Best Niacin Supplements Reviewed in Detail
Niacin, also commonly referred to as Vitamin B3, is one the essential human nutrients. Dietary sources of niacin are meat (beef, fish, and poultry) and fortified food such as cereals and bread. The body can also synthesize niacin using tryptophan.
Insufficient niacin in the body results to a disease known as pellagra. The condition is manifested by inflammation of the skin (especially parts exposed to sunlight), mouth lesions, diarrhea, dementia, and eventually death.
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Niacin supplements are chiefly used to lower Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL), triglycerides, and raise High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). Therefore, niacin supplements reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. For people who already have had a heart attack, niacin supplements lower the danger of a subsequent heart attack.
Niacin supplements are used to treat pellagra, a disease of inadequate niacin intake.
10 Best Niacin Supplements
Its main active ingredient, inositol nicotinate, has minimal flushing side effect if any.
The product comes in various sizes, from as small as 100 grams to 25 kilograms
¼ tablespoon is 691 mg
½ tablespoon is 1382 mg
1 tablespoon is 2765 mg
Take ¼ of a tablespoon daily or as directed by the physician.
Though pricy, this product contains not only vitamin B3 but also vitamin B8. The product also comes with 800 servings per container hence totally worth the price.
Bulk supplements niacin is a good buy for you if you want to meet dietary requirements for vitamin B3 and B8. The product boosts not only your metabolism but also your mood. The whole day you will feel energized and revitalized.
Pure powder with no fillers
Significant amount of vitamin B8
Can be taken as a shake
Not as efficient in lowering lipids as compared to nicotinic acid products
1000 white niacin tablets each 500mg
The product is worth its price as it comes in a pack of 1000 tablets each 500 grams. It can last you for more than three months depending on your dosage. It will last you long enough till your next doctor’s appointment.
Considering that the product is affordable, it is a good buy to maintain a healthy lipid level and boost your energy.
Sugar and alcohol-free
Has a niacin flush effect
The tablets are large
The product can also be used for other purposes other than lowering cholesterol. Due to its small dosage, it can be utilized in the treatment of pellagra and simple dietary supplementation.
100 tablets per bottle.
Each tablet is 100mg.
Extracted from vegetables
Nicotinic acid 100mg
Micro crystalline cellulose
Take one tablet a day with a snack or cold water, for dietary supplementation.
This product is affordable if you are taking a lower dose. If you are taking one tablet a day to supplement your diet, it can last you for three months hence good value for your money. However, if you require a higher dose, you may have to buy more bottles.
Solgar Niacin is a good product for supplementing your diet intake of niacin and also for initial stages of treating hyperlipidemia as it comes in a small dose of 100mg.
Small dosage of 100mg
Extracted from natural products
Suitable for vegetarians
Free of gluten
4. Doctor’s Best
Doctor’s best has about 200 enzymes that help maintain a healthy skin and preserve your cognitive function as you grow older. It is also effective in controlling lipid profile counts.
Doctor’s best contains:
Nicotinic acid 500mg for each tablet
Take one or two times daily or according to the doctor’s prescription with a meal.
The product is affordable considering that it is an extended release formulation. The pack comes with 120 tablets which can last you for 3-4 months subject to your doctor’s directions hence good value for your money.
Time-Release Niacin is a good product if you would like a product to lower your cholesterol with minimal side effects effectively. There are additional benefits in that it will slow down brain aging and maintain a healthy skin for you.
Low/ no flush
Contains no genetically modified organisms
No animal extracts, fit for vegetarians
May experience flushing when you begin taking medication
Nicotinic acid 500mg
Take one tablet daily or as instructed by physician with a low-fat meal or snack.
Though pricey for a 100 tablets pack, the product is worth if you do not want to experience flushing and itching effect that is common with other niacin products.
Slo-Niacin is a good product that you can effectively use to manage your lipid profile with very minimal side effects.
Has a score line that allows you to split the drug
Effective in lowering lipids
Minimal flushing during the first days
6. Dr. Clarke Store
It's is effective in boosting metabolism and energy by promoting catabolism. It also maintains skin and nervous system health.
