T is for Thiamin

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By: Olivia Morgan MS, RDN, LDN

What is it?

Vitamin B1, more commonly known as thiamin, is an essential, water-soluble vitamin commonly found in Vitamin B complex supplements. Thiamin is essential for energy metabolism- it helps you use the energy you consume. It also is important for cell growth and function because, among many other things, it is essential for DNA production.

Thiamin is also imperative for optimal neurological function, and it can even help to boost your immune system. Since thiamin is used for so many things throughout the body, deficiencies can lead to serious health consequences, including neurological problems, tremors, pain, and even paralysis.

How much do I need for optimal health?

The recommended daily intake is 1.1 mg for women and 1.2 mg for men; however, for those consuming a diet rich in carbohydrates this can sometimes be higher. The good news is that because thiamin is a water soluble vitamin there is little concern for toxicity if you consume more than the recommended daily amount.

Great! Where can I find it?

The largest source of thiamin in an American diet is cereals and whole grains. Thiamin, in addition to fiber and many other nutrients, are lost when grains are refined which is one of the many reasons to choose whole grain products! Pork, legumes, nuts, and fish are other dietary sources of thiamin. Multivitamins or B complex supplements can also be a quick way to make sure you consume the recommended amount of thiamin.

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