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Sulbutiamine for Improved Mood, Focus and Memory


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Sulbutiamine is a synthetic derivative of thiamine (more commonly known as vitamin B1)that was first developed in Japan to counter widespread vitamin deficiencies. Sulbutiamine is classed as a nootropic compound that provides many benefits including memory enhancement, increased focus and mood modulation, while it is also used for a number of therapeutic purposes. Unlike a few other more recently developed nootropics, this supplement has been relatively well researched with a wealth of evidence to support the benefits it can offer. So if you’re someone who struggles to remember things, need help concentrating at work or in the classroom, or even if you feel shy around other people, Sulbutiamine could be the right supplement for you. However, before deciding to use this supplement it is a good idea to first gain some understanding of how Sulbutiamine works. This article aims to cover some of these topics including this supplement’s benefits, mechanisms, potential side effects and usage guidelines.

What are the Benefits of Sulbutiamine?

Evidence from clinical trials has proven this supplement to be an effective memory enhancer. Studies show that through the modulation of various neurotransmitter levels, this supplement is able to improve working memory. The purpose of this type of memory is to temporarily hold and manipulate information, and these abilities may be significant determinants of fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence refers to our capacity for problem solving, pattern recognition and logical thinking, and is known to be a better predictor of academic or financial success than more traditional measures of intelligence, such as IQ. Such skills can be infinitely useful for fields of study or work that involve engineering, mathematics, scientific research, or indeed practically any task that requires some degree of problem solving or outside-of-the-box thinking. This type of thinking is what leads to innovation, and some of the most progressive minds of our time from Hawking to Einstein are thought to have had exceptionally high levels of fluid intelligence.

Sulbutiamine is also known to improve other aspects of memory formation and recall. Other studies have shown that as well as improvements to episodic memory (our ability to remember past events), Sulbutiamine can help to consolidate information from short-term to long term memory. Users will find that they can more efficiently remember and recall information they have committed to memory. These effects can vary from person to person, with some noticing modest improvements to memory retention, while others may gain the ability to remember everything with an almost photographic-like precision. These memory enhancements are not only useful for healthy individuals, but may help to lessen cognitive decline seen with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Due to the fact that Sulbutiamine improves signal transmission and communication between neurons, users are likely to experience an additional array of cognitive benefits. For example, users commonly report enhancements in their ability to concentrate, which may in turn lead to a greater attention span, as well as higher levels of alertness and perceived mental energy. These ergogenic properties coupled with enhanced memory performance make Sulbutiamine an excellent study aid, helping students to study longer and more effectively while experiencing less mental fatigue. This supplement’s ability to reduce fatigue is so effective that it has been implicated as being useful in the treatment of Asthenia. This is a condition characterised by chronic levels of fatigue that have a neurological basis, and studies have shown that more than half of the patients treated with Sulbutiamine showed no symptoms of the condition after just 15 days. Researchers do however recognise the need for additional research in this area to fully evaluate Sulbutiamine’s effectiveness in treating chronic fatigue.

Sulbutiamine has also been used for the purposes of reducing certain patterns of inhibitory behaviour that include feeling fearful and timid, or showing avoidance and guardedness towards new stimuli. These behavioural patterns are common in those suffering from shyness, or on a more extreme level social anxiety, as well as depression. A study utilising participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder showed a significant reduction in such incapacitating behaviours after four weeks of treatment with Sulbutiamine. These benefits can help sufferers to have a more successful professional, social and family-life which may have become disrupted as a result of their condition.

How Does Sulbutiamine Work?

To understand how this supplement works it is a good idea to first look at its molecular structure. Chemically speaking Sulbutiamine is a dimer of thiamine meaning it is essentially composed of two thiamine molecules. This arrangement allows it to cross the blood brain barrier (a type of biological filter that separate the bloodstream from the brain) more effectively than thiamine. As a result, it appears that Sulbutiamine is more effective in increasing levels of thiamine and related phosphate esters in the brain than equivalent doses of thiamine. It is these substances that are primarily responsible for the many benefits associated with this nootropic.

