Browse Category: Niacin

Severe Hepatitis

Can Severe Hepatitis be Caused by Niacin

A man developed severe hepatitis – and doctors say that it was caused by Niacin in energy drinks

Is it true that energy drinks can cause you to overdose on Niacin?

According to a news story that was published on gizmodo.com, a man developed severe hepatitis after drinking an excessive number of energy drinks per day… and the doctors said that the Niacin in the drinks may have been to blame.

Here are the details of the story.


The facts behind the story

The man, a 50-year old construction worker, claims that he started consuming energy drinks (the exact brand wasn’t shared) to give him more energy and to help him through his very physically-demanding workday. He started drinking 4 to 5 per day, but didn’t make any other changes to his diet or eating habits.

He soon became unusually fatigued. Then, the fatigue turned into abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Eventually, his symptoms worsened. He developed dark-colored urine, and his skin began to turn yellow – indicating jaundice.

At this point, he went to the emergency room.


What did the doctors say?

After an examination, the doctors confirmed that the man was suffering from jaundice, and that he was indeed experiencing abdominal tenderness. Lab results also showed that he tested high in levels of transaminases – which are liver enzymes indicative of a chronic hepatitis infection.

He then got a biopsy of his liver done – and this confirmed it. The man had developed severe hepatitis.

But what caused it? Was it the energy drinks?

The doctors believed that the man’s hepatitis was indeed triggered by the energy drinks he was consuming – and they also believed that niacin might have been the key ingredient that factored into it.

Altogether, the man was consuming about 160 to 200 mg of Niacin on a daily basis – which is actually below the levels that usually cause any sort of toxicity. But the doctors said that the problem could have been caused by the accumulation effect that came from having so much vitamin B3 introduced into his system at once.


Is something else in the drinks to blame, or was it the Niacin?

Everyone knows that energy drinks have been in the spotlight as a potential health hazard. They generally contain very high levels of their active ingredients, and many of them include super-high dosages of Niacin. Rockstar, Monster, and Red Bull are all brands that contain Vitamin B3.

An article posted on caffeineinformer.com, does a pretty good job of outlining the basic fears about energy drinks in-general.

It reports that energy drinks, when consumed in low amounts, contain less caffeine than a cup of specialty coffee.

But the problems start when people begin to drink more than one during the day.

Some negative effects of excessive energy-drink consumption could include cardiac arrest, headaches/migraines, anxiety, insomnia, type 2 Diabetes (because of the high sugar content), jitters, nervousness, and allergic reactions.

But a Niacin overdose is also listed as a potential negative side effect.

Here is what the article says about the ingredient and how it pertains to energy drink consumption…

“Niacin (Vitamin B3) is placed in most energy drinks at levels that cause no harm and can even be therapeutic. However, if a person is taking additional supplements containing Niacin, overdosing on the vitamin is possible when consuming energy drinks in addition to those supplements.”

There is also a quote on the website that says this…

“Heavy consumption of energy drinks may result in excessive consumption of B vitamins, such as niacin or pyridoxine, and may result in liver or nerve injury.”


So, what’s the verdict? Is Niacin really to blame?

As you likely well know, Niacin is a necessary vitamin that the human body needs to survive and thrive. In fact, a deficiency of Niacin causes the disease Pellagra, which is very dangerous and destructive.

But is it possible to overdose on Niacin through energy drinks?

It would seem that this is definitely a possibility. Obviously, there might be more factors at work than just the vitamin B3… but in regards to its presence in energy drinks, it might be best to stick to one or less per day, just to avoid problems – especially if you are taking a Niacin supplement as well.

Niacinamide

What is the difference between Niacin and Niacinamide?

If you’ve done much research about vitamin B3, you’ve likely heard the terms Niacin and Niacinamide used in close conjunction with one-another. A lot of people actually think that they’re referencing the same thing – but that’s not technically the case.

Here’s what you need to know about the difference.


The basics

Niacin and Niacinamide are both forms of vitamin B3. They can also be used interchangeably in smaller doses (doses less than 100mg). But this is where the similarities begin to end. In higher doses, these two versions of vitamin B3 are typically used for different things.

So what is the literal difference between the two, and how are they similar?

According to the Wikipedia article on the subject, Niacin is a “colorless, water-soluble solid” that is “a derivative of pyridine, with a carboxyl group (COOH) at the 3-position.”

