Does Vitamin B1 (thiamine) HAVE to taste so foul?

The neurologist with whom kaylasmom and I have been consulting about her apparent dementia symptoms ordered blood tests which revealed her to have deficiencies in some vitamins and hormones, including vitamin B1 (aka thiamine). In response to these, he recommended supplements (100mg, QD in the case of the B1).

kaylasmom is currently taking the supplements, but a couple of days ago, she began refusing to take the thiamine pills, saying that they turn her stomach. I do not doubt this, as when I open the bottle with the tablets, I can SMELL an odor that knocks me back on my heels.

Does ANY supplement manufacturer offer this vitamin in a form that doesn’t smell and taste so awful?


To know who the other vendor might be, we have to know who the current supplier is. 100mg daily? Per NIH, the average adult body only contains about 25-30mg. Possibly taste better if she took a lower dosage more often during the day.

Thiamine is sulfur based chemical. So yes, and as it oxidizes, can smell really bad. But not fish oil bad, IMHO. Capsules can help. I still prefer tablets (as a b-complex, same smell). I don’t chew them, so I don’t care for taste. I bought strawberry gummy bear version once, but they taste like jelly sawdust.

I get the store brand at CVS Pharmacy. I don’t have the bottle here, but I’ll check the manufacturer when I can and report back.

As it happens, I have a bottle of thiamine tablets here (they gave me some supplements when I was in hospital which I am still taking. They don’t smell like anything, but it’s probably of no use to you to give you the brand name seeing as I’m overseas. Anyway, for what it’s worth, it’s called Betavit. (tablets). (there’s a silica pack in there, maybe that absorbs any smell?)

Is there an injectable version?

We’ve got an appointment with her primary on Monday; I’ll look into that.

I’ll also contact the Australian chemists about the possibility of shipping to the US.

It’s so difficult when the medication is aversive.

Gelcaps can work better for some folks; breakdown of the capsule may be delayed until it enters the small bowel, rather than the tablet fragmenting in the stomach, where the taste can be a problem.

Otherwise consider adding foods rich in vitamin B1. Vegemite or marmite are my go-to food products for that, but fortified breakfast cereals have a lot of bang for the B1 buck, as it were. But if she’s not amenable to that, she could have her initial thiamine doses in shot form (20 mg IM daily for 2 weeks), then an oral supplement of 10 mg/day after that would most likely be adequate to keep her levels adequate.