Q&As About Vitamin B3

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Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Q&As About Vitamin B3

Does niacinamide cause a flush?

No. Flushing does not occur with niacinamide because it acts on the macrocirculatory system comprising the heart and large blood vessels. On the other hand, niacin—a separate form of vitamin B3—acts on microcirculation; the small blood vessels and capillaries that make up your microcirculatory system are notably closer to the surface of the skin, which cause some people to flush when they take niacin.

Can niacinamide be taken with other forms of vitamin B3, such as niacin, without worrying about overdosing?

Yes. As I just mentioned above, niacin and niacinamide work on different circulatory systems and have their own unique benefits, making it important to take both. This is why I insisted on including both forms of B3 when I was designing my own multivitamin formula.

What is the status of research on niacinamide and Alzheimers in humans?

The same university that conducted the mice research study—the University of California at Irvine—started a trial in January 2008 to determine whether niacinamide is safe and effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The trial still is enrolling participants and is scheduled to finish in January of 2010. For now, I haven’t heard about any published preliminary results from that study, but I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground for any news, and you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Could adding curcumin improve niacinamide’s effectiveness against Alzheimers?

I have written repeatedly about the many benefits of curcumin—the compound responsible for turmeric’s yellowish-orange color and distinctive smell—including its protective effects against Alzheimer’s. Although Alzheimer’s remains one of the more baffling diseases facing modern medicine, one theory is that this condition is caused by inflammation in the brain. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties shown to be beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s, and it certainly couldn’t hurt to take it along with niacinamide for potentially even more protection. However, there has not been any research linking curcumin with the treatment of Alzheimer’s, unlike the study of niacinamide, which showed beneficial effects in treating mice that already had Alzheimer’s.

Would a time-released version of niacinamide work as well as the more-frequently dosed regular niacinamide, and are there any health concerns associated with taking time-released niacinamide?

Currently, I am unaware of the existence of a time-released niacinamide product. However, I do know that there have been problems linked to time-released niacin products. Niacinamide research has shown this form of B3 is most effective in multiple doses of 250 mg doses over the course of the day, with the total daily dosage adjusted from 1,500 to 4,000 mg, depending on severity of condition.

What kinds of tests should your doctor perform to monitor your health if you’re following a niacinamide dosing regimen?

You shouldn’t need monitoring if you’re taking the recommended doses as there has never been any reported problems with niacinamide in the decades of literature on the subject.

What, if any, are the risks associated with long-term niacinamide therapy?

There are no known risks with long-term niacinamide therapy.

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