Granted, this sounds a bit technical – but it will help to explain the relationship that Niacin has to Niacinamide.

Niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide) is basically the amide of Niacin. The Wikipedia article on the subject describes it as follows…

“Nicotinic acid, also known as niacin, is converted to nicotinamide in vivo, and, though the two are identical in their vitamin functions, nicotinamide does not have the same pharmacological and toxic effects of niacin, which occur incidental to niacin’s conversion. Thus nicotinamide does not reduce cholesterol or cause flushing, although nicotinamide may be toxic to the liver at doses exceeding 3 g/day for adults.”

These excerpts do a pretty good job of describing the difference between Niacin and Niacinamide. Basically, Niacinamide is the amide of Niacin. An amide, also known as an ‘acid amide’, is basically a compound with the functional group RnE(O)xNR′2, with the R and R’ referring to H in organic groups.

Once again, this is all very technical… but an article on Livestrong.com helps to describe it in a way that is, perhaps, easier to understand…

“An amide is a chemical compound that contains a carbonyl group, or C=O, that is linked to a nitrogen atom.”

But what is the functional difference here? What can Niacin do that Niacinamide can’t, or vice-versa?


The functional differences between Niacin and Nacinamide

Functionally, both of these compounds are pretty much identical when used as vitamins. They are also both water soluble. But they do have some different pharmacologic properties. For example, Niacin can cause the Niacin flush in high doses, while Niacinamide does not.

But, Niacinamide can cause excessive sweating as a side effect – which isn’t something you would expect from Niacin.

According to that same article on Livestrong.com, Niacin can be used to treat high cholesterol – but Niacinamide cannot. This is because when Niacin takes on the amide group that turns it into Niacinamide, the cholesterol-lowering effects of the vitamin are hindered.

Niacinamide, however, can be used to treat osteoarthritis – though only Niacin is said to help with circulatory problems. They both seem to work equally well for the treatment of anxiety or depression – and either may be taken for stress reduction.

As it turns out, the biggest difference might be the ‘Niacin-flush factor’. Niacinamide doesn’t cause it – but it also can’t be used for everything that Niacin is used for.

These differences add up to different levels of functional usefulness for each individual version of Vitamin B3… so really, a quick look at the facts regarding the need for vitamin B3 should steer you toward the type that will work the best for that particular situation.

One thing that should be noted, however, is that you should always supplement with a high-quality version of either if you are going to use one. Vitamins and/or supplements should be created in labs that meet all relevant safety standards, and only the highest-grade materials should be used.

For this reason, you might want to avoid buying supplements (of any kind) from sellers who are not transparent about their manufacturing processes – as this could cause you to end up with a supplement that’s lower-in-quality.

 

Joseph Goldberger

Man responsible for curing Pellagra (Vitamin B3 deficiency)

In 1902, the very first case of Pellagra was reported in the United States. By 1906, the disease had progressed to epidemic proportions. By 1912, the state of South Carolina alone reported 30,000 cases of the disease… and it became clear that it wasn’t going to go away on its own.

And as time went by, it got worse. Pellagra was a mysterious disease back in those days. It was mostly attributed to the consumption of spoiled corn. Back in those days, the idea that a nutritional deficiency could possibly be the cause of the epidemic had circulated to a point (scientists of the day like Theophile Roussel and Casimir Funk had already proposed such theories) – though much more popular was the belief that bad corn was making people sick.

But there were some strange facts about Pellagra that made it difficult to figure out. It tended to be a big problem in hospitals, prisons, and orphanages. But in such places, it tended to affect the inmates, but never the staff. The rich and wealthy almost never contracted the condition – while it was rampant among the poor.

Some even believed the disease to be infectious, and there were some who advocated the idea that it was actually hereditary.


Pellagra in the US in the early 1900s

Before the cure was found, Pellagra sufferers were shunned much as lepers were in ancient times. People were afraid of the disease because they didn’t know what it was or what caused it. Eventually, some hospitals event stopped accepting Pellagra patients.

Treatment methods for the disease ranged from arsenic, to calcium sulfide, to autoserotherapy, to static electric shock. Between the years of 1906 and 1940, more than 3 million Americans would be affected by the affliction, with 100,000 deaths piling up as a result.

But in 1914, a man by the name of Joseph Goldberger was asked by the US Surgeon General of the day (Rupert Blue) to investigate the disease.