Each container has 100 tablets
Each tablet is 25mg
Adults and teenagers above 12 years should take a tablet a day or as advised by the doctor.
Though the price is a bit high considering its low strength, it is worth to buy it since you can use it for a child above 12 years. Also, most supplements come in strengths as from 100mg; 25mg is not easy to obtain.
Dr. Clarke store 25mg niacin is a good buy if you need a low dose of it. Also, it is fit for children who are older than 12 years and does not have flow agents like Magnesium Stearate.
Low dose suitable for children above 12 years
Free of Magnesium Stearate and other flow agents
Flushing when initially taking the supplement
7. Now Flush- Free
Dosage is 250mg per tablet
Taken as two tablets daily with a snack or as guided by your doctor
There are 180 tablets in each container
The product is a good value for money considering that the supplement is a no-flush product and has 180 tablets per container.
Research studies have shown that Inositol Hexanicotinate may not be as effective in lowering cholesterol as nicotinic acid. Therefore this product suitable for those who want to supplement their diets, treat and prevent pellagra, boost metabolism and energy, without the flushing effect of nicotinic acid. Research has also shown that some people may have flushing effect even when using a product that has Inositol Hexanicotinate as its main ingredient. It is therefore not surprising to find a person using Now Flush-Free and still complains about experiencing the flushing effect.
Suitable for vegetarians
Not so effective in lowering lipids
Each bottle has 240 tablets
Each tablet is 500mg
One tablet per day or as advised by your physician
This product is very affordable putting into consideration that it is very effective in lowering cholesterol and that it comes as a package of 240 tablets.
Although Nutricost is an immediate release product, it is suitable for lowering cholesterol as well as meeting dietary requirements for niacin. The flushing effect caused by this product is worst when beginning to take the supplements, but it lessens day by day.
To minimize flushing, take the supplements with a low-fat meal or a cold beverage. Taking the supplement with alcohol, spicy food or a hot drink worsens the flushing effect.
Effective at controlling lipid counts
High dosage suitable for maintenance dosage
9. Natural Nutra
Nicotinic acid helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins hence boosting metabolism and energy level. It also relieves pain caused by inflammation of knee joints.
Is a low strength niacin supplement
Nicotinic acid 100mg
Taken as one tablet with a meal or cool water or as directed by your physician
Although pricey for 100mg tablets, the product is coated to make it a slow release supplement hence lowers the flushing effect that is common with other niacin supplements.
The product is a good buy if you want small doses of niacin with minimal flushing effect. You can use it for dietary supplementation or to lower cholesterol.
Suitable for vegetarians an non-vegetarians
Low dosage suitable for dietary supplementation
Flushing during initial days of intake
10. Source Naturals
It allows you to start with small dosages as you gradually move up to a higher maintenance dose that works best for your lipid count.
Each tablet is 100 mg
Each container has 250 tablets
Di-basic Calcium Phosphate
Usage is one tablet per day.
This product is very affordable as compared to other niacin supplements with the same strength and also considering that it has 250 tablets per container, is a good value for money.
Source Naturals is a very affordable product suitable for meeting daily dietary requirements of niacin, boosting energy, maintaining skin and nervous system health and lowering cholesterol level. For these reasons, Source Naturals is a good buy.
Effective in lowering lipids
Low strength suitable for initial doses
Suitable for vegetarians
Niacin and nicotinamide make up Vitamin B3 complex. Some vitamin B3 supplements contain nicotinic acid while others contain nicotinamide/inositol Hexa nicotinate.
Niacin is primarily used to lower blood cholesterol alongside other lipids lowering drugs such as Crestor, Lescor, and lpitor. Scientific studies have shown that niacin can lowers “bad cholesterol” (LDL and triglycerides) and raises “good cholesterol” (HDL).
It also reduces the risk of artherosclerosis by lowering Low-Density Lipoproteins. Excess cholesterol is usually deposited in the lumen of blood vessels resulting in hardening and narrowing of arteries, which is referred to as atherosclerosis. It may cause a heart attack or even stroke. Due to this effect, niacin may reduce the risk of a subsequent heart attack in people who have already had one.
