What Is A Niacin Flush? HINT: It’s Not A Detox Treatment!

What Is A Niacin Flush? HINT: It’s Not A Detox Treatment!

WHAT IS A NIACIN FLUSH? HINT: It’s Not A Detox Treatment!

Niacin is one of those amazing little elements out there that creates a lot of questions for some people. Reading on, I hope to resolve that query for all who have asked themselves that very same question – What is a Niacin flush?

I remember when I first started reading about Niacin and all about its benefits. I came across the term niacin flush! Yes, just as many others, my first thought was that I had not heard of that treatment before.

As I had studied on, I realized that a Niacin flush was not a treatment or a detoxification method for the body! No, it wasn’t that at all, and it’s definitely not a few cards dealt to you in a card game either. Last, it does not mean flushing Niacin down the toilet! So, what is it?!?

Are you curious? Do you want to know if it’s good, bad, dangerous, safe, among other things? If so, then come on and follow me. I’d like to take you on a journey that will allow you to discover what a Niacin flush is and lots more!

Are you in?


GETTING THE FACTS ON FLUSHING!American Standard Toilet Stock Photo w Niacin


I’m going to give it to you straight up – A Niacin flush is a SIDE EFFECT! A harmless, safe, side effect that tells you, you have started taking Niacin at too high of a dose!

First of all, Niacin, aka – vitamin B3, has been known, for many years – even decades, to help with, and even eliminate, tons of different health issues. To name a few, there is arthritis, cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease, memory loss, and many, many other problems.

To learn more about the positive effects of Niacin, and information on dosages, ailments, and more click here.

Even though a Niacin induced flush is safe and harmless, many people have been scared away, either by hearing others talk about their negative experiences, or the individual has experienced it themselves in a negative way.

The flushing usually happens to those of us who don’t take the time to learn about the different types and forms of Niacin beforehand, as well as how we should be taking it.

Also having a negative experience, are those who do not follow instructions. There are also those who take Niacin without understanding, or maybe don’t even know about the possible flushing effect. So, I’m glad you’re here, reading and learning about Niacin and how it can help you without having to endure a negative experience!

Moving on, I want to express that Niacin is vital for over fifty different processes in our bodies, and mainly because of its enzymatic functions, it is essential for maintaining our health!

You should NOT be afraid of it! Just read on through, so that you fully understand.

Have you ever just sat around with friends and family and all the sudden you start feeling a bit overheated, or like your face is turning red and hot? A Niacin flush might feel similar to that depending on how high of dose you have started at! A Niacin flush may also feel, to some, like a sun burn or an allergic reaction, which isn’t an allergic reaction at all!

The flushing typically starts on the face and scalp, moving its way around the upper body to the chest and arms. Although not typical, it can cover the entire body. While leaving the skin red and warm, the burning, and sometimes itching sensation usually lasts only about 10 to 15 minutes. However, note that the duration truly depends on the severity, and has been known to last up to 2 hours.


Know your stuff – prevent the flush!


Niacin Flush Head on FireThere are three main reasons why people get a Niacin flush.

1. Using a high quality, clean, pure, immediate release type of Niacin. This is good though! You should always use a clean, high grade when using supplements.

2. Starting out with too high of a dose (500 mg).

3. Not eating before taking Niacin. You should only take Niacin with or after a meal. This will help keep you from flushing.


…higher doses of niacin can cause an intense flushing or “prickly heat” sensation to the face and upper body usually 15-30 minutes after taking a relatively large dose (e. g. 500 mg).

– Rob Gair BSc (Pharm) CSPI


The key to reducing or eliminating your chances of getting the Niacin flush is to always start your dose at a low level, like 50 mg, and work your way up from there over a short period of time until you have built up a tolerance.



First week – 50 mg per day
Second week – 100 mg per day, and so on.


By slowly increasing your dose, this will allow you to build a tolerance to the Niacin, which will prevent the flush from occurring.


Let’s take a quick look at how the flush actually works




Did you get the flush??


If you’ve gotten the Niacin flush in the past, or are wanting to start taking Niacin, but are afraid you will be the lucky one to get the flush, there’s good news!

There are a few ways to get rid of the flush or at least calm the effects of the flush.

1. You can drink extra water. Make sure it’s “clean, filtered” water and not tap water. Drinking water in general is a great way to remove toxins from your body. However, drinking tap water can actually add toxins back in to your body!

