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Vitamin B1, named as the “thio-vitamine” (“sulfur-containing vitamin”) is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex. First named aneurin for the detrimental neurological effects if not present in the diet, it was eventually assigned the generic descriptor name vitamin B1. Its phosphate derivatives are involved in many cellular processes. The best-characterized form is thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), a coenzyme in the catabolism of sugars and amino acids. Thiamine is used in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In yeast, TPP is also required in the first step of alcoholic fermentation.
Thiamine is a colorless compound with a chemical formula C12H17N4OS. Its structure contains a aminopyrimidine ring and a thiazole ring with methyl and hydroxyethyl side chains linked by a methylene bridge.
Thiamine is found in a wide variety of foods at low concentrations. Yeast, yeast extract (e.g., Marmite), and pork are the most highly concentrated sources of thiamine. In general, cereal grains are the most important dietary sources of thiamine, by virtue of their ubiquity. Of these, whole grains contain more thiamine than refined grains, as thiamine is found mostly in the outer layers of the grain and in the germ (which are removed during the refining process). For example, 100 g of whole-wheat flour contains 0.55 mg of thiamine, while 100 g of white flour contains only 0.06 mg of thiamine. In the US, processed flour must be enriched with thiamine mononitrate (along with niacin, ferrous iron, riboflavin, and folic acid) to replace that lost in processing. In Australia, thiamine, folic acid, and iodised salt are added for the same reason. A whole foods diet is therefore recommended for deficiency.
Some other foods rich in thiamine are oatmeal, flax, and sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver (beef, pork, and chicken), and eggs.
Thiamine hydrochloride (Betaxin) is a (when by itself) white, crystalline hygroscopic food-additive used to add a brothy/meaty flavor to gravies or soups. It is a natural intermediary resulting from a thiamine-HCl reaction, which precedes hydrolysis and phosphorylation, before it is finally employed (in the form of TPP) in a number of enzymatic amino, fatty acid, and carbohydrate reactions.
 Natural Health Products Ingredients Database –
 Health Canada. Product Licensing. Compendium of Monographs:
 Food Standards Australia – Addition of vitamins and minerals to food. Also see Standard 2.1.1 – Cereal Products. The few exceptions include organic wholemeal flour (on the assumption that the wholewheat will have kept more of the nutrients).
 Combs, G. F. Jr. (2008). The vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health (3rd ed.). Ithaca, NY: Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 9780121834937.
 Skylabs Inc. “Thiamine Hydrochloride Information.” 2007.
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