Not long after taking niacin, many people notice that their skin reacts to it. While it can be a little alarming the first time you go through with it, this niacin flush is completely natural and not an allergic reaction.
The niacin flush usually begins in the face, and it causes your face to feel warm and itchy. The symptoms can sometimes spread along your chest and arms. It can feel almost like you have pins and needles.
A niacin flush will typically last less than an hour, and it will stop happening a few weeks into niacin treatment if you take increasing doses.
Between 25-40% of people taking niacin will stop because of this niacin flush, but don’t let yourself become one of these people. There’s no reason to let a little flushing stop you from experiencing the amazing health benefits of taking niacin.
Follow these seven top tips for reducing and dealing with niacin flush to bring down your flush during the first few weeks of taking niacin.
7 Tips Dealing with Niacin Flush
#1 Accept Niacin Flush is Only Temporary
The first thing to keep in mind is that the flush is only temporary and will go away on its own. It’s also not threatening at all and is completely harmless. It will only last for less than an hour, and you will only flush when you first start your niacin treatment.
After you build up your dose and reach the recommended dose you’ll flush less and, in some cases, flushing will disappear completely.
Give your treatment time and tough your way through the first few weeks. Remember how powerful niacin is, and you’ll realize that it’s worth it.
#2 Start out Small And Make Gradual Changes
Niacin comes with an initial recommended dose of around 250mg to 300mg. You should start out by taking three doses of 100mg daily and slowly work your way to a dose as high as 1,000 or 2,000mg. When you increase your dose slowly like this, it makes the flushing symptoms less severe.
After reaching your regular dose (remember only to take as much as you need to keep your cholesterol levels healthy), you should take consistent doses. If you decide to restart your niacin treatment you could start flushing all over again.
#3 Take Niacin with Meals
If you take niacin after not eating in a while, it is absorbed much faster, which makes the niacin flush more severe. You should take niacin with a meal to ensure you don’t take it on an empty stomach. Don’t forget to take niacin with plenty of water.
#4 Take it at Bedtime
If you take your dose of niacin before going to bed, then the flushing will happen when you’re asleep, meaning that you likely won’t feel it much.
#5 Avoid Things like Spicy Foods, Alcohol, Hot Drinks, Hot Baths and Showers Before Taking Niacin
These are all factors that can exacerbate flushing so avoid them around the time you need to take niacin. Also, consider taking your niacin with quercetin. Studies have shown that taking this flavonoid antioxidant with niacin can reduce niacin flush symptoms. Start out with a 150mg dose of quercetin before niacin and see how it goes.
#6 Take a Low Dose of Aspirin with Niacin
If you’re really bothered by niacin flush, then you should take a low dose of aspirin with niacin. This can reduce how long and intense the flush is. Try taking a low dose between 80 to 160mg. If it doesn’t help you can increase to a 325mg dose. Research suggests that you should only use aspirin as a kind of temporary “bridge” to get you through the first few weeks of taking niacin and you increase your dosage. You should stop taking aspirin when you reach your maximum dose.
#7 If you Have No Choice then Try Using Extended Release Formulation Niacin
Many people taking niacin will choose to take an immediate-release niacin. This is the most reliable and safe formulation. If you find that your niacin flush is particularly bad, and have been taking regular niacin for a few weeks now, then you should try taking an extended release formulation. This can help to reduce flushing, but it also increases the risks of liver toxicity.
Talk to your doctor before taking an extended release formulation, and they will be able to help you protect your liver.
Avoid “No-Flush” Niacin
While it is true that “no flush” niacin doesn’t cause niacin flush, they are also completely ineffective and don’t come with the same cardiovascular benefits that regular niacin has. We recommend NiacinMax. Click here to read the full review of the product.
You shouldn’t let some uncomfortable side effects of taking niacin stop you from using it effectively to control your cholesterol. Follow our advice to manage and potentially stop niacin flush and do your best to tough out the initial discomfort. It will be worth doing to have this all-natural remedy protecting your heart.