2. Take an aspirin. About 30 minutes before you take the Niacin, take an aspirin. It will help reduce the flushing affect.

3. An antihistamine can be taken, If necessary, until your Niacin tolerance level develops.

4. Take a detox bath. You can alleviate the discomfort of the Niacin flush by taking a detox bath.

Although all of these methods do work, it is always best to try and stick with the healthiest, most natural way when addressing a flush, or preventing it from occurring. Clean, whole food and clean, purified water are key!


Foods that convert to Niacin


Foods That Convert To Niacin


To get ahead of the game, here is a small list of foods that convert to Niacin naturally:

Green peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, beets, butternut squash, winter squash, pumpkin, okra, corn, parsnip, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, brown rice, along with brewer’s yeast, dairy, eggs, tuna, turkey, chicken breast, and grass-fed beef.

Note, to reach a high enough dose that has been shown to improve or achieve changes in cholesterol, a supplement may be needed.


Which one is right for you?

Niacin comes in different types and forms. It can be in the form of a tablet, a capsule, and even a powder form!

In this section, we will take a closer look at each type of Niacin to see what you think will work best for you.

Niacin Powder ManufacturerImmediate Release is delivered to the body in a short burst making the flushing reaction more intense. This is the one you would need to build a tolerance to by starting with a lower dose (50 mg) as described above.

No Flush / Flush Free contains something called Inositol Nicotinate, which the body converts to niacin. Evidence shows that this particular one does not provide the body with enough Niacin, and would not offer beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. The lack of converted Niacin is more likely the reason there is no flushing.

Time Release / Sustained Release is not recommended, and has been found to cause severe liver damage.

Extended Release – Niaspan® is a prescription Niacin product. It releases niacin slowly, over a short period of time allowing less chance of liver damage. This option does show positive effects of cholesterol levels with reduced flushing.

After looking at each one of these types, it’s quite plain to see which one of them seems to be the better choice.

Most importantly, with the immediate release, you would not need to be concerned with getting enough Niacin.  Also, if you have read through the article and learned how to gradually build your tolerance level up, you would not need to worry about the flush as much. Finally, putting all concerns to rest, your liver should not become damaged!

So ask yourself – Which do you think seems to be the better one for you?


The Final Flush


Niacin Flush Royal Flush Card GameVitamin B3-Niacin, has way too many positive effects to just flush the idea down the toilet only because you are scared that you will “flush” yourself! =)

The Niacin flush is a safe and harmless side effect that happens when you’ve started out with too high of a dose of Niacin. No matter the degree of the flush, it will dissipate!

It takes time to overcome the reoccurring flushes, as your body will slowly build resistance toward the B3 vitamin.

There are several ways to prevent and treat a Niacin flush, but eating clean, whole foods and drinking clean, purified water is the more healthy way to accomplish this.

There are many foods that the body uses to convert to Niacin, which allows the most natural way for a daily dose. When trying to overcome a health issue, you may need to add a vitamin B3 supplement.

You have options when it comes to choosing your type and form of supplement. Immediate release, Flush free, Time release, and Extended release (Rx). The choice is yours!

Last, but not least, you should always consult with your doctor before taking supplements, especially if you are taking prescription medication.


Share Thoughts Comments QuestionsPlease share if you have found this information helpful to you in any way!
Please leave your comment below if you have any questions, or experience that you’d like to share, as well as any feedback that you feel might be helpful. I would be honored to receive them!
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Thanks so much.

– Paula



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26 thoughts on “What Is A Niacin Flush? HINT: It’s Not A Detox Treatment!”

  • I Love this info. Every day I feel like we are starting to become more aware of what we are putting into our bodies and what is best for our bodies. Information like this is always welcome. I honestly could never really define the flush you are speaking of so its great to know what it is, why it happens, and how to prevent it. Thank you!

    • Hi Kayla and thank you for visiting the garden! I appreciate you taking time out of your day to share you thoughts on “What Is A Niacin Flush?”. We definitely are, as a whole, coming to a point of knowledge and awareness. It’s great! Also, I’m so glad to know that you were able to see what the flush is, why it happens and how you can prevent it from happening! Thanks again! =) Paula

  • Hi Paula!

    I’ve just got the flush earlier today and I am glad that I came across your website to see what was I doing wrong. Thank you for raising awareness about the high dosage and about the fact that you should only take Niacin with or after a meal. Next time if I will get the flush, I will make sure to follow your tips to drink more water and take an aspirin.

    Keep up with the good work!

