What Is a Niacin Flushing? Is it Safe?
Why do celebrities like Martha Stewart, Dr. Oz, Katy Perry, cancer patients, top CEOs, and anyone trying to lose weight and protect themselves insist on taking vitamin B3/Niacin, sometimes in doses that can provoke a niacin flush?
Most celebrities, pro athletes, and cancer patients prioritize their health because their lives and livelihoods depend on it, and so should you. As a celebrity metabolic (weight loss) nutrition and fitness expert, I always asked what supplement rituals the rich and famous follow.
When it comes to nutritional supplements, energy, sports, or hydration drinks, almost everyone contains vitamin B3/Niacin. That is also why I strongly suggest that you STOP taking other non-LynFit supplements and pay VERY close attention to which supplements you take, when, and which ones NOT to take together. This is especially true if you're sensitive to supplements and wish to avoid the niacin flush, which can be scary if you don’t expect it.
While I'm not suggesting provoking a niacin flush, I am saying if it does happen, keep calm and continue.
What is Niacin/Vitamin B3?
Niacin is a B vitamin made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep your nervous system, digestive system, and skin healthy. Niacin/Nicotinic acid has primarily been used to treat high cholesterol levels. It can also help lower your blood pressure, promote brain health, and help prevent certain skin cancers, especially of the skin.
Why Would You Supplement It?
For starters, all good Holistic and healthy weight loss programs like LynFit's Quick Keto Metabolic Reset Lose 1 Pound A Day weight loss and fat-burning protocols start by detoxifying and reducing liver fat that is directly linked to unsullied resistance that also leads to more body fat.
We add Niacin/B3 to the following LynFit Nutrition line of metabolic boosting weight loss, fat-burning, energy, and health supplements:
- Keto Carb Edge
- Cutting Edge
- Daily Power Shot (liquid and powder)
- Woman's Whole Food Multivitamin
Nutritionists, cardiologists, anti-aging specialists, endocrinologists, and metabolic weight loss experts like myself personally use and suggest niacin/B3 as a frontline first step when it comes to suggesting premium-made nutritional supplementation for weight loss and fat-burning. This is due to its role in turning food into energy and fueling metabolism, which, in turn, accelerates fat-burning and improves overall physical and emotional health.
Can't I Get Enough Niacin From the Food I Eat?
While niacin and other b-vitamins are found in foods (both plant and animal-derived) — including poultry, fish, brown rice, nuts and seeds, and bananas — due to today's fast-paced lifestyles, and the reliance on processed foods (in addition to nutrient-depleted soils and our stress levels that deplete water-soluble vitamins like B3), it's strongly suggested that you take essential vitamins like vitamin B3 every day to replenish nutrient stores.
Also, niacin is best absorbed and more bioavailable to our bodies when taken as nicotinic acid or nicotinamide. It typically comes in powder that's placed in capsules or supplements that also make it easier to be consistent, which is crucial when it comes to taking water-soluble vitamins like B3.
Niacin can help…
- improve fat-burning, targeting belly fat.
- reduce lipids levels (LDL bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels).
- improve weight/waist loss.
- improve circulation.
- reduce blood pressure.
- suppress inflammation.
- reduce oxidative stress (helps prevent disease).
- tighten, firm, and improve skin.
- repair DNA.
- reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
What is a Niacin Flush, and Why Does it Happen?
Niacin flushes happen because vitamin B3/Niacin acts like exercise, causing the small blood vessels in your skin to dilate, increasing blood flow to the skin's surface.
Niacin flushing usually starts 15 minutes after taking it and starts to taper off after 30-45 minutes or up to one hour. The most common areas affected are the skin on the face, neck, arms, hands, and upper body primarily. It sometimes can also include the core, chest, and legs, but it is less common.
It feels like a tingling, burning sensation and includes reddening skin, appearing like hives or sunburn, and can make your skin feel warm or even hot to the touch.
This may seem scary, but fear not and stay calm. It’s harmless, although some of the side effects can be uncomfortable.
A little pre-planning of when you take your supplements, what you can take together, and which supplements you shouldn’t take too close together can make a big difference. Avoid drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods if your body is in a reactive state and you are experiencing niacin flushing.
The solution is dilution, meaning you need to drink lots of water to reduce blood levels quickly. If you're prone to panic and seeing your skin red provokes anxiety, DRINK MORE water and stay calm.
Niacin flushes are pretty common when taking premium quality B vitamins, especially in sensitive individuals whose histamine levels are higher than others.
To lessen the chance of side effects such as flushing, avoid alcohol, hot beverages, and eating spicy foods near the time you take niacin.
Preventing the onset and intensity of a niacin flush is easier than you think and well worth it if you're sensitive to higher-quality niacin. The flush experienced after taking niacin is directly related to its absorption rate and rate of elevation of blood niacin levels. Once a constant blood niacin level is reached, the flush starts to subside. There are several simple ways to reduce the intensity of the flush:
- STOP taking any non-LynFit Nutrition supplement.
- Do not combine supplements that contain niacin. Separate them, taking them several hours apart if needed. You can also divide the doses.
- Gradually increase daily niacin doses in a “start low, go slow” manner and split the daily dose.
- Take supplements with a LynFit protein shake before or after meals, and doses should be slowly and gradually increased.
- STOP taking supplements that contain b-vitamins 6-8 hours before bedtime.
- Take aspirin 30 minutes before taking niacin or supplements containing b-vitamins.
- You can also take immediate-release niacin-containing supplements after meals. Especially a high-fat meal like your leafy green salad drizzled with healthy fat/oil, as the fat will slow down its absorption and thus reduce the flush intensity.
Stick to it! With regular daily niacin-containing supplementation, tolerance develops to the flush. Over time, the flush sensation can disappear entirely in people who diligently keep taking niacin every day.
Lisa Lynn, Clinical Metabolic Nutrition & Fitness Expert and Associate Chaplain. She is best known for her 18+ years as Martha Stewart’s trainer, who was responsible for Martha’s over-50 amazing physical transformation that caught the attention of Dr. Oz, leading to her many appearances on the Dr. Oz Show. Lisa is not just another trainer; she lost 40 pounds and has kept it off, even with a sluggish thyroid and menopause.
- Lisa Lynn