How do I Choose the Best Niacin Pills?

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  • Written By: Beth Fontaine
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2019
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Niacin is an essential B3 vitamin that, in large doses, promotes good cholesterol and lowers cardiovascular risk. Niacin pills are available over the counter and can be purchased at grocery and vitamin stores. High doses of niacin are necessary for the full effect on cardiovascular health, however, so patients may get a prescription from a doctor to ensure that they are getting the correct dosage of the FDA-approved product. Patients should be sure to take niacin as directed; it should not be taken more often than recommended, nor should a person decide on his own to take more or less of it than recommended.

When shopping for niacin pills, make sure you are buying them for the right reasons. Know what benefits you hope to achieve from taking the supplement, make sure to only use reputable brands, and don't be seduced by labels with unreasonably inflated claims. Just because supplements are approved by the FDA doesn't mean they can accomplish all of the things their labels may claim they can. You might also consider consulting with a doctor on the best place to purchase vitamins and the best vitamin brands to buy. The Internet offers may places to buy supplements, but regulation is lax and quantity doesn't always guarantee quality.


You should determine how much niacin you will be taking and for how long, so you can purchase the correct amount of pills; you also should read the label for side effects before you purchase the pills. Make sure the supplement isn't going to negatively interact with any food or medications already in your daily routine. Pay attention to the amount of niacin in the supplements you purchase, and make sure you're getting the right amount for your body. Children typically need from 2 mg to 16 mg a day, men need 16 mg daily, and women who aren't pregnant or breastfeeding should get 14 mg daily. No more than 35 mg should be taken daily without approval from a doctor.

Health food stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies are the best places to purchase niacin pills. Never buy anything that's already been opened or comes from a source you don't recognize. For example, take caution when purchasing vitamins from people who are selling them on their own; research the brand and product first instead of making an impulse purchase. Purchase niacin that has been stored in a cool, dry place, because light and moisture can deplete the strength of the vitamin.


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Post 3

@SarahGen-- I agree with you. Do you know what the ideal dose is?

I've noticed that most niacin supplements at the pharmacy are 400mg or 500mg. There was a supplement that was only 100mg though.

I'm thinking of starting on 500mg but is this too much? I don't want to pay money to flush out niacin in the bathroom.

Post 2

@literally45-- If you're trying to supplement with niacin, I suggest a supplement with niacin/vitamin B3 only. You're going to get more niacin that way than you will from a complex supplement.

I think it's better to get more niacin than too little. Niacin is water soluble, so if you end up taking too much, the body will just get rid of it through urine. But if you're not getting enough, you're not going to benefit from the supplement.

Post 1

Is it better to use a supplement with vitamin B3 only or a vitamin B complex supplement with a variety of B vitamins including vitamin B3?

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