    • Hi Andrei and thanks so much for stopping by! So glad you were able to get some helpful tips from my recent article, “What Is A Niacin Flush”. It is very pleasing to know, when you write, you are actually teaching others and helping them to understand new things! There is another article on Niacin that would be helpful to you as well, explaining what it is and lots of positive effects it has on our health! Check it out when you get a minute or two. Thanks so much Andrei. I look forward to seeing you again here at the garden! =) Paula

  • It’s articles like these that educate the regular consumer about all the things that we put in our bodies! Thank you for the enlightening information here and the specific instructions to how to take this products, especially for a first time user like me.
    Now, I prefer to get all my nutrients through food, instead of supplements. Is it possible to get a niacin flush from just overeating niacin-rich foods?

    • Hi Andrea! First, to answer your awesome question, I don’t believe you can over do niacin-rich foods. At least if you can, I haven’t seen it, nor have I read anything about that possibility – but it’s something to look deeper into. I too am more for getting nutrition from the foods we eat. In the article I talked about just a small tidbit. The one exception is if you are needing more than food can provide in order to eliminate an illness, etc. Then you would need to “add” a supplement to reach the dose needed for healing. SO anyway, I am so excited that you were able to stop in and read about the niacin flush. It’s all pretty amazing. Also, thanks so much for taking the time to leave your comment. It is greatly appreciated! =) Paula

  • I never heard of Niacin Flush before. Indeed I can understand that people could have tought of it as a detox. Very nice post. I enjoyed learning about Niacin.

  • I have gotten the flush before but it wasn’t from taking Niacin. I wonder though if it’s too do with the many processes that you said about that go on in your body.

    Anyway, I haven’t heard of Niacin before but it certainly does sound like it could help me. I always follow instructions and I agree that it is also important to do this with medication.

    Thank you for covering all that I need to know about Niacin, it was very informative. I think that I should better consult my doctor before I start using it.

    • Hi Owain! Thanks so much for coming by the garden today. Yes, one should ALWAYS check with their doctor first, before starting anything new even if it is just a vitamin. Sometimes when you’re taking medication, other things can interfere! So glad you found the article and have learned about a new supplement. Niacin is vitamin B3, one of the many B vitamins available. Thanks for your comment and again, thanks for stopping by =). Paula

  • Very interesting article! I had never heard of a niacin flush before this article. One would think that certain vitamins and supplements are good for you but even good things can harm you if you overdose on them or use them improperly. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi! Thanks so much for commenting!! Fortunately, if you look back in the article, you will notice it states that niacin is not harmful, but rather a safe and harmless side effect. I’m not sure using the term overdose is appropriate because Niacin is not a dangerous drug, nor is it a dangerous supplement. There’s a difference in side effect and an overdose.

      Most people just aren’t aware that the immediate release type is pure Niacin, so they take a regular dose, and most feel the flush effect. This is what the article is about; to inform what a Niacin flush is, how to prevent it, treat it and the options to choose from.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on the Niacin flush! :o) Paula

      • Thank you for the post. We always thought vitamins had a great impact on our health, but did not know that Niacin had a side effect. Happy to know it is safe and harmless! Thank you for the enlightenment.

        • Hi Luise! Thanks so much for stopping by the garden and sharing your thoughts on What is a Niacin flush?!
          So glad you found it helpful and enlightening!
          Thanks so much for taking the time to visit! Hope to see you again soon. – Paula

  • Hi Paula, thanks for this blog. My dad used to take Niacin quit a few years back. I remember him talking about the flush that he would feel after taking the Niacin. I started taking Niacin 500 a while back, I don’t take it now, but I would take the flush free or the no flush and never had any issues with it. I never heard of this. You stated in your blog, “There are several ways to prevent and treat a Niacin flush, but eating clean, whole foods and drinking clean, purified water is the more healthy way to accomplish this.” I wish I had known this when dad had his problems with Niacin.

    Great blog! Very informative!

    All the best to you,

    • Hey Don! Thanks so much for the comment and sharing your experience here at the garden! The best idea, if taking Niacin/ Vitamin B3, is to start at a lower dose IF you are taking the immediate release Niacin.

      Using whole, fresh, clean food and water is always the #1 way to accomplish anything really when it comes to health. Its just learning what to do and use when certain things arise! I truly believe that if we eat the way we were intended to eat from the “beginning”, we would not need to be concerned with supplements, medicines, or anything like that.

