MTHFR Friendly Nutrients: Thiamine

What is Thiamine?

Thiamine, otherwise known as Vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin which supports healthy heart and nerve functions and metabolizes food and nutrients we consume into energy. Once our food is digested, Thiamine removes the nutrients and converts it into ATP, Adenosine Triphosphate, which is a form of energy needed throughout the body. ATP is critical to having the body running efficiently, playing a major role in metabolism which can make having a Thiamine deficiency exhausting.

Thiamine helps break down foods into proteins and carbohydrates, making them usable. Not enough Thiamine means these ingredients are unable to perform their functions, and important processes throughout the body become sacrificed. Proteins are needed to build and repair tissue, along with bones, muscles, skin, and blood. Carbohydrates are essential for energy production. With a Thiamine deficiency, you might notice skin sensitivity or muscle fatigue/pain.

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Our bodies cannot produce Thiamine; therefore, we must ingest it through diet or supplementation. A Thiamine deficiency isn’t very common in the United States, because of the large selections of foods containing Thiamine and the ease of having it in B vitamin complexes. The most common source of this deficiency in the United States shows in chronic alcoholics with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Chronically drinking alcohol can result in the inability for adequate Thiamine absorption. The cells within individuals with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome have a harder time using Thiamine, and Thiamine isn’t absorbed efficiently from the digestive tract. If you know someone with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome who are having symptoms of this deficiency they might need to supplement with Thiamine.

Thiamine Deficiency Symptoms

If you have an MTHFR mutation, checking your vitamin and mineral levels is essential. Thiamine deficiencies are more likely to occur in individuals with absorption issues. MTHFR mutations create a methylation deficiency that makes it harder for our bodies to absorb nutrients. This is something to watch out for because the brain, heart, tissues, and organs rely on Thiamine to work efficiently. Without adequate Thiamine, the brain can suffer degeneration and blood flow becomes restricted.

                                                Thiamine Food Sources


Macadamia Nuts

Beans: Navy, White, Black, Pinto


                                                                     Brussel Sprouts


Thiamine can also be supplemented and is typically found in supplements containing multiple B vitamins. Since Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin, all excess amounts are eliminated through urination. Pairing Thiamine with other supplements can also help boost energy and improve blood pressure/blood flow. COQ10 is an antioxidant that supports the mitochondria in producing energy. If you are still struggling with low energy after supplementation with Thiamine, adding COQ10 can achieve that energy boost that you’ve been looking for.

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Do you have an MTHFR mutation? Take our survey to get information regarding your specific mutation.

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