zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

What Does Thiamine Do for the Body?

by
author image Cynthia Myers
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.
What Does Thiamine Do for the Body?
Every vitamin plays a unique and vital role in maintaining the life and health of your body. Photo Credit Iromaya Images/Iromaya/Getty Images

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B-1, is one of the B vitamins. Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it washes out of your body in urine, and isn't stored in fat cells like some other vitamins. You need to replenish levels of thiamine regularly, by eating foods rich in this vitamin, or through supplements. Thiamine plays an important role in several bodily functions. Most people in developed countries get enough thiamine in their diets, since a variety of foods supply it.

Energy

What Does Thiamine Do for the Body?
Thiamine helps your body convert carbohydrates to energy. Photo Credit Warren Goldswain/iStock/Getty Images

Thiamine helps your body convert carbohydrates to energy. Carbohydrates can be a good source of steady energy, hence the popularity of athletes "carb-loading" by eating pasta or other carbohydrate-heavy meals the night before a big race. Without thiamine, your body can't use those carbohydrates effectively.

Digestion

What Does Thiamine Do for the Body?
Thiamine helps you take advantage of vitamins and minerals in foods you eat. Photo Credit Hongqi Zhang/iStock/Getty Images

When you eat, food travels down the esophagus to the stomach, where hydrochloric acid digests the food so your body can use nutrients from it. Your body manufactures hydrochloric acid with the help of thiamine. You wouldn't be able to take advantage of many other vitamins and minerals in food without the help of this B vitamin.

Nerves and Muscles

What Does Thiamine Do for the Body?
Thiamine helps regulate the flow of electrolytes in and out of the cells in your nerves and muscles. Photo Credit Viktor Čáp/iStock/Getty Images

Thiamine helps regulate the flow of electrolytes in and out of the cells of your nerves and muscles. The fat-like covering that surrounds your nerves, called the myelin sheath, enables the proper transmission of nerve signals. Thiamine plays a role in myelin development. Electrolyte imbalances, which can leave you shaky and weak, may have causes other than a lack of thiamine, however.

Dosage

What Does Thiamine Do for the Body?
Thiamine is present in fortified cereal. Photo Credit spirit_of_nature/iStock/Getty Images

The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board has established recommended intake amounts for thiamine, either from food or from supplements. Males age 14 and older need 1.2 milligrams daily. Girls aged 14 to 18 need 1 milligrams daily, which women 19 and older need 1.1 milligrams. A cup of fortified cereal contains from 0.5 to 2.0 milligrams of thiamine, 3 ounces of cooked pork contains 0.72 milligrams and 1/2 cup of cooked peas contains 0.21 milligrams.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.