      In today’s world, we have information at our fingertips that can completely change our lives for the better. It’s so awesome.

      I’m so glad you found this information helpful, and I too wish your dad could have known how to prevent the flushing. Niacin is a very beneficial vitamin for the body!

      Anyway, thanks so much Don. I enjoyed your comment. :o) Paula

  • I’ve not heard about Niacin flush before this. It’s very interesting! Does it only affect those that are on Niacin supplements? I think I would take the ‘Immediate release” supplement if I were to try it. Thanks for sharing this information!

    • Hi Yvonne! It’s great to have you here at the garden! Glad you were able to get the info on Niacin.

      Yes, actually the immediate release is the particular one you should start off at a lower dose and built a tolerance to it. The others don’t really affect you like the immediate release because there is not enough actual Niacin in there to cause it. With immediate release, it’s all Niacin which is the main reason it does create a flush. If you have a chance, watch the little video again. It’s super informative.

      Also, if you go to my home page, you will find a WONDERFUL video in the sidebar, where David Favor talks about immediate release niacin and how to use the powder form so you do not flush. It’s called The Radical Health Rap – Niacin Magic; it’s fantastic.

      Last, immediate release would be my personal choice as well! :o) Anyway, again, thanks so much for visiting the garden and sharing your thoughts on Niacin! It’s been a great pleasure to have you! – Paula

  • Thanks for sharing this post, Paula. Recently my doctor diagnosed me with borderline high cholesterol. She put me on a regimen of exercise and diet consisting of oats, green leafy vegetables and fish oils. After reading this and other related articles on your site, now I will ask her if I should also add Niacin as well. I’m sure it can’t hurt. I’m willing to try any and everything. And I’ll be sure to take your advice to avoid the Niacin flushing side effect.

    • Thanks so much Kevon for sharing your situation. It always helps to see others having the same issues and what they’re doing about it. Kudos to you for considering Niacin advice from your physician! That’s awesome. Definitely, if you do start on Niacin, it’s a great idea to read up as you have. It makes a great prevention for health issues :o). Thanks so much for visiting the garden, and also for a great comment. Until next time Kevon… Paula :o)

  • I have to honestly tell you I had no idea what Niacin was before reading your article. I have heard of vitamin B3 but didn’t know what it is for. You have great information in this post, the video about the flush is excellent. I just might have to supplement this into my diet. It’s always nice to find out more about what might be lacking in my diet. You have done a lot of research, and this post is fantastic. I will check your site for other, related posts. Thanks!

    • Thank you Steve, for such a wonderful comment! I do have a related post that would definitely interest you! It’s titled, ” Why Take Niacin? It Is Amazingly Powerful & It Has Provided Many Positive Effects! “.

      I first learned about Niacin myself when I watched a documentary called Feed The Head, with Dr Abram Hoffer. It was super amazing and is what lead me on my initial journey with Niacin. Once I started digging, I didn’t want to stop, haha. I’m excited that you were able to acquire new knowledge from this article.

      Make yourself at home, browse around and if you have any questions about any article, just drop me a comment! Thanks again Steve! :o)

      – Paula

  • Hi Paula!
    This is another great article. I have not heard anyone talk about the Niacin flush for years. I first learned about this after having a reaction to Advil, of all things! I think it was something in the coating or just a weird reaction, but I had all the symptoms described. My friend, who is a nutrition geek, told me that my reaction is the same as a niacin flush; itching, burning and redness from my chest up. It did not last long, but it sure made want to learn more about niacin!
    Because Niacin has so many great health benefits, do you recommend taking Niacin alone or do you think it works better in combination with the other B vitamins?

    • Hi Irma and thank you! Although I haven’t heard of this reaction happening before with Advil or any other over-the-counter type medication or supplement, while learning about Niacin flush, it was interesting to learn what the symptoms were as well as how to prevent and treat it when it does happen. As for your question, since I am not a health professional, I leave those recommendations up to the doctors, etc. As a mom and an individual, I try to only use a supplement when I feel I am not getting enough through the different foods. Currently, I do take Niacin, and I do take it without other B vitamins. It would depend on what you are wanting to accomplish… whether its a health issue, or just making sure you are getting sufficient daily doses. I hope this has answered the question for you. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, as well as your friends diagnosis :o). Good to know that kind of info! Last, I want to say I am super happy that you found this article enjoyable to read as well as helpful! Thank you for visiting the garden once again Irma. It’s always great to have you here! :o) – Paula

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