Thiamine is the chemical name for vitamin B1. It is a water-soluble vitamin found in cereals, green vegetables, peanuts, liver, kidney and pork. It is essential for the normal metabolism of carbohydrate foods. The symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency include loss of appetite, muscle cramps, pins and needles sensation and ankle swelling. Alcoholics are often lacking in vitamin B1 due to malnutrition.
The amount of thiamine present in the blood can be measured. The average values are 8.9 µg/100 mL in men and 7.6 µg/100 mL in women.
The recommended daily dietary intake is 0.2 mg in infants, 0.7 mg in children and 1 mg in adults.
A large number of preparations include thiamine alone or in combination with other vitamins and minerals. It is used clinically to treat beriberi, a vitamin B deficiency from fad diets, starvation and over cooked foods. It is safe to use thiamine in pregnancy, breastfeeding and children, but interactions are possible with diuretics, some laxatives.
Remember, vitamins are merely chemicals that are essential for the functioning of the body, and if taken to excess, act as a drug.