Sulbutiamine appears to function through multiple mechanisms. Firstly, it is believed to be involved in regulating the function of a brain structure known as the reticular activating system (RAS). As well as regulating sleep and wakefulness, the RAS is involved in controlling transitions from relaxed wakefulness to periods of high alertness which explains some of this supplement’s ergogenic properties.

Sulbutiamine also appears to modulate the level of several major neurotransmitters. For example, it has been observed to potentiate cholinergic activity associated with the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is responsible for synaptic plasticity, learning and memory to name but a few. These acetylcholine boosting effects appear to be particularly prominent in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that is linked to the formation of long term memories.

This supplement’s memory boosting properties can also be attributed partly to increases in glutamatergic activity. Increases in the activity of glutamate related systems are known to induce a phenomenon known as long-term potentiation (LTP). Briefly defined, LTP is the process by which the signal strength between two simultaneously firing neurons becomes strengthened for a lasting period, contributing to enhanced learning, memory and synaptic plasticity.

There is also evidence that Sulbutiamine may have some effect on dopamine levels in the pre-frontal cortex. Dopamine performs numerous functions in the brain and has been linked to sensations of pleasure, learning and reward systems as well as the all-important executive function that manages a variety of cognitive functions. Rather counter intuitively, Sulbutiamine is thought to actually decrease the level of dopamine that is released. Benefits are derived from compensatory mechanisms that respond to lowered dopamine levels by increasing dopamine receptor density. The result is an increased sensitivity to dopamine that promotes higher levels of activity in dopaminergic systems. This mechanism accounts for many of Sulbutiamine’s stress relieving and anxiolytic properties.

Potential Side Effects

Generally speaking, Sulbutiamine is considered to be quite safe, has a good tolerability profile and exhibits no severe side effects. However, there are a few mild side effects users should be aware of, although it should be noted that these mostly occur in instances where the recommended dosage has been exceeded. Although Sulbutiamine is used by many to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, there have been some reported cases of irritability and anxiety as a result of using doses in excess of the recommended level. Other side effects may include headaches, skin rashes and nausea. If any of these symptoms occur you are advised to stop using Sulbutiamine immediately.

Although there is little evidence to suggest using Sulbutiamine can cause dependency issues, users have reported that a tolerance to this supplement can be built quite rapidly. This applies mainly to energy and mood boosting effects, although some users also report a lessening of cognitive benefits. To avoid tolerance problems, it is a good idea not to use Sulbutiamine too regularly, or consider using it on a cyclical basis, allowing sufficient periods of non-use.

Recommended Dosage

The ideal dosage level for this supplement can differ significantly between users owing to differences in body weight, biochemistry and tolerance levels. However, the average dosage for most users lies between 400 to 1,000mg a day. As Sulbutiamine is lipid soluble, the most effective way to take this supplement is with fish oil supplements, a glass of milk, or with food that has a high fat content. This will ensure the supplement is absorbed quickly and effectively.

Sulbutiamine Stacks

Due to possible tolerance issues, most nootropics users do not use Sulbutiamine on a regular basis, or as part of a daily stack. This supplement is more often used only few times per week during periods that require high levels of focus and productivity. Before using Sulbutiamine as part of any cyclical nootropic stack, you should be sure to try it on its own to familiarise yourself with its effects.

Sulbutiamine makes an excellent accompaniment to racetam nootropics, particularly Aniracetam for the purposes of stress and anxiety relief. It is also commonly combined with caffeine and cholinergic supplements such as Centrophenoxine and Citicoline. Other users find it useful to combine this supplement with Pyritinol, while those seeking more natural or herbal based stacks may consider using Sulbutiamine with Vinpocetine or Huperzine A. There are endless combinations of ways you can incorporate Sulbutiamine into a nootropics stack, and the best stack for you will no doubt require a little experimentation with dosages and different supplements.