Niacin – The Powerful Yet Little Known, B Vitamin
If we knew of a substance that has the power to cure dementia, alcoholism, arthritis, schizophrenia, as well as raise good HDL cholesterol and can protect against certain types of cancer, don’t you think it would make headlines around the world? Well we DO have this available today, only problem is that it cannot be patented by Big Pharma and therefore, they spend big bucks debunking it’s abilities in skewed clinical trials so that it is kept a secret, and it’s benefits remain little known.
Niacin is a very small molecule, made up only of 14 atoms. This is smaller than even the simplest sugar. However, this one tiny molecule has amazing effects on health. It plays a role in over 500 reactions in the body. Did you know that many illnesses are caused by TOO LITTLE niacin? It has been proven that many illnesses can also be cured with megadoses of niacin.
Most commonly known as B3, niacin is a powerhouse vitamin. Niacin is needed for the health of our digestive system, skin and nerves. It is essential for obtaining energy from carbohydrate foods. The major source of Vitamin B3 are whole-grain cereals, legumes, nuts and meats. Most cereals have been refined and their bran and wheat germ stripped away. Since this removes most of their vitamin B3, white wheat flour is “enriched” with niacinamide. This was a major factor in eliminating the great pandemic of Pellagra, that raged in many countries, including the United States, until about 1942, when adding this vitamin was mandated. An example of how a condition can be CURED with a natural element and not a drug. Pellagra is caused by a deficiency of niacin and not a deficiency of a pharmaceutical drug!
- Niacin is known by the names like Nicotinic acid, and Vitamin B3. Niacinamide is known by the name nicotinic acid.
- The chemical formula of Niacin is C6H5NO2. The chemical formula of Niacinamide is C6H6N2O.
- The melting point of Niacin is 237 °C. The melting point of Niacinamide is 129.5 °C.
- Sources of Niacin are fish, meat, eggs, milk, yeast, nuts, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains. Sources of Niacinamide are Vitamins B complex supplements, grains etc.
- The benefit of Niacin is that it helps to treat Pellagra and cholesterol. The benefits of Niacinamide are it prevents various skin ailments such as acne, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation.
Niacin vs. Statins For Cholesterol
Niacin raises good cholesterol (HDL) more than any known pharmaceutical, while at the same time, lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides, and the most harmful form of cholesterol – associated lipoprotein (VLDL-Very Low Density Lipoproteins) Niacin (or the extended release form, Niaspan) has been shown to reduce disease progression in 4 clinical trials. Good medical doctors (AND THEY DO EXIST) will prescribe niacin for reducing cardiovascular disease risk and provide a description on how to use it. Niacin is frequently the gold standard used in basic experiments for atherosclerosis.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) kills more individuals than any other disease. Accordingly, there is tremendous drive in the pharmaceutical industry to make more drugs. Merck and Schering Plough (eventually bought by Merck for 41.1 Billion) convinced doctors to spend 21 Billion dollars over 7 years selling Zetia (ezetimibe). In the end, clinical trials would reveal that Zetia actually increases cardiovascular events, making arterial walls thicker. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20399059/ Thus, it is no longer a good business idea for the pharmaceutical industry to compare drugs to niacin head to head!
Immediate release Niacin works just as good as prescription extended release (Niaspan) but can cost upwards of $15 a day to get 3 grams. Whereas niacin costs less than a $1 for the same dose. With regular usage, niacin will result in little to no flush at all while all the benefits are still obtained. A niacin flush starts out as a tingly feeling, then a heating sensation occurs. It initially appears as red on the skin and then may be accompanied by an itching or burning sensation. It is harmless and can last approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Arthritis and Niacinamide
The world was still deep in the Great Depression when William Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., had already begun treating osteoarthritis with 2 to 4 grams of niacinamide, daily. Now, over eighty years later, this pioneering work in orthomolecular medicine is receiving the well deserved recognition.
In a radio interview back in the 70’s with Carlton Fredericks, Dr. Kaufman described the following: “I had one patient who was so severely arthritic that I could not bend his elbow enough to measure his blood pressure. I gave him niacinamide for a week in divided doses and then he could bend his arm. I took him off it and gave him a placebo. In a week, he was back where he was before: his joints were stiff again.”
