People have been using niacin (vitamin B3) to cure depression and anxiety for years now. Unfortunately far too many people don’t understand the emotional and potential mental benefits that go along with niacin.
There is a lot of secrecy around vitamin therapy, and the history of that goes back a long way. To make a long story short though natural remedies are not, nor are they likely to ever be, supported by the US medical field.
A Brief History of Niacin and Depression
Perhaps the most prolific cases of using niacin to cure depression is the case of Bill Wilson, who founded AA. Bill had been struggling with his chronic depression for years. He met with psychiatrists Humphrey Osmond and Abram Hoffer during the late 50s and was put in a study that included using niacin to treat depression.
Bill was such a strong proponent of niacin that he even tried to make it a part of AA, but the fellowship rejected his idea, and it never came to be. Bill still went on to publish several articles detailing his experiences with depression and using niacin as a cure. He wrote everything down in his book “Pass it On.”
In time since the 50s when the research was conducted many nutritionists, but not too many doctors, have come to prescribe niacin for chronic depression. Unfortunately not many doctors are willing to risk walking the dangerous road that is vitamin therapy.
Did you know that it’s a crime to prescribe nutrition or vitamin treatments for cancer in the United States? Juice Master Jason Vale was imprisoned for his work promoting natural cures.
Busting Myths That Vitamins are “Dangerous”
Okay, it’s not a complete myth that there is some danger to vitamins. There are two documented cases of people have severe reactions to niacin in the “Annals of Emergency Medicine.” These two patients were people who wanted to pass a drug test, so they took a lot of niacin to clear out the cocaine in their systems.
So what’s the difference between this and conventional medicine? Over 783k people die each year from medical mistakes. Of those medical deaths around 100,000 of them are due to prescription medication; even when taking the prescribed dose.
Using Natural Remedies for Depression and Anxiety
When you’re looking at depression and anxiety, an important step is to realize that they can be caused by eating a poor diet and being too stressed. You shouldn’t consider using niacin as your first choice for natural treatment if you aren’t also going to address your exercise, stress, and diet.
You could find that improving your diet, getting regular exercise and taking some time in your day to meditate could be enough to clear up your depression and anxiety.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are side effects associated with prescription medications for emotional illnesses. Some of them could even lead to greater emotional distress or cause some other kind of adverse side-effect.
If your depression and anxiety problems are severe then you should get some medical care from a doctor who knows their way around natural remedies and treatments. While niacin isn’t known to cause death, it should still be taken in carefully managed doses. You should also use other vitamins, especially other B-vitamins, to supplement your niacin.
A doctor who prescribes niacin will often prescribe a frequent small dose, with the dose steadily increasing. Taking too much niacin can make your skin flush, but this niacin flush should go away in about ten minutes or so and there’s no harm in it.
Doctors will also suggest that you take your niacin after each meal in a small dose; commonly 25mg. They might also slowly increase your dose each day; leading to 50mg to be taken with breakfast and then a further 25g with your other two meals.
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be prescribed more than 3,000-9,000mg of niacin a day though and, if your skin continues to flush, you may have your dose lowered.
There are more uses for niacin besides just treating depression. It also works as a great sleeping aid, helps with addiction, and can be used to soothe arthritis and treat schizophrenia and high cholesterol.
Choosing the Right Type of Niacin
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been sufficient research to look into how effective no-flush and flush-free niacin for depression variations are. However, there has been some research that shows if you have high cholesterol then they won’t be as effective. From that, you could suggest that it would also be ineffective for people with depression.
As such we recommend that if you want to use niacin for depression, you take pure nicotinic acid. If you can’t find any at your grocery or pharmacy, you should be able to find it online or at an organic store. Click here for the list of recommended niacin supplements.
Natural Sources of Niacin
You can get more niacin through your diet by eating niacin rich foods such as almonds and seeds, wheat products, beans, rice bran, leafy vegetables, carrots, turnips, celery, lean red meat, fish, organ meats such as kidney and liver, prawns and pork.