Niacin is an essential B vitamin used to promote healthy cholesterol levels, support circulatory problems, and maintain skin health. Niacin has antioxidant properties and is involved in energy production, cholesterol and carbohydrate metabolism, regulation of blood sugar, and detoxification.
LifeSource Vitamins Flush-free Niacin is a formulation of niacin that provides the benefits of niacin without the common niacin side effects of unpleasant skin flushing and gastric irritation associated with niacin supplements.*
The involvement of Niacin in cellular energy production makes it essential for healthy cardiovascular function, nervous system function, and immune function. Niacin nutritionally supports cholesterol levels already within the normal range.*
Who Should Consider Niacin?
People with high cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood
People with poor circulation
People more than 55 years old with poor dietary intake
People with vertigo and/or tinnitus
People who abuse alcohol or other drugs
LifeSource Vitamins - Niacin - Flush Free, is an essential B vitamin used to promote healthy cholesterol levels, support circulatory problems, and maintain skin health. Niacin has antioxidant properties and is involved in energy production. *
& Niacin: Studies & Information
Niacin-respondent a subset of schizophrenia – a therapeutic review
It is well
known that niacin deficiency manifests with several psychiatric manifestations.
Also, historically evidence has accumulated that niacin augmentation can be
used for treatment of schizophrenia. However, the etiopathological associations
between niacin deficiency and schizophrenia as well as the mechanism of action
of niacin in its treatment. More importantly, the subgroups of schizophrenia
which will respond to niacin augmentation has never been highlighted in the
literature. In this article, we review three of the mechanisms in which niacin
deficiency could lead to schizophrenic symptoms: (1) Niacin deficiency
neurodegeneration (2) Membrane phospholipid deficiency hypothesis and (3)
Adrenochrome hypothesis. We will further move towards the clinical as well as
treatment related associations as reviewed from the literature. Here, we
propose a model that a subset of schizophrenia can respond to niacin
augmentation therapy better than other subsets because these patients have contributions
in their psychotic manifestations from the neural degeneration resulting from
niacin deficiency. We present a short description of our case report which
showed rapid improvement in schizophrenic psychotic symptoms subsequent to
administration of niacin as an augmentation therapy.
We, thus, propose that
niacin deficiency is a contributory factor in schizophrenia development in some
patients and symptom alleviation in these patients will benefit from niacin
augmentation, especially in some particular psychotic features. National Institute of Health PubMed
a possible successful treatment for schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a devastating disease.
Characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thought, it
destroys lives. While the condition can be controlled with appropriate
medication, a cure remains elusive. But just what constitutes “appropriate
medication” is controversial.
Schizophrenia is a devastating disease. Characterized by
hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thought, it destroys lives. While
the condition can be controlled with appropriate medication, a cure remains
elusive. But just what constitutes “appropriate medication” is controversial.
“Antipsychotic drugs that block dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain
have been the mainstay of therapy, but the involuntary muscle movements,
restlessness and tremors they can cause are troublesome. An alternative school
of thought maintains that mental illness can be addressed with nutritional
therapies, particularly with the use of certain vitamins in the right dose.
This idea was first formulated by Dr. Abram Hoffer, a Canadian psychiatrist
whose pursuit of science began with a degree in agricultural chemistry from the
University of Saskatchewan, followed by a PhD in biochemistry, and finally a
medical degree from the University of Alberta. During his graduate studies
young Hoffer worked at a wheat products laboratory in Winnipeg where he was
charged with developing an assay for vitamin B-3, commonly known as niacin.
This triggered a life-long interest in the vitamin and its biochemistry, with
Hoffer eventually concluding that it had a significant role to play in the
treatment of schizophrenia. As a practicing psychiatrist, Dr. Hoffer came up
with the ‘adrenochrome hypothesis’ which he believed explained the symptoms of
schizophrenia and offered a hope for treatment with vitamins.
Hoffer’s basic idea was that schizophrenia was a biochemical abnormality
characterized by the buildup of chemicals in the brain called adrenochromes.
These are normally formed from adrenalin, but in a healthy nervous system they
are quickly metabolized. In schizophrenic patients, however, the mechanism for
breaking down adrenochromes is impaired. Hoffer claimed that administering
adrenochromes to volunteers resulted in hallucinations reminiscient of
schizophrenia and hypothesized that reducing adrenochrome concentrations in
schizophrenic patients would result in the alleviation of symptoms. From his
biochemistry background he knew that niacin could reduce the formation of
adrenalin from its precursor, noradrenalin, which meant it would also reduce
adrenochromes since these were made from adrenalin. He also rationalized that
adrenochromes could be reduced back to adrenaline through the administration of
in the 1950’s Dr. Hoffer began to administer high doses of niacin and vitamin C
to his schizophrenic patients and claimed he noted an improvement after a
month. Paranoia and delusional symptoms decreased to an extent that
hospitalized patients could be discharged. But, Hoffer maintained that if they
stopped taking the vitamins they would experience a relapse. However, if they
continued with the regimen for years, there was a chance of a complete cure.
The problem, though, was that other researchers were unable to confirm Hoffer’s
successes, resulting in skepticism about his claims. Interestingly, subsequent
research did show that schizophrenic patients have a genetic defect preventing
them from successfully eliminating adrenaline metabolites, so the adrenochrome
theory is not ready to be dismissed. Still we are left with the fact that no
properly controlled clinical trials have demonstrated significant benefits of
vitamin megadoses in schizophrenia. That’s not a great surprise because
schizophrenia is a complex disease, not characterized by a single cause.
Genetic vulnerability as well as environmental effects are significant factors
and lack of oxygen just after birth may also play a role.
some psychiatrists continue to administer megadoses of niacin to schizophrenia
patients and claim they see improvement. But such evidence is anecdotal.
Perhaps further research will reveal that some vitamins used appropriately are
beneficial, but for now, the evidence is on the side of using mainstream
antipsychotic medications. It certainly is unwise for patients to try
megavitamin therapy without a physician’s supervision. While doses of niacin
under 1,000 mg are considered safe, higher doses can cause liver damage,
gastritis, diabetes, and an increase in blood uric acid levels. McGill
Office for Science and Society
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