Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is a vitamin you will see on many fortified food labels.  It’s worth mentioning benfotiamine as well--a synthetic form of B1 which has exciting potential therapeutic effects for diabetic neuropathy and a host of other pharmacological effects.  The RDA for B1 is 1.1 grams/day for adult females, and 1.2 grams/day for males. Measure your levels with a blood test.


  • Involved in energy metabolism
  • DNA/RNA synthesis
  • Nerve function
  • The coenzyme function of B1 refers to its necessity as a cofactor, allowing other enzymes to function during metabolism

Primary deficiency symptoms and diseases

  • Beriberi
  • Decreased muscle functioning
  • Tingling
  • Pain
  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Paralysis
  • No known toxicity levels

Food sources

This list is not exclusive, but these are typically the top sources of B1. Most high protein foods like meat and beans contain thiamine in decent amounts. It is quite easy to obtain and supplementation is typically unnecessary except in cases of deficiency like beri beri.

  • Pork
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Tuna
  • Soymilk
  • Fortified refined grains - why are you still eating these?

Supplement forms

  • Thiamin hydrochloride
  • Thiamin mononitrate
  • Benfotiamine

Who needs it most?

Other tips

  • Take with vitamin c and prevent the oxidation of this vitamin
  • Fish, coffee, tea, berries, brussel sprouts & cabbage can destroy B1
  • Alcohol can decrease absorption
  • Overcooking can destroy B1