With so many vitamins it can be difficult to know which ones you should take, how they contribute to your health, how much to take or what are the best sources of vitamins. Of these vitamins, B vitamins can be the most confusing because there are several variations. Vitamin B-1 and B-12 are two types of B vitamins. Understanding their role in your overall health can help you to determine whether you need to take them or not.
Variations in B Vitamins
Vitamins such as B-1 and B-12 are derivatives of vitamin B, which is the central vitamin source. With vitamins such as B-1 and B-12, the base of the the vitamin compounds are the same, with some varying components. Additionally, some vitamins also have formal compound names. For example, some products may see thiamine as an ingredient in some products. This is actually vitamin B-1 but its compound name is thiamine.
Purpose of B Vitamins
Vitamin B-1 has been used in the treatment of AIDS and other conditions affecting the immune system. In addition, it can be helpful in treating digestive problems. It is possible to have a thiamine deficiency, which is common in people who have problems with alcohol, states the National Institutes of Health. In these cases, thiamine may be prescribed to treat this deficiency. Vitamin B-12 is necessary to support healthy nerve and neurological functioning.
The National Institutes of Health states that the average dose of thiamine is between 1 and 2 mg of thiamine per day for children or adults. NIH recommends that teens and adults age 14 and older consume 2.4 mcg of vitamin B-12. Women who are pregnant or lactating should increase their intake of vitamin B-12 slightly, to 2.6 and 2.8 mcg respectively.
Sources of B Vitamins
Vitamin B-1 is administered in the form of a supplement or as a part of a multivitamin. Depending on the purpose, vitamin B-1 can be taken orally in pill form or as an injection. Vitamin B-12 is a readily consumable vitamin. It can be taken as a supplement or consumed in certain foods. For example, beef liver, clams, trout and fortified breakfast cereal all contain significant amounts of vitamin B-1.