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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Niacin, ****gadzooks****

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Author Topic: Niacin, ****gadzooks****
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LLMD put me niacin. "Don't get the no-flush kind" he said.

I forget what dosage one tab is as I packed a container to work. I just had one tab for lunch and I am BEET red. Temp must be 103, my shirt feel like wool all of a sudden.

Also on Tindmax and doxy, artemisinin, B,C,D, mag, a few others, carrot juice and Elvis.

I know the "flush will pass. As intense as I am reacting it feels quite good, sauna like.

I found this from GIGI:

Both my husband and I took Niacin (working up to 6,000 mg quite rapidly) for many months.

This from Dr. K.: "For the psychiatric presentation of Lyme Disease I use large doses of Niacin. Niacinamide and no-flush Niacin do not work. 3-6 grams in 3-4 divided doses often show amazing results. It appears that Niacin has tremendous antibiotic potential against all types of Borrelia. I suspect that our mentor and genius in orthomolecular psychiatry, Abraham Hoffer, MD, discovered a treatment for Bb long before Lyme Disease was known."

I studied Dr. Hoffer's work twenty years ago for a schizoid relative! He is still at it somewhere in Canada. Amazing!

Niacin works great as an addition when getting into the Sauna. Anyone interested, let me know, and I will give the details here later.


Does the body get a resistance built up to the flush effect?


"In spite of the ever increasing cost of living, it remains quite popular" S. Shackel

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Just a small word of caution to anyone thinking of trying this - make sure you don't have problems with low blood pressure or drops in blood pressure as the flushing action of the niacin has to do with vasodilation which in turn lowers blood pressure. I have Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS, often referred to as NMH on here) which causes my BP to drop very low at times so I cannot take regular niacin. My PCP wanted me on Niacin to try to lower my LDL ("bad" cholesterol) but my LLMD noticed the issues of combining Niacin with my NCS problems so I'm on niacinate, the kind that apparently doesn't work for this.

Anyway, just wanted to mention this. It's an interesting topic (treating with Niacin) and I'm intrigued by it!

Peace and healing,


Lyme Out Retreats

My Lyme Journal

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I had the SAME reaction! I accidentally took 2 niacin pills instead of one, and then next thing I know I am redder than a fire engine and felt like I was 1000 degrees!

Even just taking one will get that reaction. But at least I know to expect it.



The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer. --- Edward R. Murrow

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I haven't ever tried this for Lyme. Interesting though.

I do remember one time when I was in college and my big brother gave me Niacin as what he termed.. .a joke.

Not funny. I turned beet red and was on fire. He gave me a piece of bread to eat. The fire ended immediately.

Just thought I'd pass on something that I found out will stop it if it ever gets unbearable for those trying this out.

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Your doctor should have explained what to expect when taking niacin, especially if you have not taken it before. It could frighten you if you are not familiar with it. Maybe he should try it him/herself if they have never done so. I had a friend who took a couple of grams shortly before she was going through one of the New York tunnels into the city -------- she wasn't sure she would make it!! But of course she did
It's sort of nice to do that with your doctor's approval.

Yes, it should be the flush-type niacin. The slow release does not accomplish what you want it to do. It's been found to be a very potent antibiotic for Lyme Disease in high doses.

You need to go up to at least 3 grams per day (3000 mg). Patients start usually with 500 mg, and they get the niacin flush afterward. You are probably going to look red, feel hot, and maybe you feel like scratching. That may take 15 min. or an hour. Just make sure you get through the first flush, and take another pill in half an hour or an hour, or afterward.

The histamine release and release of substances that cause the niacin flush comes from the mast cells, and once they are emptied, you can take all the niacin in the world and there won't be anymore flush. It takes a while to build it up, and if you keep taking a regular dose of niacin afterward, within 3-4 days, you can be on 3 grams a day. (We went to 6,000 mg divided over the day for a long time.)