It is important to note that supplements with nicotinamide/inositol Hexa nicotinate, do not have a cholesterol lowering effect and does not cause flushing like products with nicotinic acid.
Niacin is also an FDA approved drug for treatment of pellagra. Pellagra is a disease that is as a result of inadequate intake of niacin, long term use of chemotherapy drugs and poor absorption of nutrients. Pellagra has four main symptoms commonly referred to as the 4Ds. They include Dermatitis, Dementia, Diarrhoea, and eventually if not treated, results in Death. The World Health Organisation recommends the use of nicotinamide/inositol Hexa nicotinate for treatment of pellagra opposed to nicotinic acid.
Niacin is a precursor of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) and Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP) which are crucial in metabolism. NAD plays a crucial role in DNA repair, metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and alcohol while NADP helps in synthesis of fats and cholesterol. The supplements, therefore, boost metabolism and energy level in your body.
Therapeutic dosages to lower lipids are usually significantly raised as compared to the daily recommended intake. Most doctors recommend that you start with 100mg three times daily as you slowly increase the dose. For the extended release formulation, the dosage is usually 500mg once daily. It is important to note that niacin supplements have an individualized response. Therefore, your doctor should give you dosage directions depending on your condition.
For extended release supplements, you should swallow them whole not unless the tablet has a broken line. It is not advisable to crush or chew as the drug will be quickly absorbed yet, the dose it is usually higher as compared to non-extended release. Crashing will mean that the drug will be quickly absorbed and therefore give you immediate side effects such as niacin flashing.
Take the supplements with a low-fat meal or a cold beverage, to lower the flushing side effect.
Niacin supplements should be stored at a well-controlled room temperature between 200C- 250C (68oF- 770F). The supplements should also be stored away from children.
You should take niacin with caution if you have certain conditions or taking certain drugs
You should inform your doctor if you have:
- Active liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Active peptic ulcers disease
- Active arterial bleeding
- Myasthenia Gravis
You should also be careful and report to your doctor if you are taking medication such as:
- Blood thinners – warfarin, heparin, clexane
- Antihypertensive – nifedipine, amlodipine, nicardipine
- Cardiac medication – nitroglycerine
Or any other prescription drug, over the counter drug or herbal medication that you are taking.
Avoid alcohol while taking niacin supplements. Alcohol can raise the risk of liver damage and worsen the side effects of niacin supplements.
Call for medical help in case of any over dose. Signs of overdose include excessive nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive flushing. Over dosage of niacin can potentiate liver toxicity.
Use of Niacin supplements in pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are expectant, planning to get pregnant or suspect that you are expectant, please notify your doctor. Animal studies have shown that niacin supplements can cause birth defects. However, the supplements may be used if the benefits of the supplements outweigh the risks posed to the baby. This is a very critical decision that should be made together with your doctor.
Niacin also crosses to breast milk and can potentially harm a nursing baby.
Criteria for Evaluation
There are so many supplements’ manufacturers and distributors globally that you are most probably confused on what is best for you. Shopping for supplements at times can be so confusing because you don’t know what to look out for. And when you get one, you wonder whether it will meet your needs. We have vigorously researched the best niacin supplements, on your behalf. We have dug through the literature, tests, ratings, and reviews to come up with a list of the best niacin products in the market.
This is the criteria that we used to come up with the list of products.
With improved marketing strategies that manufacturers and distributors have adopted of late, it is challenging to tell whether the benefits of products they claim are true or it’s just marketing gimmicks.
We have therefore done a market research and brought you niacin supplements that have been tried and tested. The general population has used most of these products. Therefore, we have saved you the hustle of trying to figure out what works and what does not, what is safe and what is not. We have established that our list of products have the benefits that the manufacturers and distributors claim to have.
User reviews and ratings
We chose supplements that have the best objective reviews, ratings, and unbiased responses. We also picked out problems that the users had while taking the supplements. You will, therefore, know what to expect with each product. For instance, most users complained of niacin flush. The flush is not harmful and can be minimized by taking the supplements with a meal. You will, therefore, know at a glance, the advantages and disadvantages of each product.
Although most supplements have individualized response, if a product worked for a large percentage of the population sampled, then the highest chances are that it will work for you too.
