T Nation

Niacin

What is it? What’s it do? I’ve heard it’s becoming the new wonder supplement. I’ve also heard it can be dangerous. I noticed its sold in 500-1000mg tablets. My quick research yielded so many results that I can’t possible wade through 65000 internet links so I’m just trying to be pragmatic and get the goods from someone here who may have tried it.

Thanks.
Sir Lixalot.

Niacin has been used for years. Its nothing special.

Yeah, it’s been around for a while. It’s also in Hot Rox. Many use it to lower cholesterol levels, and it’s also contained in various “performance enhancing products” (i.e. bedroom performance). When I worked at GNC we sold a ton of it to people looking to pass a UA. I even knew a couple people who would pop it before workouts swearing it gave them better workouts. Beware the “niacin flush” though.

What he means is not taking a regular B supplement, nowdays (in Canada) people are getting “flooded” with it, to the point where their skin peels and sweats funny colors, sort of like detoxification. Except lots of other vitamins and minerals get shoved out of your system too, and you have to mega supplement with others after the procedure.

I have a friend into holistic health that does this. I think it is crazy. B vitamins are toxic in large amounts, aren’t they? I have no idea why someone would want to do this, there are plenty of safer detoxifying methods that work slower. Maybe more knowledgeable people can chime in.

B vitamins (and C) are also water soluble.

Niacin has been used in competitive bodybuilding circles for a long time ni an effort to increase vascularity, which it does.

However, some people get very itchy and red. The timing is also very individual.

500mg taken at once on an empty stomach does a good job of increasing vascularity from my experience.

100mg taken 4x/day with food can raise HDL levels fairly significantly. For this purpose it makes a great follow-up to an androgen cycle.

Anything over 750mg-1000mg at once runs a risk in flushing the skin and making you look like you’ve been rolling around naked in poison ivy. But hey, maybe that’s the look you’re going for.