Niacin is also now taken for cardiac care to elevate HDL levels (high density lipoprotein levels). It has a great effect in turning on the shuttle system across the cell wall for heavy metals. That's called reverse cholesterol transport. In short, by taking high doses of niacin, it basically removes used-up cholesterol from inside of the cells and carries out all the toxins with it. Niacin is great for that. When someone is tested with ART while they are in a niacin flush, the heavy metals really show up. So it should be combined with high doses of chlorella and a bit of cilantro and it is a great way to detox and treating Lyme at the same time.

That was basically what we did.

Take care.

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Thanks GIGI,

Your posts here have been extremely important to me, very much appreciated. Inspirational.

Consider this a simple






"In spite of the ever increasing cost of living, it remains quite popular" S. Shackel

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WOWEE!!! You all have incredible tolerance to being on fire.
I took only 100 mgs. of Niacin once and ended up outside in the cold in my pajamas, rubbing ice cubes all over myself and praying for it to be over. The flush lasted about 30 mins. but felt like a year.
My Cardiologist has me on no-flush Niacin for high triglycerides. It works great, but does not lower my LDL, nor raise my HDL....I wish it would. I take 1,300 mgs. daily, all at once. Nobody should ever take slow dose niacin of any is too hard on the liver. Ditto taking small doses throughout the day. The liver needs a long rest after the strain of dealing with high dose Niacin...I was told this by three different doctors. Niacin works best if taken at night, since that is when the liver detoxes anyway.
Those of you who can stand regular Niacin have my admiration. More power to you!

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Before you do anything you are not sure about,
you might do a bit of searching for the work of
Abraham Hoffer, MD, a genius in orthomolecular psychiatry. He probably discovered treatment of Bb long before Lyme Disease was known. I think he still practices, somewhere in British Columbia.
He has treated, very successfully, many schizophrenia sufferers with high doses Niacin. I knew and studied his his work 30 years ago.
My doctor considers him a mentor.

Many of Dr. K's patients are on this program - and doing well with it, with no ill effects to any organ.

The subject of Niacin has been talked about on this board many times. Do a search and you will probably find more info.

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Very interesting stuff on Niacin.

Thanks, Gigi!

- JB

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Follow up:

I herxed pretty good yesterday afternoon and last night. Had the first headaches in 6 months, stuffed nose, malaise, weakness. Slept really good.

This am I am having my first truly *good* day in a very, very long time. I could even speak almost coherently for the first hour or two. Head cleared alot.

This is day 40 of my abx, the last 2 weeks were tough. All I can say is that the Niacin helps alot. Not comfortably at first but such that I brought a whole bottle of it to work.


"In spite of the ever increasing cost of living, it remains quite popular" S. Shackel

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My experience was that I never got to a point that I did not have the flush. I would flush with only 250-500mg of niacin. Took it for over 10 years and the flush never went away. So I don't know that it is realistic to think that it will go away for everyone.

Be well,

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Scott, the doses have to go high enough and constant to unload the histamines and substances that cause the flush. On a low dose, the stuff comes out in a trickle. One has to get over that hump, with higher doses, where the mast cells are emptied. I remember the reactions to become milder and milder.

It's a good idea to get ART tested, or similar, and do it under a physician's supervision.

Take care.

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L. Ron Hubbard used Niacin (in increasing doses) in his "Purification Program" as described in his book "Clear Body Clear Mind," with other supplements and heavy use of saunas. Dr. Sherry Rogers refers to this and also talks about Niacin in her book "Detoxify or Die." I don't know if Dr. Hoffer has any books out there, but I will look.

Niacin is a powerful tool that seems to scare people off with the initial flush. I've heard it can be hard on the liver, but from what people have posted that may be misinformation.

Is it really OK to use long-term, once you get up to the high doses?

