Vitamin Supplement

Niacin Side Effects



Niacin side effects and benefits  

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Before enrolling niacin side effects, let’s talk a little bit about it. 


Vitamin B3 comes in two basic forms—niacin (nicotinic acid) and niacinamide (also called nicotinamide). 


A variation on vitamin B3, called inositol hexaniacinate, is also available in supplements. 

 niacin side effects image

It has not been linked with the usual vitamin B3 toxicity. 


For people who need large amounts of b3, doctors used to recommend inositol hexaniacinate. 


Sources: Vitamin B3 is widely distributed in plant and animal foods. The best food sources of vitamin B3 are peanuts, brewer’s yeast, cereals, legumes, fish, and meat including liver. Some vitamin B3 is also found in whole grains. 


Niacin side effects and dosage 


Dosage: In part because it is added to white flour, most people generally get enough vitamin B3 from their diets. Deficiency is rare. However, 15 to 500 mg of this vitamin can be taken as part of a multivitamin supplement or a B-complex. Larger amounts are used for the treatment of various health conditions. 


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Niacin Functions, Effects and Benefits: Vitamin B3 works with vitamin B6, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2 to release energy from carbohydrates. Therefore, these vitamins are often taken together in a B-complex or multivitamin supplement (although most B3 research uses nicotinic acid or niacinamide alone). 


It is needed to process alcohol and to form fat from carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 niacin form also regulates cholesterol, niacinamide does not. It increases HDL, increases the ratio of HDL to cholesterol total (12%). Medical Evidence: fairly strong. 


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Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are rapidly absorbed from the stomach or the intestine. 


Nicotinamide, the major form in the bloodstream, arises from enzymatic hydrolysis of NAD (P) in the intestinal mucosa and liver, and is transported to tissues that synthesize their own NAD as needed. Vitamin B3 and NAD are biosynthesized from dietary tryptophan via the kynurenine pathway and quinolinic acid. 




Niacin (Vitamin B3) Deficiency: Pellagra, the classic vitamin b3 deficiency disease, is rare in Western societies. 


Symptoms include loss of appetite, bilateral dermatitis, skin rash, diarrhea, mental changes, beefy tongue, and digestive and emotional disturbance. Pellagra is often associated with a largely cereal diet such as maize or sorghum and with other micronutrient deficiency. Carcinoid syndrome or disturbed tryptophan metabolism may also lead to Pellagra. 


Niacin side effects (Vitamin B3) Clinical uses: Nicotinic acid (but not nicotinamide) given as a drug in doses of 1.5-3 g/d improves the blood cholesterol profile. 



Niacin side effects 


Niacin Side Effects - Vitamin B3 Toxicity - Niacin Overdose: Large doses of nicotinic acid given to lower cholesterol may produce flushing of the skin, hyperuricemia, and hepatic abnormalities. These niacin side effects are reversed if the drug is reduced in amount or discontinued. If these flushing and other reactions to niacin side effects due to overdose don't disappear, tell your doctor. 


Health Related Conditions: 


  •  Acne (topical) 


  •  High cholesterol 


  •  High triglycerides 


  •  Intermittent claudication (inositol hexaniacinate) 


  •  Osteoarthritis 


  •  Painful menstruation (Dysmenorrhea) 


  •  Peripheral vascular disease (inositol hexaniacinate) 


  •  High triglycerides (inositol hexaniacinate) 


  •  High cholesterol (inositol hexaniacinate) 


  •  Raynaud’s disease (inositol hexaniacinate) 


  •  Schizophrenia 


Recent research: Hepatotoxic effects of alcohol may be counteracted by ameliorating the redox state. Nicotinamide is under investigation for helping prevent and control diabetes.  


Remember, before using niacin contact a doctor in an attempt to avoid these niacin side effects.