Happen If You Don’t Consume Enough B1 Vitamin?
A severe vitamin deficiency isn’t a common thing in developed countries. And when it comes to B vitamins, chances of insufficient intake drop even more, as almost all vitamins of this group are abundant in many foods. However, certain groups of people are more prone to developing thiamine deficiency symptoms. If you belong to these groups, you might need additional supplementation:
- People with bariatric surgery. Individuals with bariatric surgery are typically more prone to general malabsorption and vitamin deficiencies.
- Alcoholics. People with chronic alcoholism may not absorb thiamine from food and develop the condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This pathology manifests in hallucinations and memory impairment and can be fatal if untreated.
- Pregnant women. Morning sickness is common during pregnancy. But vomiting and diarrhea might contribute to loss of electrolytes and vitamins, so pregnant women may need additional supplementation with thiamine during first and second trimesters.
“Note that thiamine is water-soluble, meaning it cannot be stored in the body. So, you should constantly consume it either through foods or through supplementation.”
Speaking of developing countries, such as some areas of Africa, chances of getting chronic thiamine deficiency, also known as beriberi, are much higher here.
Beriberi affects all organs and systems, and its main signs are the following:
- extreme muscle weakness, particularly in legs;
- numbness and tingling sensations in feet and arms;
- high heart rate;
- confusion and difficulties with speaking.
Beriberi can progress to the aforementioned Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and become fatal if untreated. However, if diagnosed early, beriberi can be treated completely with thiamine injections or through supplementation.
Best Thiamine-Rich Foods
The best way to prevent yourself from developing thiamine deficiency is to integrate vitamin B1 foods in your diet. According to MyFoodData, current recommendations as for the daily intake of thiamine are 1.2 mg per day.
Below, you will find the list of foods that can help you achieve this goal:
- lean pork chops — 0.7 mg per 100 g;
- lamb liver — 0.3 mg per 3 oz;
- salmon — 0.3 mg per 100 g;
- bluefin tuna — 0.5 mg per 6 oz fillet;
- flax seeds — 0.5 mg per 1 oz;
- navy beans — 0.4 mg per cup;
- acorn squash — 0.3 mg per cup (cooked).
As you can see, thiamine is present in both animal-based and plant-based sources. Thus, maintaining a diverse diet will help you support adequate levels of this nutrient in your body.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B1
Now, let’s outline the main vitamin B1 benefits you may get from supplementation:
- Energy boost. Vitamin B1, in the form of thiamine diphosphate, takes part in creating enzymes that are needed for glucose oxidation. Given the fact that glucose metabolism is crucial for your brain and heart function, supplementation with thiamine can be helpful for improving glucose bioavailability for your body cells.
- Kidney disease prevention. Individuals with diabetes are more prone to renal diseases and impaired kidney function. A 2008 study published in the Diabetologia journal reported that supplementing with high doses of thiamine reduced some symptoms of kidney diseases in diabetic patients, mainly albumin excretion in the urine. Moreover, the excretion continued to decrease two months after the supplementation was finished.
- Reduced risk of cataracts. Some researchers suggest that the nucleus of the lens in our eyes is susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, which means a diet could influence the possibility of developing the cataract. A 2000 study published in the Ophthalmology journal examined the impact of a high-thiamine and high-protein diet on 2,900 Australians. Scientists concluded that the diet could lower the risks of developing the cataract. However, thiamine was only one component of the diet, so further research is needed.
Finally, thiamine is highly effective for treating alcoholic encephalopathy (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome) and is often used as a complementary medicine along with other B vitamins.
Dosage and Side Effects
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, the recommended daily intake of thiamine for adults is about 1.95 mg for men and 1.39 mg for women. This is slightly higher than MyFoodData recommendations mentioned above.
In fact, higher doses of vitamin B1, up to 500 mg per day, can be tolerated pretty well in healthy individuals without any thiamine side effects.
However, people with sensitive digestion may experience digestive distress when taking large doses. In this case, it’s better to reduce your dosage or even stop supplementation.
Also, thiamine can interact with certain chemicals and medications:
- Diuretics. Furosemide and other diuretics increase the excretion of thiamine through urine, thereby reducing its efficiency.
- Tannins. Tannins are compounds found in coffee, tea, and wine. They can bind thiamine and block its bioavailability.
B1 is the most well-known vitamin in the B group. It is important for glucose metabolism and nerve protection. Also, it is commonly used as a complementary supplement for treating many diseases.
Even though thiamine deficiency is very rare in developed countries, some people — such as pregnant women, diabetics, or those who abuse alcohol — might need additional supplementation with this nutrient.