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Niacin (vitamin B-3) has been used in doses up to tens of thousands of milligrams per day for over 40 years by psychiatrists. It is an effective alternative treatment for severe depression, psychotic behavior, and schizophrenia. Most physicians have ignored niacin's usefulness until rather recently. Niacin has finally gained popularity as one of the cheapest ways to lower serum cholesterol. Changes in liver function tests have been reported in persons taking one to five thousand milligrams daily of niacin BY ITSELF. Three important points have generally gone unnoticed:

1. Niacin is much better tolerated when given with Vitamin C. Abram Hoffer, M.D. pioneered high dose niacin therapy back in the 1950's. He repeatedly published his observations that gram-sized doses of vitamin C greatly improve a patient's niacin tolerance. Dr. Hoffer recommended at least as much vitamin C per dose as niacin. With three thousand milligrams of niacin per day, then, one would need a MINIMUM of three thousand milligrams of vitamin C. The medical profession's unfounded resistance to large doses of vitamin C is embarrassingly well known. It is useless to blame niacin for side effects caused by ignoring expert medical advice on how to use it correctly along with vitamin C.

Vincent Zannoni at the University of Michigan Medical School has shown that vitamin C protects the liver itself. Even doses as low as 500 milligrams daily helped prevent fatty buildup and cirrhosis. 5,000 mg of vitamin C per day appears to actually flush fats from the liver. (Ritter, M. "Study Says Vitamin C Could Cut Liver Damage," Associated Press, October 11, 1986) F. R. Klenner, M.D. showed that very large doses of vitamin C (between 500 to 900 mg per kilogram body weight per day) can cure hepatitis in two to four days (Smith, L. H., ed. Clinical Guide To The Use Of VitaminC, Life Science Press, Tacoma Washington, 1988, pp 22-23).

2. Niacin is also one of the team of B-vitamins and needs any massive intake to be at least partly balanced with the rest of the B-complex, just like B-6 mentioned above. Would you pay for a tune up for your car and change only one spark plug? If you have several kids, would you feed only one? Would you pay for cable TV if there were only one channel? Taking only one B-vitamin is neither logical nor efficient. So avoid doing it unless there is a good reason.

3. Many, perhaps most, persons showing changes in their liver function tests upon ingestion of large amounts of niacin have been using alcohol. Accurate information about sizable alcohol consumption is very difficult to get from a patient: the more they use, the less they'll tell. Two thirds of all American adults drink alcohol, averaging out to be about three drinks per day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. If you do not drink that much, then somebody out there is drinking MORE.

Alcohol does nothing if it doesn't hurt the liver. The French have the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in the world. They also have the world's highest percentage of deaths from cirrhosis of the liver. Working hard, the human liver can detoxify about one drink every two hours. Know anyone who drinks at a faster rate than that? Then marvel that they have a liver that functions at all. Alcohol is a drug, and consumption and abuse is more widespread and more serious than most persons imagine. Over two thirds of all hospital admissions of the elderly are alcohol related. (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Oasas Today, 1:1, Sept-Oct. 1992)

The liver undergoes profound changes in both its endoplasmic reticula and its microsomal enzymes in order to detoxify alcohol. The unbalanced introduction of very large doses of niacin to an overloaded liver may well overtax an alcohol-strained system. This is likely where some changes in liver function tests come from (American Journal of Medicine, vol 86, April, 1989, page 431 and vol. 87, August 1989, page 248; American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 64, October 1, 1989 page 728).

4. Any hepatotoxic effects of niacin are almost invariably associated with the sustained release form (Journal of the American Medical Association, March 2, 1994). Sustained release niacin generally enables higher doses with less "flushing." However, that warm sensation called flushing indicates niacin saturation. Sustained release delivery may therefore be hiding this sign that the body has had enough niacin at a given time.

5. Simply reducing the dosage reduces side effects. (Naito, H. "Reducing Cardiac Deaths with Hypolipidemic Drugs," Postgraduate Medicine, vol 82, no. 6, November 1987; Figge, H. L. et al: "Nicotinic Acid: A Review of its Clinical Use in the Treatment of Lipid Disorders," Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 8, no. 5, 1988) Since the regular "immediate release" form of niacin also is effective in lowering total cholesterol and actually improves beneficial HDL levels, why not just use the plain tablets? Take less, but more often, and you approximate the idea of a sustained release tablet, but with a lower dose. If there is a flush, reduce the dose. The idea is to be comfortable. It is better to be able to use less of the vitamin for a long time than to use a lot, have trouble, and quit. American physicians often over prescribe anyway, and niacin is no exception.

