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Home / Drugs / Starting with T / Thiamine

Thiamine or thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is a colorless compound with the chemical formula C12H17N4OS. It is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol. Thiamine decomposes if heated. Thiamine was first discovered by Umetaro Suzuki in Japan when researching how rice bran cured patients of Beriberi. Thiamine plays a key role in intracellular glucose metabolism and it is thought that thiamine inhibits the effect of glucose and insulin on arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation. Thiamine plays an important role in helping the body convert carbohydrates and fat into energy. It is essential for normal growth and development and helps to maintain proper functioning of the heart and the nervous and digestive systems. Thiamine cannot be stored in the body; however, once absorbed, the vitamin is concentrated in muscle tissue.
Antiberiberi Factor
Betalin S
CategoriesEssential Vitamin
Vitamins (Vitamin B Complex)
Anti-inflammatory Agents
Vitamin B Complex
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Thiamine Hcl
Vitamin B1


For the treatment of thiamine and niacin deficiency states, Korsakov's alcoholic psychosis, Wernicke-Korsakov syndrome, delirium, and peripheral neuritis.


Thiamine is a vitamin with antioxidant, erythropoietic, cognition-and mood-modulatory, antiatherosclerotic, putative ergogenic, and detoxification activities. Thiamine has been found to protect against lead-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver and kidney. Thiamine deficiency results in selective neuronal death in animal models. The neuronal death is associated with increased free radical production, suggesting that oxidative stress may play an important early role in brain damage associated with thiamine deficiency. Thiamine plays a key role in intracellular glucose metabolism and it is thought that thiamine inhibits the effect of glucose and insulin on arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation. Inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation may also promote atherosclerosis. Endothelial cells in culture have been found to have a decreased proliferative rate and delayed migration in response to hyperglycemic conditions. Thiamine has been shown to inhibit this effect of glucose on endothelial cells.

mechanism of action

It is thought that the mechanism of action of thiamine on endothelial cells is related to a reduction in intracellular protein glycation by redirecting the glycolytic flux. Thiamine is mainly the transport form of the vitamin, while the active forms are phosphorylated thiamine derivatives. There are five known natural thiamine phosphate derivatives: thiamine monophosphate (ThMP), thiamine diphosphate (ThDP), also sometimes called thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), thiamine triphosphate (ThTP), and the recently discovered adenosine thiamine triphosphate (AThTP), and adenosine thiamine diphosphate. Each derivative has unique functions, however, most are involved as coenzymes.


Thiamine toxicity is uncommon; as excesses are readily excreted, although long-term supplementation of amounts larger than 3 gram have been known to cause toxicity. Oral mouse LD50 = 8224 mg/kg, oral rat LD50 = 3710 mg/kg.




Absorbed mainly from duodenum, by both active and passive processes