The Niacin Flush

Well, I’m in. Like you’ve just found out your pregnant, or the safety bar just locked in place on the craziest roller coaster you’ve ever set eyes on “in”. No going back and hang on for the ride.

I’ve just taken 200 mg of Niacin and have NO idea what to expect other than what I’ve seen my friends experience and what I’ve read on the internet.

When I had my recent balance with Saci, she tested me for a variety of supplements and Niacin was what showed up for me to take. Now, let me just explain the context in which this happened. Saci muscle tested me and whatever bottle was on my body seemed to be the one I needed. I had no idea what it was. She re-checked me and then re-checked me again. Her comment after doing this was “Oh my gosh Laura”. Really??!! Oh gosh, what could it be?! She then told me that I was testing for Niacin and wanted to check the dosage. More muscle testing, more re-checking and then another, “Oh Laura!”. Then she follows it with, “If this came up with a client, I don’t know if I would tell them to take it!!” NOT what you want to hear! 😉 But, in case you’re getting the wrong impression, this was all said in fun, with a smile behind every word and although there was truth in the words, we both were laughing at the situation.

I’ve seen my friend Monica on a Niacin flush before. She took over double the dose I’ve just taken. 500 mg! She was pretty much beet red all over her entire body. I have no idea how I’m going to react but I did read that if you take it on a full stomach the flush may not be as strong. Just like the little pill your friend gave you right?! I figure for my first time, taking it on a full stomach is probably a great idea. No need to over exaggerate the effect. If it’s not so bad then maybe tomorrow I’ll take it on an empty stomach. Oh, I forgot to mention that part. It was another “Oh Laura!” moment. 12 days. I need to take 200 mg for 12 days. Now, after reading more about Niacin online, I see that there are some people who take it every day. They either need the B3 in their system or are addicted to the flush sensation or maybe a little bit of both.

Saci says that I should feel a bit of a boost and surge and clarity of mind. I’ll check back in when I know more. Results pending…..although I can say that I already have a little bit of a prickly, itchy sensation on my neck.

O.K., it’s almost an hour later and although I can still feel the residual effects, it’s WAY better and almost gone. It started with the prickly neck and quickly, and I mean quickly, moved to my arms and ears. My ears felt like they were on fire! Then the itchy arms were crazy and I had to get up and move. I started pacing around the house. I went outside but the warmth of the sun didn’t feel good on my skin so I went back inside to pace around the house. I remembered Mason suggesting that maybe a cold shower would help when I explained the possible side effect of feeling sunburnt. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this in past posts but my son is BRILLIANT! I don’t think I would have gotten through the flush so easily without the shower! It was perfect. I’m not sure what the overall effect of this will be, over 12 days but I can say that  as I’m typing this I feel like my fingers are trying to move way faster than I want or need them to.

Saci said that I may feel some clarity of thought or a boost of creative energy. We’ll see if that proves to be true but I will say that between her balance the other day where I addressed my ability to write, or lack there of, and this Niacin flush, here I am two days in a row…writing!

As a disclaimer to this post, I’ll advise never taking any medication, supplement, prescription etc. without consulting a health care professional. You never know how you’re going to react to these things and should always know going into it what the side effects may be. I felt safe knowing that I tested strong for taking the Niacin and although I had some mild anxiety from the “not knowing” how it was going to be, I wasn’t afraid of anything bad happening.


For a little factual information, Niacin is B3 or nicotinic acid. I’ll take a few excerpts from Wikipedia here…”It’s involved in both DNA repair and the production of steroid hormones in the adrenal gland.” Doctors use Niacin to reduce cholesterol in some patients. On the bottle it says, “Niacin is a necessary part of the body’s pathway for making energy. The body converts niacin into NADH through its complex biochemistry in order to berate ATP, an energy form that the body can use.” I’ve read that it can help with depression and sleep problems as well but you don’t want to take more than your body needs, as you can cause damage to your liver over time. Where the “flush” is normal, signs of too much Niacin in the system are:

  • Severe skin flushing combined with dizziness
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gout

I’ll definitely be paying attention throughout the next 12 days to see if I notice anything more than I did today. But I’m feeling good and happy to say day 1 of 12…checked off the list!


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Balancing Tornadoes At Forty Four

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