Vitamin B1 is essential for the normal growth, development and function of the nervous system. Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, thiamine is not stored in our bodies in significant amounts and must be consumed regularly to avoid deficiency.
Healthy men and women require approximately 1 mg per day of thiamine; children require much less, and doses are set according to age. Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin B1. Tuna, crimini mushrooms, seeds such as sunflower and sesame, and beans are also very good sources.
People who have liver problems or drink a lot of alcohol are at risk for thiamine deficiency. It is not known to have significant interactions with medications but people who are on high doses of diuretics (water pills) may benefit from supplementation. It is known to interact with certain foods and herbal medicines, including:
- coffee and tea (with a daily consumption of more than 1 litre)
- raw freshwater fish and shellfish
- horsetail (equisetum)
Because Vitamin B1 is found in so many foods, most people can easily get enough from their diets.