A Look at the Health Benefits and Side Effects of Thiamine - O40HF

Thiamine is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. However, few people know that side effects of thiamine do exist. While taking multivitamins or supplements can be beneficial to an extent, you must be careful about what you put into your mouth.

You can find thiamine in many everyday foods. However, if you suspect you’ve got a thiamine deficiency — which is also a real problem — you must consult your doctor first before turning to supplements.



Also known as vitamin B1, thiamine is one of the nutrients under the B class of vitamins. It’s a water-soluble nutrient that your body is unable to produce. As a result, you must get your recommended dietary allowance of thiamine from somewhere else.

While thiamine supplements or multivitamins are available, you can just as easily get your dose of vitamin B1 by eating a balanced diet. Good sources of thiamine include beef, pork, liver, legumes, whole grains, nuts, eggs, potatoes, kale, cauliflower and asparagus. Some breakfast cereals also come fortified with thiamine.


Thiamine is an essential nutrient responsible for the release of energy from carbohydrates. Apart from that, thiamine also plays a crucial role in maintaining nerve function, glucose metabolism and the production of both DNA and RNA.

Because thiamine is significantly involved in many bodily functions, taking the recommended dose each day helps prevent problems with the brain, heart, intestines, muscles and nervous system. Studies have also been conducted by scientists from Burke Medical Research Institute concerning the link between vitamin B1 and Alzheimer’s disease.


When your body doesn’t get enough thiamine, you’re at risk of developing beriberi, optic neuropathy and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Symptoms include weight loss, anorexia, short-term memory loss, confusion, impaired sensory perception, muscle weakness, pain in the limbs, swelling of bodily tissues, irregular heartbeat and other cardiovascular effects.

An extreme case of vitamin B1 deficiency can be lethal. You must ensure you get enough thiamine in your diet each day. Certain people are more at risk of becoming deficient than others. Examples include people who have gone through Bariatric surgery and hemodialysis. Patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer or diabetes are equally vulnerable.


It may sound unfamiliar to you, but there are side effects of thiamine that you must keep in mind. Symptoms range from headaches and weakness to irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure. You may also get an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis.

Many Australians take supplements every single day, but they mustn’t act as a substitute for food. Eating a balanced diet is still one of the best ways to stay healthy. As previously stated, you must talk to your doctor before starting any new regimen.

As you can tell, thiamine performs many important functions within your body. This is why it’s important to get your recommended dose of the vitamin every day. However, when you rely on supplements for this nutrient, you mustn’t go overboard. It can ward off harmful conditions like beriberi, but the side effects of thiamine can also put you in danger. Taking too much definitely doesn’t guarantee a longer life.


Anthony Hill

When you put together the sum total of my 30 years of bodybuilding training, the contests, the vast array of diets I have experimented (tortured) myself with as well as the experiences I have been through with various training partners in the gyms I have trained in all over the world, it’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to do lots of personal training for private clients alongside my day job. For a few years during my 30’s, I moved to Asia and worked as the Fitness Manager and head personal trainer at one of Thailand’s leading gyms in Bangkok. Learn More

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