Niacin is another name for Vitamin B3. When Niacin is ingested in its pure form a flush occurs not too long after. This Flush is caused by a 14 to 1200 times increase in prostaglandin (PGD2) as well as increases of 9 alpha and 11 beta-PGF2 at skin level. For some, this is the desired effect since many people believe the flush itself has beneficial health effects. For others, its a inconvenient side effect that many would like to avoid. Different forms of Niacin like, slow release or flush-free forms are available to minimize the chance of the famous flush. The downside to these modified counterparts is the amount of niacin absorbed can be greatly reduced. But whether you are taking niacin to experience the flush or taking it for other reasons, there are risks. If you are taking B3 for any reason you should know about all the Niacin flush side effects you might encounter.
Top Niacin Flush Side Effects:
The #1 most common side effect when taking Niacin was of course the flush itself. But this of course is not a secret and is to be expected. Another side effect noted in scientific studies was gastrointestinal upset or also called upset stomach. About 30% of patients suffered from this side effect. Other less serious niacin flush side effects included things like chills and itching. At correct dosages no apparent life threatening niacin flush side effects have been noticed. One case of massive overdose in the amount of 11 grams of niacin resulted in a patient having persistent hypotension (low blood pressure) and needed to be hospitalized. Other then low blood pressure, no other niacin flush side effects were observed.
How To Avoid The Niacin Flush?
As i stated before, various forms of niacin are sold to minimize the chances of a flush. But if you are still experiencing flushing either with modified forms or pure niacin you can do things to help. The easiest thing to do is take niacin with food. Taking niacin on an empty stomach will increase the risk for all the niacin flush side effects stated above. Another effective method is taking an aspirin or ibuprofen to offset the niacin flush. Finally, studies show building a tolerance to niacin by taking a consistent dose for a long period of time can minimize or eliminate flushing altogether.
Does Niacin Increase Bleeding Risk?
Is blood thinning on the niacin flush side effect list? The answer is no. A study showed that niacin did not increase the bleeding time and had no meaningful alteration on platelet function.
What Is Niacin Proven to Treat?
CANCER: Of course data shows niacin possibly prevents against cancer. However, Niacin by itself has never been tested on cancer patients. But when Niacin, Coenzyme Q10, and Riboflavin was given to breast cancer patients taking Tamoxifen, pro-angiogenic markers were lower then with Tamoxifen alone.
CHOLESTEROL: Many studies have shown that niacin reduces heart disease and effectively lowers bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In many cases niacin performed just as well as popular prescribed statins. In one study Statin plus niacin performed better then doubling dose of statin.
BLOOD PRESSURE: A study analysed 1613 patients and found niacin produced significant reductions in baseline blood pressure.
- Adverse Effects Randomized Placebo Study.
- Flushing And Adverse Effects Extended Release.
- Phase 3 Trials Low Rates of Drug Discontinuation.
- Massive 11 Grams Overdose Case.
- Niacin Plus Statin Vs Double Statin.
- Bleeding Time & Platelet Effect.
- Blood Pressure Lowering Effects.
- Reasoning For Flushing.
- Skin Identified As Major Site.
- Breast Cancer Angiogenic Potential.
- Breast Cancer DNA Repair.
- Breast Cancer Antioxidant Status.
- Breast Cancer CEA & CA 15-3 Levels.