Joseph Goldberger

Joseph Goldberger was a physician who had done extensive work in the fields of disease prevention in other places, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, and Mississippi. As a physician, he had gained a lot of experience in fighting disease through his work with Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, Typhus, and Dengue Fever.

But many would probably say that his work on the Pellagra epidemic would end up being the most prolific that he would ever accomplish – despite the fact that he really didn’t receive much of his deserved praise until after he had passed away.

It was Joseph Goldberger who, through a series of experiments and discoveries accomplished through dietary restrictions in prisons over the course of his work on the illness, discovered that Pellagra was actually caused by the lack of an unknown nutrient.

He successfully tied the heavy corn-based diet of the day (consumed mostly by people in poor economic circumstances, like prisons and orphanages) to an increased risk of the disease, and discovered that when the diets of affected individuals were supplemented with more diverse food options and meat-based proteins, those who suffered from the malady got better.


The results of his work

At first, his discoveries were rejected, as they were unpopular among proud and wealthy southerners. Despite the success of his experiments and observations (including a successful change of diet in one orphanage that completely eradicated the disease from all of the residents), he made little progress socially and politically in the fight against the affliction until later on in his life.

A man named Conrad Elvehjem was actually the person responsible for discovering the exact mechanism behind the problem – a lack of a specific nutrient called the B Vitamin, Niacin. This discovery was not made until 1937 – eight years after Joseph Goldberger’s death in 1929.

Joseph Goldberger was nominated five times for the Nobel Prize for his work in the field of medicine, and to this day, his papers are held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, in the USA.

Arthritis

Niacin and Arthritis

Niacin has long been hailed as a natural treatment for arthritis… but are the tales true, or is this just homeopathic hype?

Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is used in many different nutritional supplements and occurs naturally in many different plant and animal species. It can also be created by the human body, albeit not very efficiently – which is why humans get most of their vitamin B3 from their diet.

But can this vitamin really help to treat arthritis? Here’s what we found out.


The basics: what is arthritis?

Arthritis is, to put it simply, a painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. The condition tends to worsen with age, and is very common in the US. In fact, it is said that more than 3 million new cases of arthritis are diagnosed each year.

Arthritis can’t really be cured, but the pain can be managed with medication – and some supplements and/or medications can also help with the inflammation.

But Vitamin B3 isn’t considered an anti-inflammatory or an analgesic – so how could it possibly help with a malady that’s literally caused by inflammation?

As it turns out, there’s a bit more to the story than that.

Niacin doesn’t help arthritis patients by decreasing inflammation. Rather, it is said to help by actually triggering real joint-surface repair that will later lead to a reduction in inflammation and pain.

In other words, Niacin can help by stimulating the body to heal the damage done by the arthritis.


Is there actual proof that Vitamin B3 can help to heal arthritis?

This question is a bit more difficult to answer. Webmd.com has this to say about Niacinamide and its ability to heal or help with arthritis pain…

“Possibly Effective for: Osteoarthritis. Taking niacinamide seems to improve joint flexibility and reduce pain and swelling. Some people who take niacinamide might be able to cut down on standard painkilling medications.”

Dr. David Williams also says this about the vitamin in reference to using it as a treatment for arthritis on his official website

“Fortunately, niacinamide can go a long way in both preventing and minimizing arthritic joints.”

The vitamin obviously gets more attention in homeopathic and naturalistic circles than it gets in most doctor offices, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not capable of doing the job.


How to treat arthritis with Niacin

If you’re thinking about treating your arthritis with Niacin, then you will find some very helpful instructions on the subject on Dr. David Williams website. Basically, you need to follow a few basic steps to make sure that your efforts will be maximized, and to allow yourself the best possible shot at treating the problem.

First, you need to make sure that you get plenty of protein in your diet. A protein powder supplement will probably be your best bet. You should also start taking a good multivitamin as well as Vitamin B3, as this will help to maximize your efforts in trying to heal your arthritis naturally.

As far as the Niacinamide itself goes, Dr. David Williams says on his official website that you need to take it at regular intervals at a dose of 250mg every three hours, 6 times per day. This will add up to 1,500mg of Niacinamide per day.

Now, keep in mind that you should consult with your doctor before taking such a large dosage, especially if you suffer from any other health problems – but that’s what Dr. David Williams recommends on his official website (you may need to take even more for more extreme cases.

He also says that you need to be careful not to traumatize the joints any further, as this will keep them from healing properly.

