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What is No Flush Niacin?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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Vitamin B-3, or niacin, is a supplement that is recommended by medical professionals for its ability to reduce cholesterol levels and lower the likelihood of heart disease. Some people who use niacin complain that it causes them to flush, similar to the flush experienced by women going through menopause. No flush niacin, or inositol hexaniacinate, is believed by some people to work the same way as regular niacin but does not cause its users to experience the flush.

There are three primary forms of niacin typically available: nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, and inositol hexaniacinate—or no flush niacin. Although their chemical compositions are very similar, no flush niacin differs because it has six niacin molecules that are attached to one inositol molecule. Regular niacin is rather inexpensive, but no flush niacin is still sold for many times the cost of regular niacin. Interestingly, many researchers and medical professionals believe that the no flush version of niacin does not work as well as the regular version.

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Many doctors recommend niacin as the first line of defense against high cholesterol. Studies have shown that it raises high density lipoprotein (HDL), lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL), lowers triglyceride levels, and works to reduce the risk of a heart attack. Although one would believe that no flush niacin would work the same way as the regular version, some researchers claim that it actually does little to help a person’s cholesterol levels and prevent heart attacks. Reports have shown that it did work in studies using laboratory rats; however, there have not been any studies that show that the supplement has any positive effects on humans.

As with any medical condition, it is important to seek the help of a skilled medical professional before beginning any regimen containing regular or no flush niacin. Some medical professionals recommend that people with high cholesterol continue to take the regular niacin, particularly if they doubt the effectiveness of no flush niacin.

There are a few helpful hints that may reduce the chances that a flush will occur. For example, some professionals claim that taking an aspirin before taking the niacin will lessen the occurrence of the flush. Another recommendation is to increase the dosage of the niacin gradually. For example, take a quarter of a dose initially. The body will eventually adjust to that dosage and will not feel the flush. Then, increase the dosage to half of a dose. Once the body adjusts to that amount, the dosage can be increase to a full dose.

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fify
Post 3

Some people think that slow release niacin products are the same as no flush niacin. That's definitely not true. Slow release niacin also causes flushing, in fact, they may cause even more flushing than regular niacin supplements as they remain in the body longer. So I do not recommend the slow release niacin supplements for those experiencing the flush and don't want to.

SteamLouis
Post 2

@SarahGen-- No, there really are no flush niacin supplements out there. I'm using one and it doesn't cause flushing. I also take higher doses for cholesterol just like you.

I'm not sure how you can tell apart the real no flush ones from the fake. I'd read reviews if I were you. If customers are saying that there is no flush, then go with that product. I have no idea if the flushing effect varies from person to person based on their sensitivities. It's also possible that you are more sensitive towards the flushing effects of niacin than others.

SarahGen
Post 1

I have several different brands of "no flush" niacin but guess what, I still experienced the flush. I'm taking high doses of niacin for cholesterol. I suppose taking less would reduce the flushing a little bit but then it won't help my cholesterol. So far, my bad cholesterol has been going down so the niacin works. I just hate the flush. I don't want to walk around with a red face anymore. People keep asking me if I have sunburn!

I'm losing faith in all these brands that claim their product is "no flush" but they aren't really. I'm disappointed.

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