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Vitamin B1 vs. Vitamin B12: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 16, 2024
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) plays a key role in energy metabolism and nerve function, while Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is essential for red blood cell formation and brain health.

Key Differences

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is crucial for carbohydrate metabolism and neural function. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is vital for neurological function, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell formation.
Vitamin B1 is found in foods like whole grains, nuts, and meats. A deficiency can lead to conditions like beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Vitamin B12 sources include animal products and fortified foods, with deficiencies leading to anemia and neurological disorders.
The body's absorption of Vitamin B1 happens in the small intestine and is rapidly metabolized. Vitamin B12 absorption is more complex, requiring intrinsic factor and is stored in the liver.
Vitamin B1 is water-soluble and not stored in large amounts in the body, making regular intake necessary. Vitamin B12 is also water-soluble but can be stored in the body for years.
Vitamin B1 is involved in the function of several enzymes that help produce energy from carbohydrates. Vitamin B12 works closely with folate and is necessary for the production of DNA and the health of nerve cells.

Comparison Chart

Role in Body

Energy metabolism, nerve function
Red blood cell formation, brain health

Dietary Sources

Whole grains, nuts, meats
Animal products, fortified foods

Deficiency Conditions

Beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Anemia, neurological disorders

Absorption & Storage

Rapidly metabolized, not stored
Requires intrinsic factor, stored in liver

Key Functions

Involved in carbohydrate metabolism
Essential for DNA synthesis, neurological function

Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B12 Definitions

Vitamin B1

Neural Function.
Adequate Vitamin B1 intake supports nerve health.

Vitamin B12

Long-Term Storage.
Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver for future use.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is found in whole grains.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is vital for DNA synthesis.

Vitamin B1

Enzyme Function.
Vitamin B1 aids in the function of enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism.

Vitamin B12

Red Blood Cell Formation.
Vitamin B12 is crucial for the formation of red blood cells.

Vitamin B1

Energy Metabolism.
Vitamin B1 is essential for converting food into energy.

Vitamin B12

Animal Product Source.
Animal products are rich in Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B1

Deficiency Prevention.
Regular intake of Vitamin B1 prevents beriberi.

Vitamin B12

Neurological Health.
Vitamin B12 supports brain and nerve function.


What is Vitamin B12?

Known as cobalamin, it's essential for red blood cell production and brain health.

What is Vitamin B1?

Also known as thiamine, it's key for energy metabolism and nerve function.

What foods are high in Vitamin B1?

Whole grains, nuts, and meats are rich in Vitamin B1.

Why is Vitamin B1 important?

It's crucial for breaking down carbohydrates and supporting neural functions.

Why do we need Vitamin B12?

For healthy nerve cells, DNA synthesis, and preventing anemia.

Can I overdose on Vitamin B1?

Overdosing is rare as excess B1 is excreted in urine.

Is it possible to store Vitamin B12 in the body?

Yes, it can be stored in the liver for years.

Is Vitamin B1 water-soluble?

Yes, it's a water-soluble vitamin.

What happens with a Vitamin B1 deficiency?

It can lead to beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency?

Anemia, fatigue, and neurological disorders.

What are the best sources of Vitamin B12?

Animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs are rich in Vitamin B12.

How does Vitamin B1 help the brain?

By aiding in nerve function and neurotransmitter synthesis.

How quickly does the body process Vitamin B1?

It's rapidly metabolized and requires regular replenishment.

Does cooking destroy Vitamin B12?

Some Vitamin B12 can be lost during cooking, especially at high temperatures.

Is Vitamin B12 water-soluble?

Yes, but unlike other water-soluble vitamins, it is stored in the liver.

Should I take a Vitamin B1 supplement?

It's necessary only if your diet lacks sufficient B1.

How does Vitamin B12 affect red blood cells?

It's necessary for their formation and preventing megaloblastic anemia.

Can vegetarians get enough Vitamin B12?

It's challenging; they might need fortified foods or supplements.

Can Vitamin B1 improve energy levels?

Yes, by aiding in the metabolism of carbohydrates.

Can a lack of Vitamin B12 cause tiredness?

Yes, due to its role in red blood cell production and oxygen transport.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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