Niacin is an amazing vitamin with a lot of healing potential – but it can also be a bit dangerous in some forms at higher levels. For that reason, it is very important to take responsibility for yourself whenever you dose-up on it, and always run such supplementation by your doctor first, just in case!

Niacin rich foods

Everything you need to know about Niacin

Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3 and/or Nicotinic Acid, is a vitamin that can be found in food sources such as milk, fish, meat, yeast, nuts, beans, enriched breads, and green vegetables – though the human body can also produce its own Vitamin 3 (using the amino acid tryptophan).

The name for Vitamin B3, Niacin, is derived from the words ‘nicotinic acid vitamin.’ As a vitamin, it is an essential part of general overall health and well-being for the human body, though it is primarily known for being beneficial to the skin, nervous system, and digestive system.

According to the Wikipedia article on the subject, Niacin is one of the 20 to 80 essential human nutrients. In fact, a deficiency of Niacin even has a name of its own. It is a disease called Pellagra, though insufficient Niacin can also play a role in pandemic deficiency disease, which is caused by a lack of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Thiamin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B3.


Technical information

Niacin is an organic compound that is both colorless and water-soluble. It is a derivative of pyridine, and is different from other forms of vitamin B, which include nicotinamide and amide. According to Wikipedia, the world demand for Vitamin B3 in the 1980s was about 8,500 tonnes per year – though this has grown to an incredible 40,000 tonnes in more recent years.

As far as dietary guidelines are concerned, the amount of Niacin you need each day (called the DRI, or dietary reference intake) will depend on a few different factors. Children are said to need 2 to 16 milligrams of it per day. Older children obviously need more… younger, less. Men need 16 milligrams on a daily basis, and women need 14. A woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding will need more. A pregnant woman is supposed to get 18, and a breastfeeding woman 17.


What is Niacin good for?

Niacin is used for a variety of different illnesses and health problems. It is used to improve cholesterol levels, to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, to treat atherosclerosis, and to help prevent a second heart attack in people who have already had one. For these types of things, Niacin has been tested and found to be pretty useful. As a vitamin, it has undergone quite a bit of clinical research – which is why so many sources list the above uses as the ‘primary’ applications for it.

There is also some research to indicate that it may work as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and type 1 diabetes. Studies have also shown that Niacin can help to raise levels of Human Growth Hormone in the human body – which can contribute to better workout results at the gym.

But many people use Niacin for things that are not technically verified by clinical research as well. These fall into the ‘homeopathic’ category, and there may or may not be a lot of evidence to support its use for them.

As far as these types of treatments are concerned, Vitamin B3 is said to help in the treatment of insomnia, motion sickness, sun sensitivity, acne, high blood pressure, bad circulation in the legs and feet, deafness, tinnitus, and vertigo.


Possible side effects of Niacin

There are some recorded warnings and possible side effects that users of straight Niacin should be aware of. According to the Webmd.com article on the subject, Vitamin B3 can cause liver problems, changes in glucose levels, changes of the heart rhythm, lowering of the blood pressure to the point of clinically low blood pressure, and stomach ulcers.

There are also some points of caution given on the drdavidwillams.com article on the subject. According to the information given here, Niacin might irritate the stomach lining if you take it on an empty stomach. It could also possibly bring on an attack of gout if you take it in large doses, as it actually competes with the body’s excretion of uric acid. It also says that time-released forms of the vitamin have been shown to cause possible severe liver damage.

According to Webmd.com, you’re supposed to ask your doctor before taking Niacin if you suffer from any of the following… diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, or cardiovascular problems. You should also consult your doctor before taking Niacin if you are currently using any medications, as it can interact with some of them.

But this source also says that low doses of Niacin are safe for everyone. There is only the potential for side effects if you take it in larger amounts – such as those used to treat medical conditions.


What is Niacin Flush?

According to an article published on dpic.org, titled ‘Niacin: The facts on flushing’, Niacin flush is an adverse reaction – but not an allergic one. Here’s a quote from the website about what it is…

“These higher doses of niacin cause an intense flushing or “prickly heat” sensation to the face and upper body, usually 15-30 minutes after taking a relatively large dose (e.g. 500 mg).”

The article says that Niacin flush is pretty harmless, and generally subsides within 2 hours (usually less). They also say that you usually experience the most serious flush after your first dose of Niacin – and that subsequent doses will tend to cause weaker flushes if you continue to take it on a consistent basis.


