The b vitamins are usually regarded together, after all they work synergistic-ally in the body. But, what if one of the b vitamins, alone, held astonishing healing abilities? It turns out that in 1952, Abraham Hoffer, PHD, MD, proved through a double blind placebo controlled study that vitamin b3 has the ability to cure schizophrenia(Hoffer A., Walker M., 1978). This knowledge is not mainstream and anti-psychotics with severe side effects continue to be used as the first line therapy. My research has uncovered a broad range of healing benefits by this vitamin. The mind, heart, brain, and skin all can be benefited by therapeutic doses of this nutrient. Vitamin b3 as an individual nutrient has an astonishing record of profound benefits to the human body.
There are many different forms of this vitamin: niacinamide, niacin, and inositol hexaniacinate. Niacin causes a flush of the skin in high doses while the other two forms do not. The type of vitamin b3 that a person chooses to supplement is based on personal preference. Some actually enjoy the flush that niacin causes. The common symptoms that are associated with a vitamin b3 deficiency are: fatigue, depression, digestive issues, diarrhea, low blood sugar, and insomnia. This vitamin is necessary to alleviate these deficiency symptoms but it also can be used therapeutically. To therapeutically use vitamin b3 involves doses much higher than the recommended dietary allowance. Allan Cott successfully used up to 3 grams of vitamin b3 in children with learning disabilities and Abraham Hoffer used much higher doses in his schizophrenic patients(Williams R Ph.d., et al., 1977). The need for this specific nutrient varies greatly from person to person. Some people may suffer from just a deficiency while others suffer from what Abraham Hoffer called a dependency. Schizophrenia is strongly associated with this dependency and that is why Hoffer had such great success with his 1952 study.
There is a large list of psychological disorders and every 1 in 4-5 American children are suffering according to the National Institute of Mental Health(Merikangas K., et al., 2010). This statistic is extremely disheartening and so is the fact that these children are being prescribed pharmaceutical drugs to fix their imbalance rather than uncover the root cause. An 8 year old girl suffering from severe tic’s and anxiety was given 500mg of niacinamide and found absolute resolution in less than a week(Gironda K., 2016). In an anonymous interview a mother disclosed to me that she began using vitamin b3 therapy on her child. She said, “there was eye blinking & rolling along with facial tics that diminished tremendously. I may even go as far as to say temperament is better than before & not as hyperactive(Anonymous, 2017). Learning and behavioral disorders in children are so widespread and can have a dramatic effect on families. Sometimes the greatest research comes from those that have lived and breathed mental disorder and resolved it themselves.
I grew up with an alcoholic father so I consider it a very troublesome mental disorder that effects everyone that person comes in contact with. A clinical trial was done on alcoholic’s anonymous members and twenty out of thirty subjects were alleviated of anxiety, fatigue, and tension in two months of taking vitamin b3(Wilson B., 1967). It turns out there are many physicians that use this amazing vitamin therapeutically. Dr. Russell Smith in Detroit is just one of them that has had great success with his alcoholic patients(Smith RF., 1974). It is baffling that one vitamin has the ability to positively impact those suffering from alcoholism.
Mental disorders are not the only health conditions that vitamin b3 is beneficial for. A recent clinical trial done by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found “a protective role of niacinamide, a derivative of niacin, against skin cancer recurrence”(Park S., et al., 2017). It turns out that niacinamide is a common ingredient found in skin care. My research turned up phenomenal scientific literature on the use of vitamin b3 in dermatology. A few of the conditions that either improved or entirely resolved are: actinic keratosis, bullous pemphigoid, dermatosis, acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis(Forbat e., et al., 2017). I stumbled upon another fascinating study from The Journal for British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology . They wrote that their study showed a link between lower levels of nicotinamide levels and related tryptophan metabolites in the pregnant mother and an increased risk of atopic eczema in their child(El-heiss s., et al., 2016). So not only can this vitamin be used therapeutically for skin conditions but there is a strong possibility that it can also be preventative of skin disorders through maternal supplementation.
It seems impossible that there are any more amazing therapeutic benefits of this vitamin. But, it turns out the supplementation of niacin is recommended by doctors for high cholesterol. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States of all ethnicities according to the CDC(Mozaffarian D., et al., 2015). Statins are the drug of choice for lowering cholesterol nut because heart disease is so widespread, prevention is more important. The Atherosclerosis Research Center detailed the effects of niacin on cholesterol really well. They found that niacin reduces triglycerides and liporoteins by decreasing the mobilization of fatty acids from tissue stores and also raises HDL(Ganji S., et al., 2003). Therapeutic doses of niacin could make for an excellent preventative measure against heart disease.
Just when it seems like I can’t uncover anymore amazing benefits of vitamin b3, I come across a study on it’s ability to fight antibiotic resistant staph infections by increasing leukocytes, the bacteria destroying white blood cells. The researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that high doses of niacinamide increased 1,000 times the capacity of the immune cells to kill Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Their study was done on laboratory animals as well as with human blood. Clinical doses were able to destroy the staph infection in a few hours(Weeks B. MD., 2012). I decided to put this to the test and after my daughter caught strep throat. We used 500 milligrams of niacinamde 3 times per day along with high doses of vitamin c for immune support. Within 4 days she was symptom free. I have no doubt that vitamin b3 is a powerful tool against bacterial infections.
Through my research I have discovered that vitamin b3 appears to have vast benefits. It seems to be associated with increasing the health of many organs and physiological actions in the body. Allan Cott described the importance of vitamin b3 for proper brain function by improving tissue respiration(Williams R Ph.d., et al., 1977). This may be the science behind it’s nootropic benefits. I believe that there are more benefits to be discovered over time. From the heart to the skin this vitamin undoubtedly provides astonishing healing benefits.
Hoffer A., Walker M., (1978). Orthomolecular Nutrition. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing \/\lliams R Ph.d., et al., (1977). A Physician’s Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing Inc.
Park S., et al., (2017). Niacin intake and risk of skin cancer in US women and men. Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA: Pubmed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28152570
Forbat e., et al., (2017). Use of nicotinamide in dermatology. King Edward VII Hospital, London, UK: Pubmed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28052374
Merikangas K., et al., (2010). Lifetime Prevalence of Mental Disorders in US Adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement. National Institute of Mental Health. Bethesda, MD: Pubmed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946114/
El-heiss s., et al., (2016). Higher maternal serum concentrations of nicotinamide and related metabolites in late pregnancy are associated with a lower risk of offspring atopic eczema at age 12 months. University of Southampton. Southamptom, UK: Pubmed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5045718/
Wilson B., (1967). The Vitamin B-3 Therapy: The First Communication to A.A.'s Physicians and A Second Communication to A.A.'s Physicians,
Smith RF., (1974). A five year field trial of massive nicotinic acid therapy of alcoholics in Michigan. Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry.
Gironda K., Case Study. Franklin, NC: Revitalize Wellness. Retrieved from http://www.boweltolerance.org/casestudy1.html
Anonymous (2017). Personal Interview.
Mozaffarian D., et al., (2017). Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
Ganji S., et al., (2003). Niacin and cholesterol: role in cardiovascular disease (review). Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Long Beach, California: Pubmed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12873710
Williams R Ph.d., et al., (1977). Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) to the rescue. WeeksMD. Retrieved from http://weeksmd.com/2012/08/vit-b-3-to-the-rescue/