The list of our products is from manufacturers with an excellent reputation for high-quality products. These manufacturers have been approved to produce these supplements and also, have other products that have previously been tested and proved to match their client’s needs.
Safety of the supplements
All the niacin supplements that we have listed on this list are safe for you not except if you are hypersensitive to any of the ingredients. We have broken down all the ingredients (both the main ingredients, binding agents, and additives) found in each product for you to quickly pick out if you are sensitive to any.
Possible side effects
The most common adverse effect of niacin supplements is the niacin flush. A niacin flush mainly occurs on the face and is, therefore, most commonly referred to as facial flush. It can last for about 15 to 30 minutes and sometimes, up to two hours. The flush may be accompanied by itching, redness, and tingling sensations.
To minimize the effect of flushing, do not take the supplement on an empty stomach. Take the supplements with a low-fat meal, snack, or a lot of water. It can be worsened by taking the supplements with hot beverages, spicy food or alcohol. Flushing can also be eliminated by taking aspirin or ibuprofen though long term use may be detrimental to your health.
Supplements that have extended release have shown to cause less or no flushing though they may cause liver damage. Supplements containing inositol hexanicotinate are flush free although there is the controversy that this type of niacin supplement is not very efficient in lowering cholesterol.
We have selected both extended release and non-extended release niacin supplement products. Some people may not tolerate the flushing effect while others prefer to feel the flush to be assured that the drug is working.
Other possible side effects include a headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, and diarrhea.
The main ingredient in niacin supplements is either nicotinic acid or inositol hexanicotinate. The difference is that nicotinic acid can lower lipid level yet inositol hexanicotinate cannot. Therefore, nicotinic acid is recommended for lowering cholesterol while but inositol hexanicotinate is generally for meeting dietary requirements of niacin. Also, nicotinic acid based supplements have a flushing effect while inositol hexanicotinate based products do not. It is vital for you to know why you are taking the supplements for you to get the right ingredient. Usually, your doctor will advise on what will work for you best. We have reviewed products that have nicotinic acid as well as inositol hexanicotinate.
Niacin supplements can be extracted from animal or plant products. We have picked products that are derived from vegetables hence fit vegetarians and nonvegetarians.
Some of the products that we have selected are sugar-free and hence fit for people with diabetes. If are diabetic and would like to use niacin supplements, it is wise that you seek your doctor’s opinion first. Niacin increases the resistance of insulin hence may cause a spike in blood sugar.
The sources of niacin?
- Natural sources of protein include:
- Meat products: beef, poultry, eggs, salmon
- Plant sources: potatoes, avocados, mushroom, whole grains (wheat, rice, barley, corn)
- Fortified foods such as cereals and bread. Fortified breakfast cereals are one of the highest dietary sources of niacin.
The human body can also synthesize its niacin by using tryptophan.
How much niacin should I take in my diet daily?
Recommended daily intake for niacin is:
Less than six months
Maximum daily intake for adults per day is 35mgs
What is the work of niacin in the body?
Niacotinic acid and nicotinamide are a precursors of NAD and NADP enzymes which are needed for metabolism and DNA repair. NAD is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins hence increasing metabolism and energy level. NADP is essential for the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids.
What happens when I lack niacin in my body?
Mild lack of niacin results to slow metabolism exhibited as little tolerance to cold and low energy.
Chronic lack of niacin in your body results in a condition known as pellagra. Pellagra is deadly if not treated. One may experience inflammation of the skin especially on parts exposed to sunlight, lesions on the mouth and tongue, amnesia, irritability, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and depression.
When should I take the supplements?
You should take niacin if you want to control your cholesterol level, to meet niacin nutritional requirements, boost metabolism, to treat or prevent pellagra. It is best to have niacin supplements recommended by your doctor.
Where can I buy them?
There are various places that you can purchase niacin supplements. However, with the advanced technology, it is effortless to purchase things online. On a website like Amazon, you can view and compare different prices and benefits of the product that you need at your time and convenience. The product will be shipped to your country within few days at the best shipping rate in the market.
Who should not take these supplements?
You should not take supplements if you have liver disease, bleeding, stomach or duodenal ulcers or you are allergic to niacin supplements.
