Niacin: Vitamin or Pharmakia?

As I continue my own in-depth studies on each vitamin and mineral, I am continually surprised at how unique each one is. It’s like vaccines, each one has it’s own risk reward profile and should be evaluated individually, not collectively. The body makes niacin, from an amino acid found in meat, tryptophan.

“The human body can also make niacin from the amino acid tryptophan, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ”,Institutes%20of%20Health%20(NIH).

If the body makes it, should it even be an “essential” vitamin in the first place? And it has poison-like effects at high doses that concern me.

It is said that Niacin, especially niacinamide, the non flushing kind, can cause drowsiness, and help put you to sleep. At first, this appears to be a good thing. Wow, like a sleep medication, somewhat like zinc, but it’s a vitamin. But why does it have this effect? Two possibilities are each warning signs. First, it lowers three different neurotransmitters in the brain. And second, it activates the benzodiazapine reward system in the brain, like alcohol, and like benzo drugs. Both of these mechanisms of action liken niacin, in high doses, to those other poisons. In fact, niacin is supposed to help cure alcoholism, because of this similar mechanism of action. Well cigarettes also work on the body’s benzo system. They don’t seem to be a cure for alcoholism.

Niacin was first found to be essential because it could cure blisters caused by sun exposure, which were found to be caused by a diet high in corn, which was a diet deficient in niacin. That is also a protein deficient diet. (Interesting side note, sun blisters, also called porphyria, are a listed side effect of the drug hydroxychloroquine)

Niacin causes a rush of blood to the skin, so it also helps to heal a wide array of skin problems, including rashes.

Over the years, I’ve popped a niacin on occasion, and enjoyed and/or tolerated that flushing, itching sensation. I started taking more niacin more frequently about 4 years ago, because it is listed as a “co supplement” on the high iodine protocol, only at 500mg, and not very consistently, because of that flushing sensation / problem.

What I found interesting is that I started getting very tired on the high iodine protocol after my first year on it, and so I read that niacin helps to solve the problem of “adrenal fatigue”. Well, no. Niacin actually causes fatigue. Maybe it helps the adrenals, but that was not my experience.

I found that copper boosted my adrenals, gave me the energy, and prevented napping. Niacin causes napping!

About 2 months ago, I watched Andrew Saul’s 8 part free video course series on Vitamins. He pitched Abram Hoffer’s work on high dose niacin as a cure for arthritis. Since I have been a life long suffer of arthritis, but 95 to 99% cued, I decided to increase my niacin from 500 mg to the 3000 mg level, and test it out.

I also had just completed a course of the “Niacin and Sauna Detox protocol” for about 3 weeks and I was getting tired again. Then, within a few days, I switched from the flushing niacin at 500 mg, to the non flushing niacin. I never took more than 2000 mg. Usually only 1000 to 1500mg. But I just got so tired. At first, I went with it. After all, we heal when we are asleep.

But then I read how Niacin suppresses three main neurotransmitters. That was bad news. That’s a drug-like effect. Drugs are always suppressing things. That’s bad. That’s an indication that it is poison. It kind of shocked me. And I stopped taking Niacin about 3 days ago.

My second warning was that Abram Hoffer experimented with LSD. Maybe he needed niacin to cope with the after-effects of LSD, and or LSD flashbacks? Who knows. But clearly, LSD is one of the harder drugs that overstimulate the brain.

Another weird warning was that niacin stops animals and people from running. Really? I had just started running, rather, sprint training. Surely this would not happen to me. It’s mind over matter, I’ll keep running I told myself. Nope. I flat out just stopped running on high niacin. Did not feel the energy or urge to run. This was very much a drug like effect.

I believe Niacin has its place. But perhaps it should only be taken on a temporary basis, and perhaps only for emergencies. It is said that niacin can cure arthritis in a week. Then take it for a week, or until results, and try to take the minimum dose. I will say it was definitely effective for me. It certainly increased my range of motion, no doubt about that. It is said that the Niacin and Sauna detox protocol is only for a few weeks. Then stop taking it after that.

As for me… I like to be a bit of a purist. I’m debating with myself whether I should seek out a B complex formula without niacin, or lower doses of niacin. Or whether I should even take Niacin again.


  1. Fascinating. I have really been getting into niacin only 500 mg, love flushing. Much deeper rest which I love. However only strange thing I noticed was memory not as quick? Didn’t know why, now super curious if it’s the niacin? I dont want to give it up entirely but I’m going to test and see if I stop for a week then see if memory improves.

