Brain Foods

Brain Foods

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Vitamin B-1

Vitamin B-1


Vitamin B-1 Facts

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) is a water soluble vitamin, meaning any excess is excreted and not stored in the body. It is known as a "morale booster" since it affords beneficial effects on the nervous system and in a person's mental disposition. Before grain products were enriched in the U.S. (vitamin B-1 was depleted in the processing of grains), it was the biggest contributor to a thiamin-deficiency disease called beriberi. For best synergistic use and potency, the B vitamins are more effective when used together and in equal balance. Experts believe that some people, especially older adults, are somewhat deficient in this nutrient, and this deficiency may cause negative health consequences. Heavy coffee and tea drinkers, whether its decaffeinated or regular, may need to increase Vitamin B-1 intake, because these beverages can deplete thiamin from the body.

How it Works

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) is necessary to convert carbohydrates from food into energy. It plays a key role in reactions that lead to the formation of energy (along with riboflavin and niacin), and this energy metabolism process is needed for growth, physical movement, nerve functioning, and most body processes. Vitamin B-1 activates enzymes involved in the formation of energy from glucose, it plays a role in promoting healthy nerves, and thiamin also may be useful in treating some types of heart disease, for it can improve the pumping power of the heart. Vitamin B-1 helps maintain healthy nerves and may minimize numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, improve memory and mental clarity.

Possible Benefits

Aids in energy production and efficient energy metabolism.
Has a mild diuretic effect which can reduce fluid buildup.
Promotes growth and healthy nerves - stress relief.
Aids digestion, particularly carbohydrates.
Improves mental attitude and mental clarity.
Strengthens the heart.
Keeps nervous system, muscles, and heart functioning normally.
Soothes heartburn and helps fight airsickness or seasickness.
Relieves dental postoperative pain.
May help boost memory in Alzheimer's disease, improve depression symptoms, and help with alcolol withdrawl.
Studies have shown it aids in lowered blood pressure, weight loss, better sleep and increased energy.

Usage Guidelines

RDA for Vitamin B-1 is 1.5 mg a day, although the most common daily dose is 100-300 mg. Best taken in balance with the other B vitamins, and since it is absorbed best in an acid environment, take it with meals when the body's stomach acids help aid in digestion. No adverse effects associated with high dosages of thiamin, since the body eliminates any excess not used. Thiamin supplements have not been associated to any toxicity; however, toxic reactions from injections are rare but can occur and may produce the following symptoms: covulsions, headache, weakness, paralysis and irregular heartbeat.

Some Natural Sources

Grains, meats, sunflower seeds, pork, bran cereal, peas, fish, beef, liver, ham, peanuts, almonds, macaroni, rice, bread, lima beans, corn, broccoli, potato, orange juice, orange, avocado, dried beans, oatmeal, milk and dried yeast.


This information is based on reputable resources and scientific research but there is no guarantee that what we know today, will change with time. Readers should not use this information for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, but should always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any major dietary changes. This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice.

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