Is It Harmful To Have A Niacin (B3) Flush?
Updated: Jan 31
Vitamin B3 or Niacin is one of the most intense Vitamins that you can experience firsthand. You can buy Vitamin B3 with or without the Niacin flush. A Niacin flush feels quite hot and can be uncomfortable but it is not dangerous as long you don’t take too much, toxicity seems to start at 500mg per day but I would not recommend going higher without the supervision of a doctor.
picture: me on my 40th birthday with my first Niacin Flush (not knowing what actually just happened)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Please do your own research and talk to your doctor before taking any medication that might be harmful to your body.
Fun Fact: When I took Niacin for the first time I was completely unaware of the flushing effect and was slightly worried and thought I might be having an allergic reaction but thankfully it only lasted about 30 min and I was at an art gallery with low lights and lighting effects (see picture above).
A Vitamin B3 flush takes about 30 to 90 min. It is used to lower lipid profiles and boost heart health.
Some studies have shown that it reduces LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and oxidative stress while increasing the good cholesterol, HDL. It feels like a sunburn and you will get red wherever the niacin is working.
I noticed that my scars and small injuries seem to stay white, while the surrounding area is very red. I don't know if this is a common effect or very individual.
During a niacin flush, you will get a boiling body feeling but afterward, you might want a hot water bottle or a hot shower. A shower is very beneficial to wash off all the toxins that were released over the skin. If you decide to not shower, you might get a few pimples over some time using B3.
You can take Niacin pills that don’t initiate this flush but then you will also not get all the benefits, only some of them. A recent study by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine showed that taking Vitamin B3 without the flushing effect generates virtually no free nicotinic acid and therefore has NO EFFECT ON HDL. I also read that the nonflushing version might even be harmful to your liver and should be avoided.
Vitamin B3 (including the flushing effect) has a lot of benefits for the body.
It strengthens the nervous system, optimizes brain activities, helps with digestion, washes through the circulation, lowers the bad cholesterol as mentioned above already, transports oxygen and nutrition through the body, and cures the feeling of cold hands and feet during the day.
It is also fantastic for your mental health and creates a happier and more balanced mood. Niacin is also fantastic for anti-aging and some recent studies suggest that Niacin might even help massively against brain tumors.
Don’t be afraid of an uncomfortable Niacin flush for about 30min. It feels like a sunburn but benefits your circulation, your mental health, and your skin.
On one of my latest TikToks, I show how a Niacin Flush with 100mg looks on me.
Side note: The effect decreases every day so I might increase my dose slightly in the upcoming days and weeks until I reach 500mg but I don't want to go over 500mg, even though some people do it and are OK and swear by the benefits. Everybody is different so I have to go with my personal body feeling.
Do you have any experience with B3? Please let me know how you feel about it.