General Information on Pyritinol

Pyritinol is a nootropic supplement that has been shown to improve mental performance as well as mood, reaction times and focus. It has been used to treat dementia and similar cognitive illnesses in the elderly as well as some learning disabilities in children and is often marketed under the name Encephabol.

Pyritinol was first developed in 1961 by Merck Laboratories, with the supplement being clinically prescribed in the 1970s. In Europe, it is often used to treat dementia, learning disorders and cognitive decline, whereas, in the United States, it is mainly marketed as a dietary supplement meant to improve brainpower.

How Does Pyritinol Work?

It is a semi-natural, semi-water soluble supplement created through the combination of two Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) molecules. As a result, it offers benefits in line with those provided by Vitamin B6 and is frequently referred to as a more powerful version of this vitamin thanks to the greater level of improvement to cognitive function it offers.

Pyritinol’s chemical structure is made up of two pyridoxine (vitamin B6) molecules that mirror each other and are connected by two sulfur atoms, also known as a disulfide bridge.

This supplement has been found to help in the repair and recovery of cholinergic neurons. It might also improve acetylcholine levels as well as uptake via lipid soluble metabolites and has also been found to improve the brain’s ability to utilize glucose and help to increase cGMP levels in the brain.

Common Uses

Pyritinol is used to treat a wide range of cognitive issues, including general cognitive decline, dementia and Tourette’s. Due to its ability to stimulate neutrophil function and increase neutrophil cGMP levels, it is also used to reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

It is also marketed as a dietary supplement to help improve brainpower, including focus, information retention and recall, and even mood.

Another use for this supplement seems to be as a treatment for hangovers, though its effectiveness, in this case, is only supported by a single, small study published in 2005 in the British Medical Journal. The latter claims that Pyritinol can alleviate headaches caused by hangovers as it helps to minimize inflammation in the brain.

The Benefits of Pyritinol

By increasing choline uptake and thus acetylcholine levels, Pyritinol helps improve memory and new information recall as acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that drives a large number of basic thought processes, including memory, learning, and reasoning.

The higher the level of acetylcholine in one’s system, the more benefits there are, including improved mental clarity, focus, concentration and even possible quicker reaction times as high levels of this neurotransmitter have been connected to the ability to process visual information faster.

The improvement in glucose utilization means the brain receives energy and fuel constantly, which has led to better overall performance on a cognitive level.

It is believed this supplement can also be an effective mood enhancer as it can help increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is one of the main mood-boosting neurotransmitters, which is why it could be useful in treating depression as low levels of this neurotransmitter have been connected to a variety of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.

Potential Side Effects

Continuous use of this supplement might lead to certain negative side effects, though their onset is quite rare.  After being used for two decades in a clinical setting in Europe, a very small number of cases have presented side effects.

A number of the side effects were the result of allergies, which only affect a small number of people. Thus, some of the side effects include a drop in appetite, rashes, nausea, irritability, fatigue, insomnia and diarrhea.

There was one case where taking this supplement was linked to the onset of pancreatitis after a 3-month treatment of 600 mg per day. Several cases were recorded where daily use caused acute hepatitis.

Pyritinol Dosage

Though side effects are rare, it is still important to take note that they could appear as a result of constant and continuous use of pyritinol, which is why strict dosage control is essential. Ideally, a doctor should personalize the dosage based on your particular situation.

Generally speaking, though, dosages tend to range between 100 mg and 1200 mg per day, with most patients on doses between 400 mg and 600 mg taken twice per day with meals. While it is semi-water soluble, this supplement’s absorption is likely improved when taken with some food, though it is not absolutely necessary.

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Nicole Sanders

Hi, I'm Nicole, chief editor at Nootropics Revealed. Learn more about me and my mission here.