« back to list of supplements

Vitamin B1


Thiamine was discovered mainly through the discovery of its deficiency syndrome beriberi which is characterised by a polyneuritic paralysis that affects mainly the lower limbs. Beriberi was found in the Far East but became prevalent during the 19th Century, when the introduction of steam-powered rice mills began to permit highly efficient polishing and thus removing this vital nutrient. Beriberi can also present as a 'wet' form of the disease, characterised by heart failure and by widespread oedema, especially in the lower limbs. Thiamine functions as part of an enzyme, thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), which is required for energy production, carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol metabolism, and nerve cell function.


Studies have shown therapeutic intake ranges from 50mg to 8g / day. Insect repellent effects - 150mg or more daily. Oral thiamine intake is not associated with any toxicity.

Potential applications

Insect repellent, Beriberi, alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, cognitive decline in the elderly, biliary disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and lactic acidosis. In Leigh's disease, encephalopathy is accompanied by reduced thiamine tri-phosphate (TTP) levels, which can be treated with high-dose thiamine. TTP appears to function in the nerves and brain and may be partly responsible for the neurological signs of Beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Known contraindications

None known.


Thiamine supplementation also improves mental function in patients with epilepsy who use the drug Dilantin (phenytoin). Magnesium is required to convert thiamine to its active form. Excess glucose infusion intravenously and ingestion of diets made up primarily of refined, unenriched grain products necessitate increased thiamine intake.

Use in conjunction with

  • Brain function / nerve protection - alpha lipoic acid, flax seed oil, vitamin E, antioxidant complex, ginkgo biloba


© Cheryl Thallon at Viridian

Like this page? Please link to us and let the world know!

^ back to top

© 2014 OrganicFoodee.com All Rights Reserved. Website by: Get Lucas