Thiamine mononitrate

Thiamin, also known as B1, was one of the first vitamins discovered, and is one of the eight vitamins in the B complex that is water-soluble. It is an essential micronutrient needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain. Thiamine mononitrate is a form of this vitamin that can be found in nutritional supplements, such as a multivitamin.

Thiamine’s Bodily Function
Thiamine has many important functions in the body. It plays a principal role in the metabolism of glucose by working with other B vitamins to break down carbohydrates and turn them into a form of energy that the body can use. By doing this, thiamine keeps nerves and muscle tissues healthy. In addition to maintaining normal activity of the brain and nerves, it boosts appetite and the immune system function, relieves stress, and aids in digestion.

Sources of Thiamine
The RDA for thiamine is generally 0.5 milligrams per 1,000 calories. For men and women, this is approximately 1.2 milligrams/day and 1.1 milligrams/day, respectively. Fortunately, thiamine has several sources, including both plant and animal. It is most abundant in pork, yeast and liver. Whole grain products, vegetables, nuts, and beans are also sources that are easily obtained through the diet. Some sources of thiamine are listed below with the amount (in milligrams).

  • Sunflower Seeds, ½ c    1.64 mg
  • Sesame Seeds, ½ c    0.56 mg
  • Green Peas, 1 cup    0.41 mg
  • Split Peas, 1 cup    0.37 mg
  • Tuna, 4 oz    0.57 mg
  • Canned beans w/ pork, 1 cup    0.60 mg
  • Black Beans, 1 cup    0.42 mg
  • Corn, 1 cup    0.36 mg
  • Pineapple, 1 cup    0.14 mg
  • Kidney beans, 1 cup    0.28 mg

Thiamin deficiency is very serious and can be noticeable in a few weeks after the deficiency occurs. Muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, and loss of appetite are the some of the most common symptoms, but people have been known to experience additional ones. While a deficiency is not all that common, certain populations are more susceptible to it, including alcoholics, the homeless, frequent crash dieters, or those with sustained intake of nutrients from an IV. If left untreated, thiamine deficiency can lead to a serious condition known as beriberi, which damages the heart, brain and nervous system. It causes abnormalities that can lead to heart failure or shock. Another brain abnormality that can occur with thiamin deficiency is called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome which leads to memory loss, difficulty walking, eye problems, and mental confusion. This disease can be very serious and result in death if the symptoms are not treated in time.

Often times, thiamine supplementation is not necessary; however, since it is essential for proper brain and nerve functioning, it is absolutely imperative that a deficiency does not occur. Those who might be in need of a supplement are typically athletes or people who exercise very strenuously. Any high-intensity, endurance-type physical activity increases the need for thiamine in the diet. Since those who exercise frequently and burn hundreds of calories every day, such as athletes or marathon-runners, have a need for extra calories, the best thing is to eat nutrient dense foods that will continue to provide the adequate amount of thiamine that is needed. Additional reasons that may require a supplement of thiamine mononitrate are excessive diarrhea, impaired utilization of the vitamin by the liver, or in other cases when an extra amount is required in the diet because of pregnancy, lactation, or hyperthyroidism. If supplementation is absolutely needed, thiamine mononitrate should be taken under the supervision of a doctor because it often interacts negatively with other medications and supplements.

Last updated on Mar 12th, 2011 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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