The history of Niacin

Niacin was named Vitamin B3 because it was the third vitamin of the ‘B’ group to be discovered. In actuality, the history of the vitamin is very much linked to the history of the disease Pellagra, which is actually caused by a deficiency of the vitamin.

Pellagra was first documented in Spain back in 1735 by a man named Gaspar Casal. It drew a lot of attention during the 1700s and 1800s, mostly due to how widespread it was. It was originally believed that the disease was caused by spoiled bread and polenta, and later was blamed on a toxin in deteriorated maize.

Pellagra broke out in America in the early 1900s, and a series of studies were conducted by various doctors – all of which led to erroneous conclusions that would only further confuse those who attempted to treat the malady.

The mystery of Pellagra was not solved until it was rampant and unchecked in the southern United States. In 1914, a man by the name of Dr. Joseph Goldberger, working for the U.S. Public Health Service, discovered the actual cause of the disease through a series of experiments and observations performed at prisons and orphanages. As it turned out, poor southerners couldn’t afford the food required to make up a proper diet… and he discovered that the causes for the disease were mostly economic (because poor people couldn’t afford foods that were rich enough in Vitamin D3).

Nicotinic acid, meanwhile, was actually synthesized as early as 1867 – and was added to grain products later on (enriched grain products) in an attempt to help combat the widespread problem of Pellagra. Nowadays, the disease is rarely seen (except for in very impoverished parts of the world), thanks to the discovery of Vitamin D3 and the fact that it was linked to the condition.


What foods have the most Niacin in them?

There are a lot of foods with sufficient levels of Niacin in them for a healthy diet – though that doesn’t mean that they’re always consumed in sufficient levels. Those who are most at risk for developing a Vitamin B3 deficiency (besides people living in impoverished parts of the world), are people who are infected with HIV, or people who drink large amounts of alcohol.

But people whose diets consist of mainly processed foods can also be at risk for a Niacin deficiency.  A diet of sugary foods, white breads, corn syrup, and processed grains can certainly lead to a deficiency if it’s not supplemented with a few Niacin-rich foods.

The best natural sources of Niacin include foods like turkey, mushrooms, chicken breast, peanuts, tuna, green peas, liver, sunflower seeds, grass-fed beef, and Avocado.

And last, but certainly not least, it isn’t a good idea to consume large amounts of Niacin without consulting your doctor… especially if you suffer from a medical condition or are taking any type of medication for one.

 

Facts about Niacin

5 little known facts about Niacin

Niacin, which is also known as Vitamin B3, has many uses. It is probably most well-known for its ability to treat high cholesterol, though it’s also known for its ability to treat Pellagra (Vitamin B3 deficiency), and to help with conditions like schizophrenia and arthritis.

But there are also some other uses for the vitamin that a lot of people don’t know about – and in this blog post, we are going to share 5 little known facts about Niacin that you might not have heard before.


It can be used to treat alcohol addiction

According to some sources, one possible cause of alcohol cravings is a B vitamin deficiency. The science for using B vitamins to treat alcoholism is old (from the 1950s) and mostly labeled as ‘homeopathic’, but still, many swear by it.

You can read a bit more about it in this article, published by drweil.com. But the main point here is that B Vitamins (including Vitamin B3) can help to stop alcohol cravings.


It can be used to treat sexual dysfunction

It’s no secret that many different B vitamins have been shown to be useful for sexual health – and Niacin is no exception.

It can help the body to produce more of the primary sexual hormones, improves circulation (which helps with erectile dysfunction), and helps you to regulate your sleeping patterns (getting enough sleep is a key component to a healthy sex life).


It can be used to fight depression

Niacin has long been used as a tool to help fight depression and anxiety. In fact, it might be even more beneficial for this application than a lot of people give it credit for.

An article, published on foodmatters.com, does a great job of discussing this topic. It also does a great job of describing how to dose yourself, and what to expect in terms of a Niacin Flush.


It can be used to alleviate motion sickness

Do you often find yourself feeling nauseous during plane or automobile rides? This isn’t so uncommon – but did you know that Niacin can help to alleviate such symptoms?

According to an article published on drdavidwilliams.com, a combination of Niacin (200 to 300 mg) and papaya can help you to get rid of the effects of motion sickness. You should take the two ingredients about 15 minutes before beginning your journey to experience the maximum benefits.