He continued with “I arrived at my (megavitamin B3 dosage) schedule by actually seeing the response of patients with varying degrees of arthritis. One cannot give a single large dose and get any really favorable results in arthritis. It is necessary to divide the doses, so that the blood levels of niacinamide would be fairly uniform throughout the waking day.”
Dr. Kaufman’s findings were straight forward. The greater the stiffness, the more frequent the doses. Severely crippled arthritic patients needed up to 4000 mg per day, divided into 10 doses per day. After one to three months of this treatment, his patients could get out of their chair or bed. If continued, they would be able to comb their hair and be able to walk upstairs, so they would no longer be prisoners of the house. He found that after three years of treatment, they would be fully ambulatory, and this was even in the older age groups.
Now many of you may say, “I don’t have three years, I want this relief NOW.” This is the problem. You don’t wake up one morning with arthritis, it develops slowly over years. Fixing it will occur over years not days! Big Pharma cannot fix your arthritis, it manages your pain and tells you there is no cure. I beg to differ. The bonus here is that Dr. Kaufman used Niacinamide which is a “no-flush” form of this B vitamin. If you are interested in this therapy, check with a doctor that deals in Functional Medicine. This field is trained in pharmaceuticals as well as vitamins and minerals – the best of both worlds!
Vioxx was a prescription medication touted as the answer to severe arthritic pain. Now let’s take a look and compare niacin to Vioxx. First off, niacin is a vitamin found naturally and Vioxx is a chemical produced in a lab. Next, niacin has been proved in 100’s of clinical studies to cure numerous conditions, whereas Vioxx only suppressed symptoms. Once the meds stopped, pain returned. Niacin, although may cause “flushing” to the skin which is a heating sensation experienced as blood vessels dilate, one of Vioxx’s “side effects” was death! (At least the pain is gone-pretty sure that this was not the result patients were looking for!) Niacin, being a vitamin is not toxic, unless you ingest literally pounds of it, which is next to impossible. As for Vioxx, taking just one could kill you. Niacin is an over the counter, affordable supplement whereas Vioxx required an insurance plan for payment unless you were in the upper level of society and able to afford the prescription without batting an eyelid. And one last point of importance, niacin is a natural substance and cannot be patented. Vioxx’s ingredients were proprietary and protected under patent law, therefore effecting the cost. The choice is pretty clear to me!
Vioxx was the GO TO drug for arthritis pain and although it was pulled in September of 2004, it may be making a comeback to treat hemophilic arthropathy. It is a disabling condition characterized by joint impairment, chronic pain, and reduced quality of life. Vioxx was removed as it caused a higher than usual rate of heart attacks and strokes. Merck agreed to pay out nearly $5 Billion in lawsuits. Boggles the mind that those side effects have “disappeared” and it is safe to bring back. Just because a doctor prescribes something for you, it WILL NOT CURE your ailment, nor does it mean that it is safe. Every drug on the market has pages of side effects, to which the doctor will prescribe a drug to neutralize the side effect and the cycle continues. Listen to the commercials on US stations. As you watch happy people enjoying their lives with family and friends, the audio lists all the side effects, including death! Remember, no disease is caused by a lack of pharmaceutical drugs!
