How vitamin B3 aka niacin can improve your health and vitality
From mental health, addiction and chronic diseases, there are a wide range of proven benefits of vitamin B3 also known as niacinamide, niacin and nicotinic acid. Some direct quotes from the scientific literature have been detailed below.
What is niacin?
Niacin more often than not has a warming effect that will make your skin flush red and can be quite uncomfortable and concerning if you do not know what to expect. I have heard stories of people going to the hospital after taking niacin thinking they are having a major allergic reaction. The niacin flush is actually part of the mechanism of why it is so beneficial. It gets the blood flowing, the capillaries open.
People use niacin to detox drugs out of their system before a drug test and forms a part of a few of the most popular detox protocols. Firefighters after 9/11 used niacin and saunas to remove the toxic chemicals from their system. Even Scientology use niacin as part of their detoxes.
Niacinamide which is also vitamin B3 does not cause flushing, niacinamide is the most common form of B3 found in chemists and grocery stores.
“Vitamin B deficiency could influence memory function, cognitive impairment and dementia. In particular, vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9 and B12 are essential for neuronal function and deficiencies have been linked to depression” (Mikkelsen et al., 2016).
Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline
A study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry in 2004 entitled “Dietary niacin and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and of cognitive decline” found “that niacin plays important roles in DNA synthesis and repair, myelination and dendritic growth, cellular calcium signalling, and as a potent anti-oxidant in brain mitochondria. Improvements in cognitive test scores and overall function have been reported by European trials of pharmacological preparations that include nicotinic acid.” https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/75/8/1093.full
Niacin and alcoholism
A study detailed in the Academy of Orthomolecular Psychiatry entitled “A Five-Year Field Trial of Massive Nicotinic Acid Therapy of Alcoholics” found that “Nicotinic acid improved sleep patterns, mood stability, and overall functioning in 60 percent of the test group who showed the more serious organic symptoms of the disease. Nicotinic acid significantly reduced acquired tolerance to alcohol. Nicotinic acid appeared to significantly shorten the course of the acute toxic brain syndrome.
Another study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry stated “niacin intake had a protective effect on development of Alzhiemers disease and cognitive decline… “Although a direct cause for the dementia has not been fully determined, a number of studies have found that niacin plays important roles in DNA synthesis and repair,2–4 myelination and dendritic growth,5,6 cellular calcium signalling,7 and as a potent anti-oxidant in brain mitochondria.8 Improvements in cognitive test scores9,10 and overall function11 have been reported by European trials of pharmacological preparations that include nicotinic acid.” (
A study published in 2012 in Current Atherosclerosis Reports entitled “Present-day uses of niacin: effects on lipid and non-lipid parameters” found that “may beneficially alter total cholesterol, LDL-C and triglyceride levels. Niacin also exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. Niacin is safe and effective to use in women, in patients with diabetes mellitus and/or metabolic syndrome” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/17685887/?i=2…
Mikkelsen, K., Stojanovska, L., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2016). The Effects of Vitamin B in Depression. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 23(38), 4317-4337. https://doi.org/10.2174/0929867323666160920110810
Tavintharan, S., Kashyap, M.L. The benefits of niacin in atherosclerosis. Curr Atheroscler Rep 3, 74–82 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-001-0014-y