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.