It can be used to treat memory loss

Vitamin B3 has long been touted for its ability to enhance memory and focus – but many people don’t realize that there is some evidence that suggests that it could also be used to treat dementia and memory loss as well (both age-related and memory loss due to Alzheimer’s).

According to this article, mice with Alzheimer’s disease that were treated with Niacinamide were cured of the disease in only 4 months – which is pretty incredible! Granted, the experiment might work differently on humans – but still, the evidence is pretty strong that Niacin is very beneficial for preventing memory loss.

It’s also useful for boosting memory function in people who aren’t suffering from memory loss – which makes it an even better option for people who are committed to keeping their brains as healthy as possible!

Of course, there is a lot about Vitamin B3 that is still unknown – and to be honest, more clinical studies need to be done to determine exactly how beneficial it is.

But even if these uses are more ‘naturalistic’ in nature, there is still some strong evidence to say that Niacin is useful in a wide variety of applications.

Obviously, dosing levels will depend on exactly what you are trying to accomplish – but a bit of research and some dialogue with your doctor should help to get you started on the right path of Niacin is something that you’re interested in taking.

Liver damage

Can Niacin really cause liver damage?

If you’ve done much reading about Vitamin B3, you’ve probably learned that one of the most serious side effects listed for it is liver damage.

But before we discuss this topic specifically, let’s first review how Niacin is generally used and fits in with the typical human diet.


Vitamin B3 and the human diet

First off, most people in the developed world get as much Niacin as they need through their diet. Foods like turkey, chicken breast, peanuts, tuna, avocado, and green peas can all help to give you as much as you need.

But with that being said, some people decide to take Niacin in supplement form for some of the other benefits that it offers at higher doses. Humans require somewhere between 2 and 19 milligrams of the vitamin per day to stay healthy and to avoid a deficiency. Obviously, the person’s age and weight will determine exactly how much they need… but in general, the amounts are pretty small.

With that being said, some people take it in much larger doses… either as a treatment for a medical problem, or to get better results at the gym. Niacin supplements can range from 50mg dosages to 1,000mg dosages, or sometimes in doses even higher than this.


So what’s the problem? Can Niacin cause liver damage?

Here’s the problem. In smaller doses, Niacin is perfectly safe for just about anyone. But if people start taking a lot of it (generally doses higher than 50mg per day), it has been known to cause some side effects- including liver damage in some cases.

But there are a lot of details to this, and we have done our best to sort through them. Hopefully, these facts will help you to figure out exactly how dangerous this potential side effect is, and what can be done to avoid it.


The facts about Niacin and Liver Damage

First of all, it is true that Niacin can cause liver damage in some cases. But, the timed-release capsules and/or tablets are more likely to cause liver damage than other immediate-release delivery methods. Timed released capsules and tablets are sometimes more popular, because they lessen the likelihood of the infamous Niacin Flush- but they are more dangerous in the long run because they are more likely to cause severe side effect problems.

As a general rule, your doctor will probably want to schedule routine liver function tests if you plan on taking 100mg or more of the vitamin on a daily basis.

In support of this information, the US National Library of Medicine published an article on their website on the subject that had this to say about high levels of Niacin and hepatotoxicity (liver damage due to the use of a medicine or supplement)…

“Niacin can also cause serious hepatotoxicity, but this is uncommon.  Significant hepatotoxicity is particularly common with high doses of sustained release niacin.”

Dr. William Davis also wrote an article on healthcentral.com in which he said this about Niacin and the possibilities of liver damage while using the vitamin…

“Because of a small risk of liver and other more concerning side-effects, niacin treatment should be conducted with the help of your doctor, particularly if you take more than 500 mg per day.”

An article on the subject that was published on drugs.com seemed to confirm what other sources were saying about Niacin and the question of timed-release capsules as well…

“Generally, the incidences of hepatic and gastrointestinal side effects have been significantly greater with use of timed release niacin when compared to an immediate release form, however, the incidence of cutaneous flushing has been significantly less.”


What does all of this mean?

In the end, you need to draw your own conclusions about Niacin and how you will use it- but there is certainly good reason to speak with your doctor about it before you do so. Niacin is a natural vitamin that can be extremely beneficial to your health. And while serious side effects seem to be rare, they can happen- so do your best to stay informed and to take responsibility for your health by asking your physician if increasing your daily intake of Niacin might be a beneficial choice for you.