Nutrition For Indians: Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

What is vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine, thiamin or aneurine and is an important member of the B-vitamin family, because of its role in the prevention of Beriberi. Actually the word “beriberi” has its roots in the Indian sub-continent. It is derived from a sinhalese word meaning weakness. This shows its importance in health and strength. Thiamin plays a very important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, alcohol, and branched chain amino acids. Thiamine is required by the body, for growth and development, nerve function and appetite. Also thiamine is required for digestion of starches and sugars and their conversion to glucose, plus the production of digestive juices

Storage in the body and toxicity of vitamin B1?

Thiamine is a water soluble vitamin. It was first isolated in 1926 from rice polishings. Thiamine is quickly absorbed in the upper and lower small intestine. Unfortunately thiamine can only be stored in very small quantities in the body (about 30 mg- 30 times the daily nutrient requirement) and deficiency starts after about a month, on a thiamin free diet and therefore a rugular supply through food is essential for normal health. But an added advantage of this poperty of thiamine and most other water-solublw vitamins is that if a person has excess vitamin B1, then it is excreted by the body, and there is no known toxicity to this vitamin. The requirements are proportional to the non-fat energy intake. The two main diseases due to thiamin deficiency are beriberi and Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome.

How stable is vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1 gets partially destroyed during cooking, frying, roasting and braising. But it is totally destroyed by alkalis such as baking powder or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Vitamin B1 is also destroyed by sulphites such as sulphur dioxide and avidin (avidin is found in raw egg white)

Defficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B1?

Sustained deficiency of thiamine can result in the disease beriberi. The symptoms of beriberi include damage to the nervous system as well as to the heart and other muscles. Figure 10-2 presents one of the symptoms of beriberi. No adverse effects have been associated with excesses of thiamin; no Upper Level has been determined.

RDA values of some common vitamins










Vitamin A (Retinol)600 mcg 600 mcg 600 mcg
Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene)(Precursor of Vit-A)4800 mcg 4800 mcg 4800 mcg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) (Also written as:Thiamine)

1.2 mg

1.4 mg

1.7 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1.4 mg 1.6 mg 2.1 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) (Also called: nicotinic acid and vitamin PP)16 mg 18 mg 21 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 5 mg 5 mg 5 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)2 mg 2 mg 2 mg
Vitamin B121 mcg 1 mcg 1 mcg
Beta Carotene (Precursor of Vit-A) NA600 mg 600 mg
Biotin30 mcg 600 mg 600 mg
Folic acid (In the form of Diatary Folate) 200mcg200mcg 200mcg
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)40 mg40 mg 40 mg
Vitamin D 600 IU 600 IU 600 IU
Vitamin E 22 IU 22 IU 22 IU

Indian Food Sources of vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Nutrition table showing Top 25 Thiamine vitamin B1-rich Indian foods per 100 grams

Indian Food item Thiamine Vitamin B1 per 100 g. % of RDA
Til (Sesame Seeds) 1.01 mg67.3 % of RDA
Moongphalli (Groundnut, Peanut) 0.9 mg60 % of RDA
Soyabean (White) Seeds 0.73 mg48.7 % of RDA
Charoli, Chirongi (Piyal Seeds) 0.68 mg45.3 % of RDA
Pista (Pistachio Nut) 0.67 mg44.7 % of RDA
Rai (Mustard) 0.65 mg43.3 % of RDA
Kaaju (Cashew) 0.63 mg42 % of RDA
Halim (Garden Cress Seeds) 0.59 mg39.3 % of RDA
Simlamirchi (Capsicum) 0.55 mg36.7 % of RDA
Chavli (Cow Peas) 0.51 mg34 % of RDA
Doodh (Milk) Powder (Skimmed) 0.5 mg 33.3 % of RDA
Chana (Bengal Gram) Daal 0.48 mg32 % of RDA
Moong (Green Gram) Daal 0.47 mg31.3 % of RDA
Moong (Green Gram) (Whole) 0.47 mg31.3 % of RDA
Peas (Dry) 0.47 mg31.3 % of RDA
Arhar, Tuar (Bengal Gram) Daal 0.45 mg30 % of RDA
Matki (Moth Beans) 0.45 mg30 % of RDA
Akrod (Walnut) 0.45 mg30 % of RDA
Genhoo (Wheat) 0.45 mg30 % of RDA
Masur (Lentil) 0.45 mg30 % of RDA
Kulthi (Horse Gram) 0.42 mg28 % of RDA
Udad (Black Gram) Daal 0.42 mg28 % of RDA
Ragi (Finger Millet) 0.42 mg28 % of RDA
Maka (Maize) 0.42 mg28 % of RDA
Moongphalli (Groundnut) (Roasted) 0.39 mg26 % of RDA
RDA For ThiamineB1 is 1.5 mg


For Vitamin B1 chart of a particular food group in India, please visit this page

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