The idea for the supplement has been on the back-burner of co-founder Dave Larue for a long time. An alcohol industry veteran, he called pharmacist John Mansour, who he met while out golfing, and asked if developing a product to help reduce the discomfort from hangovers would be something Mansour would be interested in.
“In pharmacy school, we have to study nutraceuticals just as much as we have to study pharmaceuticals,” Mansour told NutraIngredients-USA. “[But] I’ve also had a general curiosity of how medicine started and where it came from,” he added. This sparked his interest in developing the product Larue had in mind.
Using his background knowledge in chemistry, as well as a handy book he would refer to (The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database), he was able to “research all the different options—what can be taken, what comes in powder form, what can dissolve,” Mansour said, and thus the liquid supplement B4 was born.
Fortifying the body ‘to protect against alcohol’s crash course’
Each 84 fl oz can contains 40 calories per serving each, with 10 g carbohydrates and 8 g sugar. There’s thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, sodium, and potassium.
Additionally, there’s 1.87 g of a proprietary blend of N-Acetyl-Cysteine, L-Glutathione Reduced, Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, L-Carnitine, L-Theanine, Milk Thistle Extract from the seed, and alpha lipoic acid.
Explained on the company’s website, B4 prevents post-drinking discomfort ‘before they happen.’ By drinking a can shortly before the night begins, “you’re fortifying your body with the electrolytes, amino acids, vitamins, plant extracts, antioxidants, and minerals to protect against alcohol’s crash course through your system,” according to the company.
Taking small steps, starting with the liquor store channel
The company hasn’t conducted any comprehensive clinical trials, such as RCTs, to test B4’s efficacy. “But we’re actually in the process of trying to get a university out in California that does some urine analysis for us to show some certain things,” he added. “But even then, there’s only a certain amount we can say because it isn’t a drug.”
But Mansour said the company is only still budding, having launched to store shelves in December 2016. The products are sold at ABC Fine Wines and Spirits in Florida. “That was our market we were going for—kind of have a test run to see how sales would go.”
So far, the product is sold at 125 stores throughout Florida, and the company is focusing on the liquor store channel first. “It was a natural fit, we were a solution to a problem that [these shoppers] have,” he added.