    1. I had the same thing. I could not put my finger on it exactly, but yes, loss of memory and loss of cognitive function. Just felt so tired. And kept waiting for energy that never came. One day, I left $15 of groceries in the car and they cooked. That counts as loss of memory! I was almost too embarrassed to admit it–to myself! But at least I try to eliminate that kind of pride so that I can admit things like this. I’m glad you put your finger on it exactly. As I wrote, three main neurotransmitters are suppressed with niacin. That’s not good. I’m 3-4 days “clean” from niacin, except in my multi B complex. I can feel it getting better. Far easier to write today.

      1. Wow! First, what did you buy at the grocery store LOL!!! I have never spent that much at the grocery store!!! Second, very interesting that I decided to look at your page today, I must have been meant to get this message. My job is incredibly fast paced, requires speed and accuracy and 100% most of the time, so… I was thinking to myself, wow what is wrong with me, I dont seem to be able to think on my toes per usual and I was straining to think of proper words or recall items quickly and I thought hmmm am I going through the change LOL.. funny, nope just started a few minutes ago… so anyway, I was like what is wrong with my brain lately? My brain fog went away some time ago, praise God, but I thought hmm, is the brain fog returning or am I detoxing from hella boron? LOL… then God gave me the answer through this article, thank you Father!!! anyway, it bums me out because I was using niacin for like a litte buzz haha confessions of a recovering whacko!!! This is too funny. Ok, I just read your personal health history as well, found it very interesting and really need some info for my son who has flat feet… corrective stretching or how did you fix it? Gracias!

        1. PS, so apparently my vision is going too haha, joke.. I thought you wrote 815 worth of groceries.. I was thinking ok, something real is going on here, then I laughed my ass off thinking that cant be right, you would have had to of lost consciousness to lose 815 $ worth of groceries in an economy such as this.. Im cracking myself up now! Ok, so since I was feeling so weird, I stopped all supplements on this past Saturday because I thought, maybe Im detoxing too much and so now Im off all supplements, lets see, that would be 3.5 days clean!!!

        2. For my flat feet, it was green smoothies followed by isometric stretching. So, what I did, and I focused on this for like 2 months, and I probably over did it… I drank a green smoothie and then did the stretching. Rise the heels off the floor, and push the toes into the ground. This is both a stretch, and a flex, simultaneously. Later, I discovered I only need to do this once a week, and only for 6 seconds. That is more than enough. The reason why so little is so effective is that the tendons are like the bones. They take 6-8 weeks to heal. So, over 8 weeks, you will be “damaging” them, 8 times. So while it is intense, go easy at first, and go harder as you can. A person should heal within a month, not two months, because it’s not like you are tearing them completely, just slightly aggressive stretching. I learned to let consistence and time be my friends. If you only do it 3 times over 3 months, that’s not as consistent. If you go crazy and do it 4 days in a row, you get too sore and you will stop being consistent. Lots more at

          1. You can post this or dont have to.. but, I have a question. Would you consider coaching my son for like 6 weeks, a 15 min video chat per week to mentor through process and 1st call, give history and success story? It’s kind of a sensitive subject, but I could give you 20 per session, so 120 for the deal? He has overdeveloped calfs and posture issues from flat feet…no arch. Link. Thank you.

  2. I am familiar with Hofer’s work on Niacin and schizophrenia. He treated schizophrenics with high dose niacin and claimed that many schizophrenics are niacin dependent and will not improve without it. Sadly my father only received useless and cruel treatments for his condition. I have tried it myself intermittently and find it improves my energy level. It seems that people vary quite a lot.

    1. Interesting. Good insight! For some, Niacin gives energy, others, makes sleepy. OK!

  3. Jennifer and Mahmood Bilal and I all believe that Niacin blocks copper.
    1. Jennifer started getting more grey hair after she took Niacin to heal depression, and started getting grey hair around 2010, at age 34.
    2. I felt very tired on high niacin, only 1500 mg. Copper gives me energy. But I felt that I just could not get energy from my copper.
    3. I recently read that vitamins, in general, block copper.
    4. In discussion with Mahmood, he suggested Niacin may block copper.
    5. Niacin is said to make one less anxious. Copper is said to be able to make people more anxious. Although copper made me more energized, not anxious, a subtle difference.

  4. The pieces are coming together, I mentioned above in the thread that I stopped all supplements just a couple weeks ago. Super glad too, just eating very simple nutrient dense foods, big difference. My mom always said, supplements aren’t natural, get nutrients from food or herbs. Interesting thread, I took one niacin since I stopped all supplements and took the activated charcoal, right after the flush. So, what about Borax, off that too for the time being. I took my first copper supplements in 2012, then a man named Copper came into my life, he said Copper is in everything in the universe and is the most important mineral as a bioavailable form. So,… less is more.

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