Niacin is a form of vitamin B3 and in high enough doses gives the well known sensation called the “Niacin Flush”. This is a sensation of blushing and prickling over the face and body and in some people may last 30 minutes.
The amount of Niacin needed to get the Niacin flush depends on the individual – I have taken 100 mg of Niacin daily for decades and never had one flush. One day I may take a few extra pills and find out!
The Niacin flush happens because Niacin produces vasodilation or an opening and broadening of the blood vessels in the skin.
What Does Niacin in the Body Do?
Back to basics – Niacin cures Pellagra – a disease involving rough skin, diarrhoea and dementia. In fact the problems seen in Pellagra patients are similar to those in Schizophrenia and have led to treatment of Schizophrenics with high dose Niacin.
And Niacin pitches in and does the basic job of the B vitamins which is to help with the metabolism of foods and the extraction of energy from them
In addition niacin improves the fat profile in the blood – LDL being lowered and HDL increased. Why take statins which seem to have so many side effects when you can take Niacin?
OK that sounds good but what about Detox? Can Niacin Detox?
Well detoxifying alcohol is part of the job of the Liver. We evolved the ability to cope with alcohol to be able to handle fruit that ferments rapidly in a hot climate producing alcohol.
Here is how it looks as a Chemical Reaction:
In Plain English Alcohol plus Niacin changes into Ethanol and a different form of Niacin.
Or in a Chemistry equation language…
CH3CH2OH +NAD+—->CH3CH=O + NADH +H+
This is the first stage or first Phase of the detoxification of alcohol and only works if Niacin is present.
This is a specific example of Niacin being helpful in supporting the detoxification of a toxin. many other toxins are detoxified in the Liver and in this process various vitamins and minerals are used.
Niacin and vitamin C are amongst the most useful vitamins used in the liver detoxification process and zinc and magnesium are 2 of the crucial minerals.
So Niacin does help detox your body but not by causing the Niacin Flush! Niacin does not flush the toxins out of your body like water flushes “poo” out of a toilet bowl!
If Niacin gives you a flush then take it with a meal or just use divided doses but do not use timed release tablets since they seem to cause liver damage according to some reports I have seen. The natural form is best – just niacin!
To sum up…..
Niacin powers the quiet chemistry of magical transformation in the liver where poisons are made safe and our blood is purified. So the Niacin Detox works but not how most people think it works
All we have to do is eat a diet that gives the liver the niacin, vitamin C, zinc and other vitamins and minerals that it needs. Most of the claims about “Niacin Flush” are pure nonsense, but take the Niacin anyhow – I do!