More and more, research “appears” to show evidence that Alzheimer’s Disease will be treated more successfully in the near future. But we have to give up the notion that a “block-buster” drug will be found. Alzheimer’s disease has traditionally been considered untreatable except by a few drugs, which at best, slow the decline of brain function. However, there is growing evidence that it can be prevented with proper use of nutrients. A study of nearly 4,000 people, age 65 and older showed that those with the lowest niacin intake (average of 12.6 mg per day) were 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than those with the highest intake (22.4 mg per day). Since this low amount per day of niacin, results in better cognition, it is acceptable to expect that larger doses are likely to be even more effective. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18987186/
Today, there is a fear that is imprinted on the minds of those over 40, regarding the dangers of high cholesterol. Over 50 percent of our brains are cholesterol. It is a necessary component of each of our brain cells that the perceived current standard of control of cholesterol levels is constantly being pushed on the unsuspecting population. Statins such as Rosuvastatin (Crestor), Lovastatin (Mevacor), Simvastatin (Zorco) and Atorvastatin (Lipitor) to name a few, make billions in profit for their companies and leave many with declining cognition. This slow downward spiral is then attributed to the inevitable age related cognitive decline. High HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) protects against dementia. The only substance that significantly elevates HDL is Niacin. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/niacin/art-20046208 You may notice in this article link provided that it lists “side effects of PRESCRIPTION Niacin”. First off, any “prescription” niacin is going to have other additives that may actually cause some of the listed side effects. These of course can be “dealt with” using ANOTHER prescription. Niacin can be purchased from reputable Health Supplement stores without a prescription and without the “side effects”. Do your own research. My Blog is only a stepping stone. Thank goodness Einstein was not prescribed statins back in his day. The world would have been devoid of his brilliance.
Alcoholism and Other Addictions
Niacin is the most important single treatment for alcoholism, and is one of the most reliable. It is safer than any of the modern psychiatric drugs. It does not work as well when alcoholics are still drinking, but in some cases, it does decrease the intake so that the cravings can be controlled. Current treatment all too often still consists of dumping patients into hospitals and letting them dry out with severe pain and suffering. When they are discharged, most go right back to the alcohol, the most dangerous and widely used street drug available without a prescription!
The alcoholic’s body needs the proper nutrients in adequate quantities to return to normal metabolic functioning. One of the co-founders of Alcoholic’s Anonymous, Bill Wilson, was among the first to benefit from niacin. After his last drink, he suffered from decades of anxiety, fatigue and some depression but was able to make his remarkable contribution, which helped millions of addicts. He began taking 1 gram after each of three meals, and was normal in two weeks. This was so surprising to him that he began promoting this to the members of AA to try it, but first he persuaded 30 of his friends. He found that 10 were well in one month, another 10 at the end of the second month and the last ten had not responded at the end of the third month.
Mr. Wilson was so impressed by these findings that he decided to share it with the doctors in AA. This association appointed a committee of three of their members who studied it and agreed it was very useful. And as always, there was opposition, this coming from the International Headquarters of AA. Mr. Wilson prepared and distributed two communications to physician members of AA. Thousands of copies were distributed. A third communication was distributed after his death. Had Mr. Wilson not died, there is no doubt that the therapeutic use of niacin, would be much further advanced than it is today.
Mr. Wilson realized in the importance of niacin in helping addicts recover from anxiety, fatigue, depression and other discomforts that they usually suffer. Which in most cases, is the basis for their use of alcohol and drugs.
Many alcoholics suffer from increase gastrointestinal permeability. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16713031/ A daily dose of 100mg of niacin returns gastrointestinal permeability back to normal when associated with abstinence and a proper diet. A healthy individual will likely not become an addict. They will drink, but in moderation. They may also try drugs but eventually decide they do not like the effect. They will therefore not become addicted to whatever removes the state of well being. For others who do become addicted, maintain the addiction to prevent the withdrawal effects. Treating addicts is a very easy principle. Simply help them get well, but not by adding still more addictive drugs, like methadone to replace heroin. Niacin is the safest and most efficient substance to achieve this.
I have provided a wealth of info on this mighty little B Vitamin affectionately known as Niacin. There are literally 100’s of clinical studies and dozens of books that tout the importance to our health with this vitamin. Please do your research and if you do have medical issues that you think niacin would help with, check with your health care practitioner or better yet, a Functional Medicine doctor. They are versed in both pharmaceuticals AND vitamins and minerals. They would not be one to tell you that “vitamins just produce expensive urine!” THAT you will only hear from a doctor that makes money writing prescriptions!
I have said it before and I will repeat it here again. Medical doctors and pharmaceuticals do have their place in our “healthcare” system. If someone is in an accident, a Naturopath is not the doctor they need. They need a trauma doctor and perhaps even a surgeon. For everyday health, you have to do your own research and find a doctor that will work WITH you!
Best of Health to You!!