Niacin is not a magic cholesterol bullet, nor is cholesterol the only factor in heart disease. Niacin is PART of the picture, part of the B-vitamin team, and part of a total health program. Granted, niacin is indeed important. This is shown by even our inadequate US RDA, which recommends many times more niacin than any other B-vitamin. However, persons truly seeking to lower their cholesterol need to eat more fiber, more vegetables (especially carrots), more vitamins E and C, and to exercise more. They also need to eat less sugar, less fat, less meat, and reduce stress. There are ZERO harmful effects (and countless side BENEFITS) in taking these steps.

People who do not want to change their diet and do not want to change their lifestyle ask doctors for a pill instead. There is no such thing as monotherapy for cardiovascular disease. If there was, we'd all use it and be saving literally a million lives each year. Is it really that big a surprise that niacin alone isn't enough to do the job right?

You're only a failure when you stop trying.

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Is there a brand of niacin that you suggest for this application? Thanks

Be well,

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Scott, I don't want to suggest anything to anybody. You see how some of the people react to some posts.

So --- we of course were tested with ART before we used anything. My husband and I learned enough ART so that we can test ourselves and it is amazing how some remedies definitely become a no-no at times. That precludes any "off" reaction to any of the fillers, which is more often the problem with supplements than the actual nutrient. More often people react to fillers and it is wise to start reading all the fine print.

The Niacin we used was I believe the 500 mg capsules of Solaray. On and off, we still use Niacin 20 minutes before going into the sauna, and even before that a whack of selenium. But that's for us - people that are not loaded with heavy metals any longer. Anyone doing anything like this, please do it only with the okay of your hopefully knowledgable doctor. Some doctors just plain don't have a clue! when it comes to detoxing of the nasty metal stuff. It may also be contraindicated when certain medicines are used. That's what we are paying a doctor for - ask him/her.

Just noticed a note on the bottle: "Niacin, or Vitamin B-3, is a necessary part of the body's pathway for making energy. The body converts niacin into NADH through its complex biochemistry in order to generate ATP, an energy form that the body can use."

This is also where the KMT comes into play -- the ATP.

I remember we paid a little fortune when buying 10 mg of NADH!!!!! We did not buy it for very long.

I would like to add here: If I have heard it once from our doctor, I have heard it 100 times:

"Never stop detoxing metals as long as you take vitamins and antibiotics." That means, my words now, that you have to be prepared for the fallout of heavy metals that comes with the die-off. Herxheimers are often misinterpreted.

Take care.

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5HTP (tryptophan, Mg, B vits)converts directly to serotonin which converts to melatonin IF 2 enzymes are present.

Melatonin is a very powerful antioxidant.

Now...this is curious...if you take 5HTP supps (can NOT do this if you are already on Rx anti-depressants!)...and your body determines it doesn't need additional 5HTP/serotonin...that there is already enough at the present time...then 5HTP is converted to niacin.


Just a little trivia.

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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

Newbie Links

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I wonder if the whole "antibiotic / herx effect" from niacin is simply that since it opens up the capillaries and lets blood flow more freely, your own immune system and any treatment reach more of your body?

I take it for the cholesterol benefits (I have low HDL and high triglycerides), along with 500mg vitamin C to counter a potential rise in blood sugar, and a B-50 to counter a potential rise in homocysteine.

The red-face and warm feeling isn't so bad. Makes the chills go bye-bye.

- JB

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anyone still on niacin?

what is a good brand?



"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."

[email protected]

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If memory serves me, I believe taking an aspirin about 1/2 hour before can prevent the flushing.

Clinical Evidence for Use of Acetyl Salicylic Acid In Control Of Flushing Related To Nicotinic Acid Treatment


Nicotinic acid (NA) is highly effective and widely used in the management of dyslipidaemia. For many patients, the side effect of flushing of the face and upper body leads to discontinuation.

