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While the ideal intake is uncertain, one study reported the healthiest people consumed more than 9 mg per day.1 The amount found in many multivitamin supplements (20–25 mg) is more than adequate for most people.
Vitamin B1 is nontoxic, even in very high amounts.
A decline in vitamin B1 levels occurs with age, irrespective of medical condition.2 Deficiency is most commonly found in alcoholics, people with malabsorption conditions, and those eating a very poor diet. It is also common in children with congenital heart disease.3 People with chronic fatigue syndrome may also be deficient in vitamin B1.4, 5 Individuals undergoing regular kidney dialysis may develop severe vitamin B1 deficiency, which can result in potentially fatal complications.6 Persons receiving dialysis should discuss the need for vitamin B1 supplementation with their physician.
There is no clear evidence to suggest that either thiamine hydrochloride or thiamine nitrate—the two most commonly used supplement forms of thiamine—is preferable to the other. However, lipid-soluble derivatives of thiamine, such as thiamine propyl disulfide, thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide, and benfotiamine, are reported to be more bioavailable than water-soluble thiamine, and have been used to treat diabetic neuropathy, myalgia, and some other conditions.7
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.