Thiamine is an essential B vitamin required to create energy and maintain bodily systems. Obtained through food, thiamine is essential for a healthy, functioning body. However, not everyone has enough thiamine — and it isn’t always bioavailable to the people who need it most. That’s where sulbutiamine comes in.
This synthetic supplement increases levels of thiamine in the body to support healing in people with chronic conditions while boosting mood, memory, and more. Here’s a look at the research on sulbutiamine and its potential to promote a better quality of life.
What Is Sulbutiamine?
Sulbutiamine is the synthetic form of thiamin. You may also know thiamin as thiamine or Vitamin B1. Most people get sufficient amounts of thiamine through the foods they eat, including beans, brown rice, oranges, eggs, and products that contain yeast. Thiamine is important because it helps the body transform nutrients into energy for daily activities, making it especially important for athletes who need sustained energy for athletic performance.
While thiamine is water-soluble, meaning it can dissolve in water when your food is being cooked, sulbutiamine is fat-soluble, meaning it is absorbed through plant and animal fats. This difference between water-soluble thiamine and fat-soluble sulbutiamine means that the latter can potentially be more potent at delivering the benefits of thiamine, as it’s more effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier and boosting the brain’s thiamine quantity.
Why Supplement With Sulbutiamine?
Most people get enough thiamine from maintaining a balanced diet, yet certain conditions and circumstances may put someone at risk of a thiamine deficiency. For example, diabetes, alcoholism, aging, dialysis, and gastric bypass surgery can all make a person more susceptible to low levels of thiamine.
Thiamine is essential for helping the body make energy from fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods. The heart and digestive system also rely on thiamine for development, and the nervous system needs it to function properly. Supplementing with sulbutiamine can ensure that your body receives all of these benefits, especially when experiencing a thiamine deficiency.
So what is a thiamine deficiency, and what’s the role of sulbutiamine in helping it? The answer dates back to the Second World War when Thiamine was synthesized into sulbutiamine by Japanese researchers seeking a cure for Beriberi, a condition of the central nervous system caused by deficient thiamine.
Thiamine, though already found in foods humans eat regularly, has low bioavailability when offered as a supplement (in part due to its water-soluble nature). By discovering sulbutiamine, Japanese researchers helped create a supplement that solved Beriberi and supported a wide range of healing mechanisms they couldn’t yet anticipate.
Thiamine Deficiency Symptoms
While the symptoms of a thiamine deficiency aren’t extreme, thiamine is an essential B vitamin that your body depends on.
One common sign of a thiamine deficiency is early satiety, or loss of appetite. Thiamine helps control the part of the brain that signals fullness, and a deficiency can cause a person to feel full even when they’re not. Studies on rats have shown that a diet without thiamine causes significant decreases in food intake.
Another sign of a thiamine deficiency is tingling, numbness, and pinprick sensations in the limbs. Known as paresthesia, this condition is a result of nerve malfunction due to the thiamine deficiency. Fatigue, muscle weakness, upset stomach, and breath shortness are all additional symptoms a person may have when faced with a deficiency in thiamine.
Positive, Nootropic Effects of Sulbutiamine
Like thiamine, sulbutiamine works to generate energy in the body. But it also offers nootropic effects, meaning it can improve cognitive functions like memory and mood. Here’s a look at more key benefits of supplementing with sulbutiamine, including which specific conditions it’s been proven to help.
Thiamine is important for helping your body regulate and respond to stress. This means that it can help ease stress and anxiety. One report showed that Enerion, a drug that contains sulbutiamine, reduced anxiety disorders and fatigue while boosting concentration and memory. It can also support improved mood, especially in relation to depression.
A study on people with major depressive disorder found that sulbutiamine is effective in reducing symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. Moreover, it found that sulbutiamine can be an effective tool for helping people rehabilitate from depressive periods and reintegrate into everyday life.
Weakness and Fatigue
Unexplained weakness, or asthenia, is a common condition that millions of people face globally. Asthenia research shows that sulbutiamine supplements can help.
According to the research, sulbutiamine “is the only antiasthenic compound known to cross the blood-brain barrier and to be selectively active on specific brain structures directly involved in asthenia.” For anyone who experiences occasional fatigue, supplementing with sulbutiamine may help boost mental and physical energy for a more productive day.
Sulbutiamine can also help people with chronic fatigue that’s related to chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies on patients with multiple sclerosis demonstrated that some patients, especially those who were on some kind of disease modifying treatment, experienced reduced fatigue with sulbutiamine. Since not all participants of the study saw a positive outcome with the sulbutiamine trial, more research is needed to determine whether or not sulbutiamine is a valid treatment for those with MS.
Long-term memory improvement is one of the most promising positive effects of sulbutiamine. That’s because sulbutiamine supports production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh). ACh impacts both learning and memory.
As demonstrated in a study on mice, chronic administration of sulbutiamine improved object recognition tasks. The study’s findings also demonstrated that sulbutiamine supplements can reduce the amnesic effects of dizocilpine (which lowers cognitive performance) by blocking its glutamate receptors. These findings suggest that chronic treatment with sulbutiamine may offer hope for improving memory in humans, especially in people experiencing dementia.
This synthetic B vitamin also plays an important role in long-term memory formation, meaning that it has the potential to support people with Alzheimer’s disease. A double-blind study showed that sulbutiamine can enhance the effectiveness of treatment for adults with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sulbutiamine Side Effects
Doses of sulbutiamine can vary depending on your conditions and current thiamine levels. However, someone who experiences a thiamine deficiency can take up to 600mg of Sulbutiamine for up to two months.
Because sulbutiamine studies have only been conducted for a short-term period, it’s important to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional before taking sulbutiamine long term. Potential side effects of sulbutiamine include insomnia, upset stomach, and fatigue, though these adverse effects have been experienced only by a small group of people.
Additionally, sulbutiamine is still under evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). During this comprehensive study period, consumers should understand the many names by which sulbutiamine and other thiamine derivatives are labeled. Brand names like Bisibuthiamine, Benfotiamine, Arcalion, and Methylpyrimidin-5 are all examples of different names for sulbutiamine.
Sulbutiamine for Memory and Mood
Sulbutiamine is a synthetic version of thiamine, a B-vitamin essential for converting food nutrients into energy for the body. Thiamine is also essential for cognitive performance and heart health, and it can be found in various foods in the common diet.
Certain health conditions can cause a thiamine deficiency, but sulbutiamine can support improved thiamine production in the body, thereby decreasing fatigue and boosting memory. Whether you want to sharpen your memory skills or fight off illness-related fatigue, supplementing with sulbutiamine can help improve your long-term health.