Thiamine (or B1 vitamin) can be used to help improve brain function. In addition to helping with basic functions like learning and memory, Thiamine can also help you to improve your mood. It naturally gives your brain a boost and has a good effect your state of mind. If you are deficient in this vitamin, it can lead to difficulty concentrating, mental fatigue, and even depression.
In general, B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B-complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein.
Thiamin (or Thiamine) is a water-soluble B vitamin, also known as vitamin B1. Since it is a water soluble compound, the body does not store this vitamin and it can be depleted in as little as 14 days. Studies show that getting enough Thiamine in your diet is necessary for maintaining healthy brain function as well as supporting a positive mood (considering its powerful anti-stress properties):
“Micronutrients, such as thiamine (vitamin B1), iron, and folic acid, play a role in emotion. Thiamine containing foods influence mood states. Improved thiamine status increases well-being, sociability, and overall energy levels.”
As people are unable to make it, thiamine is an essential nutrient. It is found in a wide variety of processed and whole foods, with edible seeds, legumes, rice and processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, having among the highest contents. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B1, according to the FDA, is surprisingly low at just 1.2 mg per day. Pregnant and breast feeding women need slightly more, with an RDA of 1.4 mg. Most supplements are usually given in either 50 or 100 mg doses/pills.
Magnesium and Vitamin B1 are Team Players
According to a Wellness Resources article, Magnesium and B1 are considered to be “Team Players”:
“Magnesium is required for Thiamin to work in the nervous system and make ATP/energy from carbohydrates. Magnesium and vitamin B1 are team players and both must be present … to move forward to make energy, burning food for fuel, and hundreds of essential life functions.”
As a matter of fact, Magnesium and vitamin B1 are an important hangover treatment combination because alcohol depletes a broad range of vitamins all at once. Hangover cures are generally a myth; the best treatment for a hangover is prevention, but B-vitamins can help ease the brain fog the day after.
B1 Vitamin & Mood: Research Studies
There are several double-blind placebo controlled studies in which thiamine supplementation improved mood in subjects.
One of them found a correlation between baseline thiamine status and mood in young healthy females. After four months of taking a multi-vitamin supplement that included thiamine, mood improved when thiamine status improved, and mood was poorer when thiamine status declined. A similar relationship was not found with eight other vitamins.
Whether you want to use it to help your mental health or you just want to maintain a well-balanced digestive system, adding more Thiamin to your diet can be helpful. For better results, consider taking it along with other B vitamins and Magnesium. This will help protect your body fully and give you a range of different benefits.