People who follow a hypocaloric diet for weight loss need higher doses of thiamine than the recommended daily intake of 1.2 mg. Actually, thiamine is vital for the metabolism of carbs, protein, and fat. We can get high dosages either from food or supplements.
What’s the recommended daily intake?
The recommended daily intake of thiamine is 1.2 mg and 1.1 mg for men and women, respectively. Only pregnant and lactating women need higher doses of 1.4 mg. On the contrary, children and teens need lower doses.
On the other hand, getting high dosages from supplements is considered pretty safe.
Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency & obesity!
Certainly, we gain weight when we consume more calories than we burn. Malnutrition can also cause obesity! In fact, it’s estimated that about 30% of obese people are deficient in thiamine!
Furthermore, obesity is highly associated with type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes have even higher risk of thiamine deficiency. It’s been reported that thiamine levels are up to 75% lower in people with diabetes.[2,3,4]
The main reason for low levels of thiamine in obese people is poor diet. First, high consumption of refined carbs and simple sugars has been linked to decreased levels of thiamine. These foods have no thiamine. Only healthy foods, such as whole grains and legumes, are good natural sources of thiamine.
Furthermore, the metabolism of foods high in sugar requires high amounts of thiamine. Thus, eating sugar and simple carbs significantly contributes to the depletion of thiamine.
Hence, obese people who follow a diet high in carbs (over 65%) may have lower levels of thiamine.
So, overweight people may have higher thiamine requirements than the recommended daily intake!
Last, but not least, thiamine status is an important indicator of oxidative stress! Chronic oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation are common causes of obesity as well.[6,7]
High doses of thiamine are necessary during dieting
Getting adequate amounts of thiamine is vital for weigh loss. First, thiamine plays a key role in energy metabolism. It’s involved in glucose, protein, and lipid metabolism!
Actually, thiamine is necessary for converting food into energy. On the contrary, low levels of thiamine may be bad for metabolism, preventing weight loss.
Calcium and magnesium deficiency also negatively affects thiamine levels.
Do I need high doses from supplements to lose weight?
When we lose weight, metabolic changes and stress occur, increasing the body’s demands for certain micronutrients. Thiamine as well. Obese people who want to lose weight should consume higher doses than the recommended daily intake.
Additionally, due to calorie restriction, we consume lower doses of nutrients than usual. Hence, people who follow a hypocaloric diet for weight loss should eat more foods containing thiamine.
Moreover, people who want to lose weight may start exercising in order to burn more calories. But, strenuous exercise depletes thiamine as well!
Also, people who take diuretics lose high amounts of thiamine through urine. Furthermore, thiamine excretion in obese patients with diabetes increases by up to 24-fold!
Moreover, thiamine is pretty vulnerable to heat. Cooking destroys a high percentage of thiamine of food. In addition, tea and coffee contain compounds which bind to thiamine, inhibiting its absorption.
So, obese people who start exercising and dieting may fail to get enough thiamine from food. In this case, they may benefit from taking dietary supplements with thiamine.
Additionally, certain diseases, trauma, and major surgery significantly increase thiamine requirements.
Certainly, following a diet high in thiamine is necessary for weight loss. However, in some cases, taking thiamine supplements is beneficial as well.
You can find a wide variety of thiamine supplements on iHerb.
Above all, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or changing your diet.