Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1)
Thiamin, also known as Vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that is added to foods to supplement nutrition. Manufacturers usually add B vitamins to food either under federal mandate, to improve nutrition and make health claims for their foods. Flour manufacturers, for example, are required to add thiamin to white flour because the milling process strips the wheat of many essential nutrients.
Other Use and Industries
Thiamin mononitrate is used in the pharmaceutical industry to treat beriberi and general malnutrition or malabsorption.
Thiamine is used in the body to help break down food into energy. It is also important in immune system health. Thiamine deficiency is called beriberi and can result in symptoms like burning feet, diminished sense and reflexes, muscle pain and weakness, rapid heart rate and swelling. More serious symptoms include difficulty breathing, seizures, and congestive heart failure. Beriberi can also occur in patients with anorexia, stomach cancer, AIDS or alcohol abuse where typical symptoms are abnormal eye movements, gait disturbances and sometimes the mental/memory disorder termed Korsakoff’s amnesia. So far, an upper limit of this vitamin has not been set because there is no reported toxic effect. This additive is extremely safe and important for public health.
Though thiamin mononitrate does contribute a small amount of nitrates to the body, the levels are so low they do not pose a threat to the general population.
Thiamine can be found naturally in foods like grains, yeast, molasses, pork and animal organ meats. Diary, eggs and legumes have smaller amounts. Though thiamine is found naturally in foods, thiamin mononitrate is not. Thiamin mononitrate is synthesized by removing a chloride ion from thiamin hydrochloride and mixing the final product with nitric acid.