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What Is Sulbutiamine?

Sulbutiamine is a synthetic form of vitamin B1 or thiamine. Consisting of two modified thiamine molecules joined together, the most interesting thing about Sulbutiamine is that it is more bioavailable than thiamine and can actually cross the blood brain barrier to increase thiamine and thiamine phosphate esters in the brain. With a wide variety of uses, Sulbutiamine may even offer potential ergogenic benefits.

Where Does Sulbutiamine Come From?

Sulbutiamine is not found naturally and must be created synthetically. It is usually sold as an over-the-counter supplement either as generic Sulbutiamine or popular brands such as Arcalion or Enerion.

Sulbutiamine Benefits

Sulbutiamine was created through research into thiamine derivatives which proved to be more bioavailable than the vitamin itself. Thiamine deficiency in the form of the disease Beri-Beri was a common occurrence in late 19th and early 20th century, especially in Asia due to the heavy reliance on white polished rice., which contained minimal if any vitamin B1 as it is normally concentrated in the outer layers and germ portion of the grain. Sulbutiamine has been studied for conditions such as asthenia or muscle weakness and as a treatment for chronic fatigue. There has also been moderate success for Sulbutiamine to be used to improve memory function due to its ability to affect neurotransmission. There has also been one recent study linking the use of Sulbutiamine to helping with psychological based erectile dysfunction.

Sulbutiamine Benefits for Bodybuilders

There has been one study to date which has examined the use of Sulbutiamine in sports. While it did not go into detail the potential ergogenic effects of Sulbutiamine, it did find that a small percentage of athletes were using it at high levels. Because of its ability to affect neurotransmission and also muscle weakness, Sulbutiamine may help to elicit stronger responses.

Sulbutiamine Negatives & Side Effects

There are very few reported negative side effects from the use of Sulbutiamine. Common symptoms presented may include the development of a mild rash as well as mild agitation in the elderly.

Sulbutiamine Recommended Doses & Ingredient Timing

There are currently no conclusive recommendations for Sulbutiamine dosing, however, studies looking at the improvement of memory with Sulbutiamine have used doses of around 12.5mg/kg of body weight. However some manufacturers tend to advise maximum daily intakes of 600mg. There are also no recommendations for the timing of intake.

Sulbutiamine Supplements

As previously mentioned, one may usually find Sulbutiamine at chemists and are generally sold as over the counter nutritional supplements. They are available in a variety of forms including capsules, tablets and/or powders.

Stacking Sulbutiamine

Sulbutiamine can be stacked with a wide variety of supplements due to its low toxicity. To enhance the cognitive effects of Sulbutiamine, it may be of benefit to supplement with omega 3/6 supplements or BCAA supplements. It may also be of benefit to supplement with nitric oxide based supplements to promote improved performance and blood flow during exercise.


1. Shah SN; Sulbutiamine Study Group (2003). "Adjuvant role of vitamin B analogue (sulbutiamine) with anti-infective treatment in infection associated asthenia". J Assoc Physicians India51: 891–5.
2. Micheau J, Durkin TP, Destrade C, Rolland Y, Jaffard R (1985). "Chronic administration of sulbutiamine improves long term memory formation in mice: possible cholinergic mediation". Pharmacol Biochem Behav23 (2): 195–8.
3. Bizot JC, Herpin A, Pothion S, Pirot S, Trovero F, Ollat H (2005). "Chronic treatment with sulbutiamine improves memory in an object recognition task and reduces some amnesic effects of dizocilpine in a spatial delayed-non-match-to-sample task". Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry29 (6): 928–35.
4. Dmitriev DG, Gamidov SI, Permiakova OV (2005). "[Clinical efficacy of the drug enerion (sulbutiamine) in the treatment of patients with psychogenic (functional) erectile dysfunction]". Urologiia1 (1): 32–5
5. Sobolevsky T, Rodchenkov G. ‘Sulbutiamine in sports.’ Drug Test Anal. 2010 Nov-Dec;2(11-12):643-6. doi: 10.1002/dta.183. Epub 2010 Oct 22.


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