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Niacin for Anxiety and other Benefits

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posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 04:29 PM
Some are familiar with the vitamin Niacin or vitamin B3. What you may not know are some of the purported benefits of Niacin and how it is said to help with anxiety, depression, among other things.

Niacin, also called vitamin B3, is needed for DNA repair, synthesis of steroidal hormones and energy metabolism within the body. A strong property of niacin is its ability to relax the muscle tissue composing arteries, which increases their diameter. This process, called vasodilation, leads to increased blood flow and reduced blood pressure. According to “Biochemistry of Human Nutrition,” niacin also raises blood levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol, and reduces levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, which further improves cardiovascular health. Perhaps most important with respect to anxiety, niacin is an antidote to adrenaline, which is often over-produced in those experiencing anxiety.

Niacin has been shown to correct levels of cholesterol (good choleseterol vs bad cholesterol) as mentioned above. In addition, Niacin can help with adrenal response. For those with anxiety we know all too well the feeling of over stimulation of the adrenal glands and the perceived fight or flight response.

While these benefits are noted as valid by some sources, the FDA does not recognize Niacin as a treatment for anxiety or depression. Also, it is important to recognize that proper dosage is key, as too much Niacin can induce what is known as "flushing" where the skin warms and can feel irritated. This can cause an adverse reaction and actually increase anxiety, so proper dosage is important.

According to “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition,” it is possible that niacin’s ability to increase blood flow, reduce blood pressure, eliminate excess adrenaline and regulate hormones could contribute to feelings of relaxation in those who are stressed. However, niacin is not considered a valid treatment for anxiety or depression by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the American Medical Association. Further, higher doses of niacin often lead to “flushing,” an uncomfortable redness, itchiness and mild burning that's due to widespread vasodilation of blood vessels beneath the skin. Ironically, niacin flushing might actually increase anxiety in those who take too much.

Niacin also is reported to assist with sleep, although more research is needed with respect to this potential benefit.

The link below shows several testimonials by people with diagnosed depression and their experiences with Niacin if you are interested:

Cheers and take care out there.
edit on 20-9-2016 by OneGoal because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 05:33 PM
Catching on (niacin fire) is no pleasant thing, I promise you, it is quite painful for up to a half hour. You really do go hot potato for a while.

posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 05:39 PM

originally posted by: Plotus
Catching on (niacin fire) is no pleasant thing, I promise you, it is quite painful for up to a half hour. You really do go hot potato for a while.

Quite right. Proper dosage is important with Niacin without a doubt.

posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 06:30 PM
Hi OneGoal.
I have suffered with depression, anxiety and panic disorder in the past. I did try it along with choline and inositol last year although only for 8 weeks as I did not feel any effect. A naturopathic practitioner on another forum often mentions that supplements can take many months before you see any effect.

Since then I have been using a website,, which compiles all the scientific evidence on supplements. Here is the link for niacin.


As you can see the evidence is very strong for raising HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL and triglycerides but no evidence relating to depression or anxiety.

The naturopath I mentioned recommends ashwaganda for GAD and there is evidence it does reduce anxiety on the examine website


Hope this is useful.

ETA I read in the Independant today that a new study has found a link with GAD and cancer in men but not in women.

Anxious men 'twice as likely to die from cancer'

edit on 20-9-2016 by Morrad because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 06:59 PM
a reply to: Morrad

Absolutely useful. Thanks for the link and information.

The constituents of depression and anxiety are complex and dependent upon a variety of variables. Identifying the actual effects of certain vitamins and minerals on depression and anxiety is certainly difficult, especially considering the uniqueness of each person.

posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 10:16 PM
Also, it's used to treat the side effects of Metformin which is being used to treat Type II diabetes. I have this from exposure to Agent Orange from the SEA War and take 50mg daily. I was not aware of its other treatment uses so a flag for the thread. Many thanks and my best,

posted on Sep, 20 2016 @ 11:05 PM
a reply to: OneGoal

And now you know why smokers find smoking so beneficial! Nicotinic Acid or Niacin . Good old Vitamin B. The same stuff they add as a supplement to bread.

And smokers get a dose with every puff!

To the OP - you are completely correct on the benefits.

Tired of Control Freaks

posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 07:50 AM
Never heard about Niacin, gotta check it. As for alternatives, I took Atomoxetine for some period, it was rather helpful . Honestly, hope never to come back to experience ADHD.
edit on 21-9-2016 by LeePalmer555 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2016 @ 06:51 PM
Im interested is this a otc vitamin?

posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 07:14 AM
a reply to: Antwonzilla


Tired of Control Freaks

posted on Oct, 25 2016 @ 05:24 PM
Exercise prevents depression by releasing endorphins the natural way.

posted on Oct, 25 2016 @ 09:22 PM
a reply to: theteacher

I can't even imagine one human ailment that isn't helped by exercise. But if exercise is all it takes, why do we have a billion dollar Big Pharma industry for the treatment of depression?

Tired of Control freaks

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