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  • Tim Rees

How to Take 'Flushing' Niacin B3 (Nicotinic Acid)

Discovering this form of niacin has been a boon for my skin and inner ear issues. But, this article is just a 'how to' titrate up to 500mg per day without getting a very uncomfortable, but harmless, flush (reddening and heating of the skin whilst simultaneously feeling cold inside).


What you'll need:

  • If you're choosing the powder you'll need to measure the doses out with some proper pharmaceutical measuring tools and/or an accurate scale in order to titrate effectively. Or:

  • Choose a low dose, either 50 or 100mg capsule, depending on how fast you want to go and if you want to avoid an uncomfortable flush.

  • Choose the 500mg capsule for long term daily use.

  • Choose a B-complex—B vitamins work together, when you take a high dose of one, you need the others to act as co-factors. I highly recommend taking the B complex along with the niacin in order for it to perform well and prevent depleting your other B vitamins.

Note: Some of these are affiliate links. I never over-promote products or promote products I have no experience with.

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Notes

Plain niacin is not an expensive supplement, but this is a cheaper still. It needs to be carefully measured out.

Less flushing effects, but slower to get to 500 mg.

Faster climbing to 500 mg.

Simple x1 daily pill

B-complex (££)

B-complex (££)

V good quality.

Lower doses of some B vits, approaching half in some cases.

Note: Make sure the form you buy is nicotinic acid. Packaging doesn't always state the form, but if it says 'flushing' then it's right. Don't buy timed release / slow release etc. Pure unadulterated nicotinic acid is what you want.


How to titrate upwards:

  • Day 1: Take 50 or 100mg depending on whichever you've chosen.

  • Take the B complex every day that you take niacin. (One of the PURE version or two of the Igennus brand). Check your other supplements, if relevant for B-vitamins and make sure you're not taking too much.

  • Day 2: If you didn't experience an uncomfortable flush, increase by one. If you did and don't want a stronger reaction, take the same dose as the day before. With every day the flush will weaken depending on when you take it i.e. on an empty stomach, or with a meal.

  • Days continuing: Add another one each day unless you're staying at the same level for a day or two to prevent the flushing. Continue up until you reach 500mg per day.


 

When to take it?

The timing is up to you, but remember you may go bright red. If you take it on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning for example, the flush comes quickly and may last as long as 45 mins. When your stomach is full, the flush may be delayed by an hour or so. So, if you're heading out and don't want to look like a beetroot, either take the titration slowly or try and time things well.


Everyone's experience is a little different, but remember the flush is harmless but can get uncomfortable if you race ahead or suddenly change the timing i.e. go from taking it with food to taking it on an empty stomach one day.


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