Flushing with NA is mediated by prostaglandins, and as acetyl salicylic acid (ASA, 'aspirin') is a highly effective inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, there is a rationale for its use to prevent or reduce the severity of NA-related flushing.

This literature survey identified four studies specifically exploring the utility of ASA in preventing NA-related flushing in healthy volunteers.

Twenty-three NA studies, where ASA was mandatory or optional within the protocol, and four studies, where background ASA therapy was reported in most participants, were also identified.

Although the incidence of flushing in studies using ASA was often high, discontinuation rates due to flushing were low (mean 7.7%).

This figure compares favourably with discontinuation rates with NA commonly reported in the literature (up to approximately 40%).

There is good supportive evidence for the use of ASA in reducing the severity of NA-related flushing.

(Acetyl Salicylic Acid = Aspirin)

[ 02. November 2008, 12:13 AM: Message edited by: AliG ]

Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

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Ali, Interesting about the aspirin connection, but you have to wonder if that has any effect on the therapeutic properties of niacin.

Hubby has no memory of a tickbite and never had a rash -- just flu like symptoms initially. He has only ever had band 41 show up on numerous antibody tests from numerous labs. But he does have one positive PCR test.

Before he was diagnosed an alternative doc in Florida advised him to do saunas. We bought a small space heater. I greased him up with olive oil and he would go into the bathroom for about half an hour. He took a small dose of niacin before doing this. Can't remember but I think it was only 100 or 200 mg.

We did this for 2 or 3 weeks and then moved onto other treatments. As far as I remember he never got a flush or it was very mild. But the really interesting part is that he got some sort of underarm rash which could possibly have been a bull's eye Lyme rash.

Two other times during treatment he has had similar rashes. Once was when we started high dose IV Vitamin C -- 25 grams daily for several weeks.

The third time was when he was using oral pepto bismol for G.I. irritation and had a calcium EDTA IV as part of a heavy metal challenge test.

I do believe that niacin does possibly have some properties which could at least bring borrelia out of hiding. No way of knowing if it actually kills it or not.

Bea Seibert

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The first time I got a serious Niacin flush was also one of the first times I went to the desert. I was very worried about heatstroke and dehydration while on my hike, and I had completely forgotten that I'd taken the niacin. When the flush happened I thought I was getting heatstroke and completely freaked out. It was very funny once I figured out later what was actually happening.

Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
Homemade Probiotics thread
Herbal Links Thread

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Up - this is a great thread.

Interested in seeing if anyone is currently taking niacin, and if so - how long have you been taking it, and has the flush lessened with time?

�Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?� - A.A. Milne

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Mentioned above, regarding:

* Acetyl Salicylic Acid = Aspirin

For anyone with ear problems, be very careful with aspirin. It can be toxic to the ears (ototoxic). If tinnitus is an issue, it is best to avoid aspirin. If using and tinnitus develops, just back down in the dose and see if that makes a different. If not, it should be avoided and further consult with LL ear specialist may help.

Ototoxic Drugs by Neil G. Bauman

You can take a look inside the book at this Amazon link. You can see a bit of what he has to say about aspirin and ear safety.

Left-hand margin, in a search of the book -- 26 results for 'aspirin'




* 5-HTP, tryptophan and KPU/HPU or other porphyrias:

If 5-HTP is working well, fabulous. Enjoy the benefits. But, if it causes any "hang-over" or other symptoms . . .

If you have any sort of porphyria, tryptophan may not be for you. (5-HTP is a form of that.) There is an explanation of that here:

Topic: NATURAL SLEEP - Links to articles & supplements


* ARTEMISININ is also mentioned above and many have trouble with that as it also pushed the liver detox pathway related to porphyrias.

However, with good liver support and attention to matters of porphyria, many lyme patients can tolerate it fine and it can work very well. Just be aware that liver support is absolutely essential with artemisinin . . . and there may be some who do better than others.

