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THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1)

Other Names:

Aneurine Hydrochloride, Antiberiberi Factor, Antiberiberi Vitamin, Antineuritic Factor, Antineuritic Vitamin, B Complex Vitamin, Chlorhydrate de Thiamine, Chlorure de Thiamine, Complexe de Vitamine B, Facteur Anti-béribéri, Facteur Antineuritiqu...
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THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Overview
THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Uses
THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Side Effects
THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Interactions
THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Dosing
THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Overview Information

Thiamine is a vitamin, also called vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 is found in many foods including yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat. It is often used in combination with other B vitamins, and found in many vitamin B complex products. Vitamin B complexes generally include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid. However, some products do not contain all of these ingredients and some may include others, such as biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline bitartrate, and inositol.

People take thiamine for conditions related to low levels of thiamine (thiamine deficiency syndromes), including beriberi and inflammation of the nerves (neuritis) associated with pellagra or pregnancy.

Thiamine is also used for digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, and ongoing diarrhea.

Thiamine is also used for AIDS and boosting the immune system, diabetic pain, heart disease, alcoholism, aging, a type of brain damage called cerebellar syndrome, canker sores, vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, motion sickness, and improving athletic performance. Other uses include preventing cervical cancer and progression of kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Some people use thiamine for maintaining a positive mental attitude; enhancing learning abilities; increasing energy; fighting stress; and preventing memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease.

Healthcare providers give thiamine shots for a memory disorder called Wernicke's encephalopathy syndrome, other thiamine deficiency syndromes in critically ill people, alcohol withdrawal, and coma.

How does it work?

Thiamine is required by our bodies to properly use carbohydrates.

THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Effective for:

  • Treatment and prevention of thiamine deficiency, including a specific disorder called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) that is related to low levels of thiamine (thiamine deficiency) and is often see in alcoholics. Between 30% and 80% of alcoholics are believed to have thiamine deficiency. Giving thiamine shots seems to help decrease the risk of developing WKS and decrease symptoms of WKS during alcohol withdrawal.
  • Correcting problems in people with certain types of genetic diseases including Leigh's disease, maple syrup urine disease, and others.

Possibly Effective for:

  • Preventing kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Developing research shows that taking high-dose thiamine (100 mg three times daily) for three months significantly decreases the amount of albumin in the urine in people with type 2 diabetes. Albumin in the urine is an indication of kidney damage.
  • Preventing cataracts.

Possibly Ineffective for:

  • Repelling mosquitos. Some research shows that taking B vitamins, including thiamine, does not improve mosquito repellency.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Preventing cervical cancer. Some research suggests that increasing intake of thiamine from dietary and supplement sources, along with other folic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, might decrease the risk of precancerous spots on the cervix.
  • Improving athletic performance.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Chronic diarrhea.
  • Stomach problems.
  • Brain conditions.
  • AIDS.
  • Heart disease.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Stress.
  • Aging.
  • Canker sores.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate thiamine for these uses.


THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Side Effects & Safety

Thiamine is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts, although rare allergic reactions and skin irritation have occurred. It is also LIKELY SAFE when given appropriately intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider. Thiamine shots are an FDA-approved prescription product.

Thiamine might not properly enter the body in some people who have liver problems, drink a lot of alcohol, or have other conditions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Thiamine is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in the recommended amount of 1.4 mg daily. Not enough is known about the safety of using larger amounts during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Interactions

THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For adults with somewhat low levels of thiamine in their body (mild thiamine deficiency): the usual dose of thiamine is 5-30 mg daily in either a single dose or divided doses for one month. The typical dose for severe deficiency can be up to 300 mg per day.
  • For reducing the risk of getting cataracts: a daily dietary intake of approximately 10 mg of thiamine.
As a dietary supplement in adults, 1-2 mg of thiamine per day is commonly used. The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of thiamine are: Infants 0-6 months, 0.2 mg; infants 7-12 months, 0.3 mg; children 1-3 years, 0.5 mg; children 4-8 years, 0.6 mg; boys 9-13 years, 0.9 mg; men 14 years and older, 1.2 mg; girls 9-13 years, 0.9 mg; women 14-18 years, 1 mg; women over 18 years, 1.1 mg; pregnant women, 1.4 mg; and breast-feeding women, 1.5 mg.

BY INJECTION:
  • Healthcare providers give thiamine shots for treating and preventing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome).

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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