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Vitamin B1- Benefits, Source, and Importance

Do you know? The earliest B vitamin discovered by scientists is Vitamin B1 and that’s the reason its name carries number 1.

Vitamin B1 is chemically known as thiamine or thiamin which is required by the body to carry out numerous necessary functions. Deficiency of Vitamin B1 is really a challenging situation as it may put you at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, beri-beri, irregular body metabolism, and various other health complications.

In this segment, you’ll get to know that what is Vitamin B1, how it is beneficial for the body, and which foods should be eaten to gain Vitamin B1 in sufficient amounts.


What actually Vitamin B1 is? It is a water-soluble vitamin that makes the body capable of utilizing carbohydrates as a source of energy. It is vital for regulating healthy body metabolism.

This vitamin is mandatory for the metabolism of glucose and plays a crucial role in heart, muscle, nerve health, and the functioning of several organ systems. Vitamin B1 is a colorless organosulfur compound and is transported in the whole body by getting dissolved in the blood.

If we talk about its discovery, then Vitamin B1 was discovered in the year 1897 and it was firstly named “aneurin”. Later on, the name aneurin was changed to “thiamine” or “thio” or sulfur-containing” vitamin. Vitamin B1 was firstly synthesized in the year 1936 by two dutch chemists Willem Frederik and Barend Coenraad Petrus Jansen.

Benefits of Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is required in the body for:

  • Development of the nervous system and its normal functioning
  • Metabolism of carbohydrates and production of energy
  • Performing heart functioning
  • Vitamin B1 ensures the healthy functioning of the brain, heart, and nervous system. Producing energy for cell metabolism from food is its primary function.
  • Vitamin B1 is highly beneficial in achieving good eyesight and boosting the immune system. That’s the reason; this vitamin is used as a preventive treatment for cataracts. Vitamin B1 is also prescribed to patients suffering from HIV/AIDS to compensate for the loss of immunity.
  • Another major benefit of Vitamin B1 is the well-being of mental health and the promotion of a positive attitude. It may also provide you protection from Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment.
  • The consumption of Vitamin B1 will promote the functioning of kidneys in a healthy way and aids in delaying the development of kidney disorders in patients suffering from diabetes.

Food Sources of Vitamin B1

Our body is not able to produce Vitamin B1 on its own. Thus, we need to take it from supplements or by consuming Vitamin B1-rich foods.

Here is the list of food items whose consumption will fulfill the requirement of Vitamin B1:

  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Legumes
  • Dried beans
  • Lentils
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Soybeans
  • Peas
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Yeast
  • Potatoes
  • Oranges
  • Eggs

Read about Vitamin B2 Benefits, source

There are high amounts of Vitamin B1 in the outer layers and germ of cereals, as well as in pulses, whole grains, nuts, pork, beef, and yeast.

The whole grain products consisting of large quantities of thiamine are:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Brown bread
  • Cereal

Along with the intake of Vitamin B1-rich foods, there is also a need to avoid certain foods and dietary supplements which can cause the deficiency of Vitamin B in the body by canceling out the body’s usage of thiamine. Avoid the following things to maintain the levels of Vitamin B1 in the blood:

  • Eating fish and shellfish regularly
  • Chewing tea leaves and betel nuts
  • Consuming a lot of tea or coffee


Vitamin B1 is crucial for performing numerous different key processes in the body. It works as a coenzyme and catalyzes the transformation of carbohydrates into sugar. Vitamin B1 is required by the body for strengthening the immune system and nervous system also.

The dose of Vitamin B1 recommended by the health experts is 1.2 mg for adult males and 1.1 mg for adult females.


Taking less than required quantities of Vitamin B1 can result in its deficiency which can further interfere with the normal functioning of the body and can induce the risk of developing various diseases.

Deficiency of Vitamin B1 is rare and found only in the population of undeveloped countries or in the humans whose body excretes out the thiamine without absorbing it in the blood.

The most common signs and symptoms of thiamine deficiency include:

  • Short term memory loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low energy levels
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Agitation
  • Anorexia
  • Confusion
  • Weight loss
  • Severe backache
  • Fearfulness
  • Emotional instability
  • Depression
  • Muscular atrophy

If you observe any of the following signs and symptoms, immediately visit a doctor’s clinic or you can also consult an Ayurveda expert doctor online by dialing +917743002519. Life Aveda’s highly experienced doctors will provide you herbal remedies and a diet chart that will help you in recovering from decreased levels of Vitamin B1 in a paced manner.


Maintaining a balance of all the vitamins in the body is a primal system to achieve long and disease-free life. All the vitamins are necessary for ensuring healthy body functions. You can complete the requirement of Vitamin B1 by consuming the above-mentioned foods and also avoid foods that can prevent the absorption of thiamine in the blood. Wish you a healthy life!

About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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