Vitamin B3, also called Niacin, is a supplement used to lower bad cholesterol and fight heart disease. Three types of Niacin are available on the market: nicotinic acid, nicotinamide and inositol hexaniacinate. Nicotinic hexaniacinate is also known as no-flush niacin.
Why No-Flush Niacin?
Although Niacin is an important supplement for those looking to lower their cholesterol and fend off heart disease, it is known for having an uncomfortable side effect: flushing. The flushing can cause redness, hot flashes and itching of the face and body. No-flush niacin is said to provide the same benefits as Niacin without the uncomfortable side effects.
Buying No-Flush Niacin
No-flush niacin can be purchased from most vitamin and supplement stores. Most places that offer traditional niacin also offer no-flush niacin. It can also be purchased through many different online retailers. While it has been limited in the past, niacin is very popular these days and is not difficult to find.
No-Flush Niacin Controversy
In his article “Don’t Be Taken in by No-Flush Niacin,” Dr. Simeon Margolis M.D., Ph.D. says that no-flush niacin does not work as well as the traditional variety. He says that while no-flush advertisers are correct in the fact that their product does not cause flushing, “what they fail to mention though is that their no-flush niacins don’t work. That is, they do not raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or triglycerides.
Alternatives to No-Flush Niacin
In his article, Dr. Margolis suggests that those who are bothered by the flushing that traditional niacin causes have another option to no-flush niacin: aspirin. “If you are troubled by niacin-induced flushing,” he says, “you can usually prevent it by taking one tablet of regular aspirin about 30 minutes before the niacin dose.”
Talk to Your Doctor
As always, it is best to talk to your doctor about no-flush niacin, traditional niacin or any other alternative treatments for lowering cholesterol, especially if you are on prescription medication as well. Your doctor can provide the most reliable information for you as to whether or not no-flush niacin or any other supplement is the best choice for you.