Niacin supplements should also be avoided when pregnant or breastfeeding, not unless your doctor advises you otherwise.
What is the benefit of taking them?
Other than meeting your dietary requirements, niacin supplements lower cholesterol levels, therefore, reducing the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Also, you will benefit from high energy levels that are as a result of fast metabolism that is induced by the breakdown of carbohydrate and proteins by NAD.
Other users have also reported benefits such as mood stabilizing, weight loss and control of insomnia.
What is the difference between supplements with nicotinic acid and inositol hexanicotinate?
Research studies have shown that nicotinic acid is better at lowering cholesterol level as compared to inositol hexanicotinate. Therefore, nicotinic acid is used to lower cholesterol whereas inositol hexanicotinate is mainly used to correct niacin insufficiency. Also, nicotinic acid causes flushing whereas inositol hexanicotinate does not.
What is the dosage?
Immediate release niacin
- Initial dose of 100mg thrice a day and a continuation dose of 1 to 2g thrice a day.
Extended release niacin
- 500mg once at bedtime.
- 250 to 750mg once a day.
- 10 to 20mg orally once a day.
- 50-100mg orally 3-4 times per day.
For dietary supplementation see the product label.
You should start on a low dose as you scale up and see the effect that niacin has on your cholesterol level as you work on getting the dose that works best for you. You should do this together with your doctor.
Can I take niacin supplements while taking other drugs?
You should take caution and report to your doctor if you are using any prescription drug, over the counter medication or even herbs.
What should I do if I forget to take a supplement?
In case you forget to take a niacin supplement, take one as soon as you remember. Never overdose to cover missed doses.
What are the main side effects of niacin supplements?
The main side effect of taking niacin is niacin flush. It is caused by nicotinic acid, the main ingredient of niacin supplements. Flushing is not harmful, but some people cannot tolerate it while others say that they like to have the flush to know that the supplement is genuine and is working.
To minimize the likelihood of flushing, do not take the supplements with hot beverages or alcohol or spicy food. Also, take the supplements with a low-fat meal or a snack.
If you cannot tolerate the flush, you can switch to the extended release formulations or take aspirin or ibuprofen before taking the supplements. However, before you change your formulation or add other medications, consult your health care professional.
Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, sneezing, diarrhea, itching, muscle pain, etc.
Niacin supplements may also cause a drop in blood pressure because it causes vasodilation of the blood vessels. You should, therefore, wake up or stand up slowly to avoid a fall due to postural hypotension.
The effects are mostly experienced when you begin taking the supplements, and they slowly fade away as you get used to the supplements.
What is the difference between extended-release, Slo-niacin and immediate-release supplement products?
Extended release means that the drug is released slowly in the body, over a prolonged period of time of time. Because the drug is released slowly, it will stay longer in the body, so you do not have to take the pills often. Also, this type of supplements has minimal or no flushing.
For immediate-release niacin supplements, the active component of the supplement is released immediately after intake.
Slo- niacin tablets are made using a special polygel compound that causes very slow release of niacin hence minimal or no flushing.
When should I stop taking them?
You should stop taking niacin supplements in case you develop an allergic reaction, or your doctor advises you to stop.
Signs that you are allergic to niacin include breathlessness, hives, facial puffiness, swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat. You should seek medical aid straightaway, when you notice these signs.
Can I take them when pregnant or breastfeeding?
You should report to the doctor if you are pregnant. Ingestion of high doses of niacin during pregnancy can have possible consequences in growth and development of the fetus. Research has shown that niacin supplements cross to breast milk and may potentially be harmful to a breastfeeding infant.
Niacin in the diet is not in any way harmful to the mother and baby.
It is vital for you to choose a niacin supplement that best suits your needs. We have shown you some of the best niacin supplement products in the market, but it is upon you and your doctor to make the final verdict. For the niacin supplements to be of maximum benefit, there are other requirements. We strongly advise that you control your weight, choose a healthy diet and incorporate exercise into your schedule. Shun foods that are high in saturated fats such as deep fried foods, cakes, animal fat, etc. Finally, take your other prescribed medications such as statins that your doctor has recommended for lowering cholesterol level.