FOODS HIGH IN THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1)
|Meats (especially pork); organ meats; and nuts (all of which are high in cholesterol and/or fat); dried beans; peas; whole-grain or enriched breads and cereals; enriched or brown rice; enriched pasta, noodles, and other flour products; potatoes. Cooking destroys some thiamine.
|1 loin chop
||1.18 milligrams thiamine
|1 ounce wheat germ
||0.56 milligram thiamine
|3½ounces roast pork
||0.39 milligram thiamine
Thiamine, or vitamin B1, helps the body use sugars and starches (carbohydrates) effectively. It is available in several kinds of foods (see box above), and a well-balanced diet with a variety of healthful foods should supply all the thiamine that your body needs. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of thiamine is 1.2 milligrams per day for men over the age of 50 and 1.1 milligrams per day for women over the age of 50.
The signs of thiamine deficiency include loss of feeling on areas of the hands and feet, decreased muscle strength, personality disturbances, depression, lack of initiative, and poor memory. Thiamine deficiency is most commonly seen in alcoholics (the condition caused by a severe deficiency is called beri-beri). Alcoholics can become thiamine deficient because their diets often do not provide enough thiamine and because alcohol hinders the absorption of what thiamine they have. Chronic diarrhea can also lead to a need for more thiamine.
Thiamine is effective for treating conditions resulting from a thiamine deficiency, as in alcoholism. It has not been proven effective for treating skin problems, persistent diarrhea, fatigue, mental disorders, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, or for use as an insect repellant or appetite stimulant.
If you have to increase your intake of thiamine, eat more thiamine-rich foods rather than taking a vitamin supplement. You should take a supplement only when dietary changes are inadequate to treat a deficiency.
If you take thiamine supplements without a doctor’s supervision, do not take more than the RDA. Excess thiamine, beyond what is needed each day, simply passes through you and is eliminated in the urine without being used by your body.