Vitamin B1 can be regarded as brain stimulating vitamin as it has a positive effect on the nervous system and mental performance. It is also called ethical” (moral) vitamin due to its effect on the nervous system and mental behavior. Vitamin B1 is water soluble and must be replenished daily as – like other vitamin B - it is not stored by the body.

The effects of vitamin B1

  • It promotes growth.

  • It helps the digestion of carbohydrates.

  • It improves mental activity.

  • It maintains the nervous system, muscles and the normal functioning of the heart.

  • It helps fight aerial and sea sickness.

  • It relieves pain after dental surgery.

  • It facilitates the management of shingles.

Vitamin B1 increases blood circulation and promotes haematopoiesis, carbohydrate metabolism and acid production which is necessary for proper digestion. It optimizes your mental activity and brain function. It has a positive effect on energy production, growth, crave and learning abilities. An effective antioxidant. It protects the body against aging and degenerative effects of alcohol consumption and smoking.

There are only a few people who does not require extra intake of thiamine (vitamin B1). The consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates, alcohol, coffee, tea and regular exercise, pregnancy, these all increase the need for vitamin B1 in the body and the need for it increases more and more with age. Also, the prevention of heart diseases are much more difficult task when the body does not get enough vitamin B1. The treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure and often prescribed diuretics to water retention further reduce the body's thiamine reserve (along with many other nutrients), so vitamin B1 must be complemented.

The continuous intake of vitamin B1 may cause vitamin C deficiency so it should be used along with vitamin C.

The recharge of thiamine reserve of the body is essential for restoring proper cardiac function and cardiomyopathy and handling congestive heart failure. The results of an experiment in 1995 shows that the regular intake of vitamin B1 has significantly improved the conditions of patients with severe heart failure and cardiac function of those taking diuretic medication – experiment was administered on 30 participants.

Learning difficulties

Vitamin B1 supplements help children of thiamine deficiency suffering from learning difficulties: according to a study it can rise the children's learning abilities up to 25 percent. In some cases, it plays an effective role in handling serious behavior problems.

Other researches has shown that high doses of vitamin B1 helps people with mental disabilities to concetrate better and utilize their mental powers more effectively; while in an other experiment, the researchers found that those college students who had been taking 50 mg thiamine daily for two months, achieved faster response times at the follow-up examinations, and they were able to think more clearly and became much more energetic compared to their initial states.

Emotional disorders

Aggressive behavior and addictions and personality disorders and other mental illnesses often come from thiamine deficiency. Some researchers estimate that 30 percent of patients referred to the psychiatric ward suffer from vitamin B deficiency. Researches have shown that certain types of depression can be treated well with thiamine therapy: 400 mg per day helps to maintain healthy levels of neurotransmitter molecules produced in the brain (such as acetylcholine).

Alzheimer's disease

Vitamin B1 level among Alzheimer's patients is usually lower than normal. While restoring healthy thiamine level unfortunately is not able to repair the damage caused by the disease, researches have shown that some Alzheimer's patients responded well to high doses of vitamin B1 treatment.

Neural disorders and pain

Thiamine improves nerve function and reduces the pain of various neurological diseases. According to a German study, 12 weeks of thiamine and other B vitamins treatment (exactly 320 mg allitiamin and high doses of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12) helps in alleviating the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

Moreover, thiamine together with other B-complex vitamin helps treating shingles, migraine, headache, muscle and joints pain. The unusually high doses thiamine (1-4 g) can be used as painkiller in situations that require drug treatment. In an experiment, these high-dose intakes were able to reduce the pain at 78 percent of headache patients, while almost three-quarters of the participants had joint pain relief.

Weak immune system

Children suffering from recurrent fever and diseases due to weak immune system are highly responsive to vitamin B1 therapy. Many of them had high levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 in their bodies, which is another proof that inbalance in B-complex vitamins may cause problems to the body.

Natural sources of vitamin B1

Asparagus is an excellent source but the following nutrients are also rich in vitamin B1: legumes, mushrooms, liver, nuts, peas, pork, brown rice, egg yolks, fish, poultry, rice bran, wheat germ and whole grains.