Niacin (nicotinic acid, vitamin B3) may help to address the following conditions:
attention deficit disorder
A number of physicians and researchers have found niacin supplements to help symptoms commonly associated with a diagnosis of ADHD, including hyperactivity and deteriorating school performance.
cardiovascular disease
Niacin can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raise HDL (good cholesterol), reduce atherosclerotic plaque, and improve circulation. To be effective in reversing cardiovascular disease, the vitamin must be administered in large doses that have the potential to cause liver damage. Consequently, high dose niacin therapy is best administered and monitored by a physician trained in its use.
Alzheimer's disease
A five and one-half year study of Chicago seniors conducted by the Rush Institute for Health Aging in Chicago, found that patients with low niacin intake are 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those with high intake. Patients with high niacin intake also had much slower mental decline than those with low intake.
anxiety
Niacin and niacinamide both have tranquilizing effects, helpful in the treatment of anxiety.
arthritis
Several of today's alternative medicine physicians cite the experience of Dr. William Kaufman in support of niacinamide's effectiveness in treating degenerative arthritis. Divided doses totalling 1500 to 4000 mg daily were often required to improve joint mobility in Kaufman's patients. Reports suggest that results may be apparent beginning in two to six weeks, and that improvement may continue for two to three years, with continued supplementation. Dr. Jonathan C. Wright reports that he has found niacinamide especially effective in treating degenerative arthritis in the knees.
ataxia
Niacinamide deficiency is associated with ataxia, the staggering and a loss of balance unrelated to dizziness.
atherosclerosis
Arthritis patients treated with large doses of niacinamide have experienced a gradual return of transparency to the walls of their retinal blood vessels. This is remarkable, because the loss of transparency is commonly used as an index to the progression of atherosclerosis.
bad breath
Niacin has been reported to help eliminate bad breath.
blood pressure (high)
By dilating blood vessels, niacin has an immediate blood pressure-lowering effect.
brain fog
Niacin is essential for a healthy brain and nervous system. Research suggests that niacinamide can help reduce the adverse effects of a stroke up to two hours after the event.
Meniere's disease
Niacin may gently, effectively reverse vertigo and other symptoms in people with Meniere's disease.
migraine
Niacin may help to prevent migraines.
dementia
Niacin deficiency, or pellagra, is characterized by the "three D's" of dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. The vitamin is integral to the process by which red blood cells carry oxygen to the brain.
depression
Niacinamide deficiency results in depression, anxiety, and personality changes including excessive startle reaction. The vitamin's mild sedative effect may be particularly helpful in cases of anxious depression.
diabetes
Type I diabetics who supplement regularly with niacinamide require smaller injections of insulin. In a study of 56 adults diagnosed with type I diabetes, daily supplements of 75 mg per kilogram of body weight improved subjects' ability to produce insulin and protected the pancreas from harm. Doses this large are best supervised by a health professional.
emotional disorders
Niacin deficiency can result in profound emotional disturbance. Some cases of schizophrenia have responded to high-dose niacin supplements.
lung disease
Treatment with a combination of niacin and taurine can reduce lung fibrosis ordinarily caused by the chemotherapy agent bleomycin.
digestive disorders
Niacin plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, and has been used to treat digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion. Niacin stimulates production of hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for proper digestion.
insomnia
Niacin is a natural tranquilizer, and helps induce sleep when given in relatively large doses.
joint disorders/pain
Niacinamide has produced dramatic improvement in joint disorders, according to some reports.
knee pain
Several of today's alternative medicine physicians cite the experience of Dr. William Kaufman in support of niacinamide's effectiveness in treating degenerative arthritis. Divided doses totalling 1500 to 4000 mg daily were often required to improve joint mobility in Kaufman's patients. Reports suggest that results may be apparent beginning in two to six weeks, and that improvement may continue for two to three years, with continued supplementation. Dr. Jonathan C. Wright reports that he has found niacinamide especially effective in treating degenerative arthritis in the knees. Doses this large carry some risk of liver toxicity and are best supervised by a health professional.
muscle weakness
Niacinamide deficiency can result in muscle weakness, fatigability and pain that improves with supplementation.
nervous irritability
Niacinamide deficiency is associated with excessive startle reaction to noise and excessive fear of physical injury; mild depression or agitation in elderly people; and many other symptoms which may be relieved with supplementation of the vitamin.
nervous system disorders
Niacin is necessary for healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. A deficiency in niacinamide results in such neurological symptoms as excessive startle reaction to noise, impaired balance, and numbness, tingling and paresthesias -- all of which are relieved with supplements of the vitamin.
osteoarthritis
Several physician-authors cite the experience of Dr. William Kaufman in support of niacinamide's effectiveness in treating degenerative arthritis. Kaufman reported that results may be apparent beginning in two to six weeks, and that improvement may continue for two to three years, with continued supplementation of 1500 to 4000 mg daily (a dose that should be medically supervised). Dr. Jonathan C. Wright reports that he has found niacinamide especially effective in treating degenerative arthritis in the knees.
pellagra
Pellagra is the extreme niacin deficiency syndrome consisting of "the four D's": dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death.
schizophrenia
In an early double-blind trial, 3 g of niacin per day doubled recovery in schizophrenic patients as evidenced by a 50% reduction in hospitalization rates. Discharged patients who continued to take a vitamin combination including 4 g of niacin had a 50% lower rate of readmission. More recent studies have not replicated these results. Some have speculated that niacin is helpful primarily for patients with subclinical niacin deficiency, which can present symptoms (such as auditory hallucinations) resembling those of schizophrenia.
skin disorders
Niacin deficiency can lead to skin infections, canker sores, and a thick, darkly pigmented rash that appears with exposure to the sun.
tongue symptoms
Niacinamide deficiency can result in adverse changes in the tongue membrane and muscles controlling the tongue. A red, sore tongue can indicate niacin deficiency, as can a condition known as geographic tongue.
Tourette syndrome
Tourette's syndrome has been reversed by supplementation with nicotinic acid. High doses are required to reverse disease symptoms, and patients must be monitored to prevent niacin-induced hepatitis.
triglycerides
Niacin can cut triglycerides by as much as 20 to 40% while raising HDL, the body's "good cholesterol." These results were reported for daily doses of 100 mg, gradually increasing to a maintenance dose of 1000 mg daily. These higher doses may be best monitored by a health professional.
dizziness
Niacinamide deficiency is associated with balance problems, and niacin supplements have reduced symptoms of vertigo associated with Meniere's syndrome.
diarrhea
Niacin plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, and has been used to treat digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion. Niacin stimulates production of hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for proper digestion.
stroke
Research suggests that niacinamide can help reduce the adverse effects of a stroke up to two hours after the event.
cancer
Treatment with a combination of niacin and taurine can reduce lung fibrosis ordinarily caused by the chemotherapy agent bleomycin.
high cholesterol
Niacin can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raise HDL (good cholesterol), reduce atherosclerotic plaque, and improve circulation. To be effective in reversing cardiovascular disease, the vitamin must be administered in large doses that have the potential to cause liver damage. Consequently, high dose niacin therapy is best administered and monitored by a physician trained in its use.
geographic tongue
Niacinamide deficiency can result in adverse changes in the tongue membrane and muscles controlling the tongue. A red, sore tongue can indicate niacin deficiency, as can a condition known as geographic tongue.
 

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