Are you deficient? Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 is important for healthy digestion, including the production of stomach acid that is needed to digest protein and destroy pathogens like parasites, viruses, and bacteria before they can enter the intestinal tract.  This vitamin is also necessary for a healthy nervous system, and is the chief nerve relaxant of all the B vitamins.  A deficiency may cause a breakdown of the myelin sheath, which covers and insulates nerve endings.

Some possible deficiency signs:  inability to stand noise, burning or tingling in soles of feet, eye problems (twitching, bleeding retina), nerve problems, irritability, loss of morale, loss of sense of humor, listlessness, jealousy, depression, apathy, digestive problems, nausea, loss of stomach acidity, lack of appetite, muscle and ligament problems, difficulty in rising from knees, loss of muscles on lower arms and legs, fatigue, low thyroid activity, constipation, sleep problems, leg cramps after exercising, edema, bed wetting, and high blood pressure.

Foods and herbs high in vitamin B1:  yogurt (unsweetened with active, live cultures), wheat germ and bran, sunflower seeds (raw), whole grains, nuts (raw), fish (cooked), brown rice, raw green leafy vegetables, organic eggs, alfalfa, capsicum, catnip, garlic, kelp, red clover, papaya.

Birth control pills, smoking, chlorinated water, eating raw fish, and alcohol consumption, all destroy this vitamin. Drinking black tea may block thiamine absorption.  To help prevent thiamine loss when cooking, add lemon or vinegar to help stabilize B1 against heat destruction.

When taking any B-vitamin supplement, it’s best to take all the B vitamins together (B-complex), and then, if needed, add extra B1.  Nature’s Sunshine has two B-complex formulas–one is balanced, with 5 mg. of vitamin B1, and the other is a capsule that contains 33 mg. of B1.  If you have many of the above symptoms, you might want to use the capsules with 33 mg. of B1.  I like to buy the 2-oz. capsicum extract and add several drops to my herbal teas (red clover, catnip, and alfalfa are high in B1) or green lemonade (see recipe at  Add lots of fresh garlic to foods, and consider taking kelp capsules, especially if you have an underactive thyroid, for the iodine and trace mineral content.  These supplements can be ordered at member prices at  This post is intended for information only and is not intended to diagnose or treat disease, or to take the place of any medical care that you may need.

Keep learning to be healthy!  Lisa Hernandez, Certified Natural Health Practitioner



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s