I know most of us know all this. I'm thinking of the first time readers who may just try to take this on their own, before putting the precautions in place. I wish I had know when I first tried this. More details about porphyria in the Sleep thread, linked above.

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Giving this a boost and just dropped 2000mg of niacin yea I went red but an hour and a half after am now feeling fine.

Anybody else doing high doses?

See the michondrial disfunction thread where I have posted on niacin.

Detoxing from lyme etc niacin is essential�


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I would not take aspirin with niacin. The flush shows you the niacin is working! If it's too hot, you took too much, and should back off.

Niacin can also get the body to show up old radiation. I have seen the red from 30-year past sunburns when taking niacin!!

Personally, I worked my way up to 3-5 grams at one point, using sauna and flanking it with other vitamins.

Since then, I have used 125 mg and still get a flush sometimes. I think it is working on newly acquired toxins.

I'm excited about the use of niacin to kill Bb! Might try that myself, once I get the heavy metals more under control.


Cass A

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I have ordered this book by Hoffer. He took most of his life 1500-5000mg.

He has also written a book on B3 but this book includes a long chapter on B3.

Vitamin dependency is disscussed in this book.

Took 4000 grams yesterday plan to take 6000 grams today and continue at high doses for the rest of my life!!!!


``Thanks to the information that I read in your book, Orthomolecular Medicine For Everyone, plus the information I found on your website (and some others) I was able to do the impossible: cure my son of schizoaffective disorder. My son is now completely off his medication (Risperdal and Adivan), and is back in high school, taking advanced placement courses. He's playing soccer and basketball, playing trumpet and trombone, and he's got a part time job.

``Two months ago, during a "family session" at the hospital, a psychologist asked me "how it felt to have a son with a major mental illness." He also commented that my son would probably need to take medication for the rest of his life. A psychiatrist at the same hospital told me that they didn't make such a diagnosis "lightly".

``A month after his discharge I was in the psychiatrist's office with my son, holding your book in my hand. You will be happy to know that the psychiatrist was absolutely thrilled with my boy's progress, and asked to borrow your book. I gladly handed it to her. I hope that she will be able to help many more others the way you helped us.

``By the way, I also started taking vitamin supplements and eating healthier. I am now no longer taking anti-depressants, my thinning hair is growing back in, my varicose veins are disappearing, I'm losing weight, and I feel great!''

For ordering information, Click Here .

Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone:

Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians

by Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, and Andrew Saul, PhD

Reviewed by Robert Sealey . Reprinted with permission.

Megavitamin therapeutics? Whazzat? Do vital amines have health-restoring capabilities? In this book, two highly-qualified authors, Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD and Andrew Saul, PhD explain how orthomolecular medicine can help people feel better and live longer. In Part One, Dr. Hoffer (biochemist, physician and psychiatrist-retired) and Dr. Saul (health educator) teach us that: (1) vitamins and minerals are important to human health; (2) nutritional deficiencies can cause health problems; (3) many patients can restore their health by taking supplements; and (4) healing with nutrients only happens if each patient receives optimal doses (much higher than anti-starvation levels). After introducing the concepts of nutritional deficiencies and dependencies and biochemical individuality, the authors outline the healing capabilities of vitamins, starting with B-3, an essential nutrient which has three names - nicotinic acid, niacin and niacinamide. Then Hoffer and Saul explain how orthomolecular doctors treat chronic illnesses and maintain health by prescribing regimens of vitamins A, B, C, D and E with trace minerals and other nutrients.

Part Two details safe, effective and restorative orthomolecular treatments for nine health problems: (1) gastrointestinal disorders, (2) cardiovascular disease, (3) arthritis, (4) cancer, (5) the aging brain, (6) psychiatric and behavioral disorders, (7) epilepsy and Huntington's disease, (8) allergies, infections, toxic reactions, trauma, lupus and multiple sclerosis and (9) skin problems.

