Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Notes to help with the revision of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin). 

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  • There are many sources including lean meat, dairy products, fortified bread and cereal, brown rice, nuts, peas and yeast.
  • A significant amount of thiamin can be lost if vegentable are overcooked.
  • Thiamin is added to some breakfast cereals as the vitamin can be lost in the process. 
  • In the UK it is the law that white and brown flour is fortified with Thiamin.
  • More than two thirds of our Thiamin intake comes from plant sources which is a significant source in the UK diet. 
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  • Thiamin is important in the process of energy. It plays a vital role in helping the body to convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. 
  • It is also neccessary for the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and the spinal cord. 
  • It helps maintain the nerve cells and several brain functions including memory. 
  • Thiamin is essential for normal grown and development of the body. It helps maintain proper functioning of the heart, muscle and digestive system. 
  • The requirement for thiamin increases if the body requires an increase in energy. during pregnany and lactation, more energy is required so thiamin intake should be increased. athletes also require an increased intake. 
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Symptoms of deficiency

  • Deficiency can lead to many problems including nerve damage, wasting and death. 
  • Beri Beri is a deficiency disease associated with severe thiamin deficiency. 
  • A mild deficiency of thiamin can cause tiredness, headaches, muscle weakness, nerve damage, confusion, memory loss and enlargement of the heart. 
  • Deficiency is rare in developed countries but can be caused by alcoholism.
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Symptoms of excess

  • It is unlikely an individual will consume excessive amounts of thiamin unless they are taking supplements. 
  • toxicity is rare as excess thiamin is excreted in the urine.
  • Long term excessive use can produce symptoms of hyperthyroidism - headache, irritability, trembling, rapid pulse and insomnia. 
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