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Vitamin B1 - Thamine

Vitamin B1

Thiamine (also known as Thiamin) was the first of the B Vitamins to be identified, hence why it has been given the name Vitamin B1. This water soluble nutrient is essential to the body as it helps to convert the carbohydrate in food into energy. Thiamine also helps to maintain healthy nerve function and has been linked to helping with depression.

In the UK it is rare to see a person with a deficiency of Vitamin B1 due to it being added to many products (particularly white flour and breakfast cereals) during processing. If someone is deficient in Thiamin they may develop Beriberi which is a disease that causes nerve damage, paralysis, muscle wasting and mental confusion.

It is almost impossible to have too much Vitamin B1 as it is water souble and any excess not required by the body gets excreted in the urine.

Sources of Thiamin include fortified flour and cereals, lean pork and meat such as heart, lungs and liver. It is also possible to take Vitamin B1 in a supplement form although it is generally better to take it as part of a B Complex vitamin.

If you are currently taking any prescribed medication or have any medical conditions please consult your doctor or consultant, to seek advice before taking any vitamins or supplements.