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!
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!
There 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
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?
In this section, we will take a closer look at each type of Niacin to see what you think will work best for you.
Immediate 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
Vitamin 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.
Please share if you have found this information helpful to you in any way!
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