Will a poor diet drain our vitality? If we get sick, can nutrients restore our health? Consider mental illness: most psychiatrists quickly label patients, prescribe combinations of meds (antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants etc.) and talk to their psychoses. Non-responsive patients get electric shocks. Early in his career, Dr. Hoffer saw very few recoveries after patients got labels, meds, talks or shocks. He wondered whether psychotic patients might have metabolic disorders rather than neuroleptic deficiencies. Most doctors don't pay any mind if patients eat junk food or self-medicate with alcohol, oblivious to the reality that brain cells need decent food. Certain nutrients are essential. Psychiatrists don't often consider nutrition but Abram Hoffer went to the old school which taught doctors to assess root causes and contributing factors before making a differential diagnosis. As Hoffer evaluated biochemical and nutritional factors underlying psychosis, he discovered that foods and nutrients can affect mental health. Over his long and distinguished career, Dr. Hoffer fine-tuned patients' diets and prescribed regimens of vital amines, trace minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, energy and enzyme cofactors. These treatments helped many of his patients to stop hallucinating, rejoin their communities, work, pay taxes and live well. Impossible, you say?

Initially, Dr. Hoffer networked with a small team of scientists and health professionals who cooperated to research and develop restorative treatments for schizophrenia. Linus Pauling, PhD read Hoffer's book, Niacin Therapy, which reported the first patients who responded to niacin for acute schizophrenia. Pauling named it ``orthomolecular psychiatry'' (Science, 1968). Dr. Hoffer explains the restorative dimension of care: ``The practice of orthomolecular medicine recognizes that diseases are due to a metabolic fault that is correctable in most patients by good nutrition, including the use of vitamins and mineral supplements.''

Megavitamin therapeutics proved safe and effective. Many of Hoffer's acute schizophrenia patients recovered taking optimum doses of a methyl acceptor (B-3, niacin or niacinamide) with an antioxidant (C, ascorbic acid). For more than fifty years, while researching and developing regimens of nutrients to heal psychosis and other mental disorders, Hoffer reported clinical progress and success by improving diets and giving medicinal doses of vitamins B-3, B-6, C, zinc and manganese. Thousands of patients recovered.

Most psychiatrists ignored Hoffer's double-blind placebo-controlled gold-standard research. Without studying his ideas, experiments, data or findings, `modern' psychiatrists dismissed Hoffer's reports of a 75% recovery rate for acute schizophrenia. They did not interview his recovered patients. Believing that thousands of patients and their trusting families could benefit from complementary vitamins and minerals, Abram Hoffer somehow found the time to write more than 30 books and 600 medical journal articles and editorials. For decades, he wrote about the biochemistry of schizophrenia, described the healing capabilities of vitamins and other nutrients, recommended healthy diets and introduced orthomolecular medicine to patients, families, caregivers and health professionals. Hoffer's books include The Chemical Basis of Clinical Psychiatry (1960), Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry (1962), How to Live with Schizophrenia (1966), The Hallucinogens (1967), Smart Nutrients (1980) Orthomolecular Medicine for Physicians (1989), and Adventures in Psychiatry (2005). This 2008 book, clear enough for every reader, is a classic example of Hoffer's thorough research, detailed references, careful observations and thoughtful writing.

While prescribing vitamins for patients, Hoffer took the same daily doses of niacin and ascorbic acid himself (vitamins B-3 and C). How many psychiatrists self-test their treatments? He experienced the niacin flush with two brief side effects: warmth and redness. He had no side attacks or toxic effects while taking vitamins, only side benefits. Abram Hoffer's decades-long personal experiment shows that the right doses of the right nutrients can help a doctor feel better and live longer. Will you live as long as Dr. Hoffer if you take vitamins B-3 and C? Maybe you will; note that Dr. Hoffer wrote this book in his 91st year.

Anyone can read about the decades of research, study the references and consider the regimens which Dr. Abram Hoffer and his colleagues developed, tested, healed thousands of patients with, took themselves and wrote clinical success stories about, since the 1950s. Abram Hoffer and Andrew Saul wrote this informative, insightful, helpful and hopeful book to educate the public how we can restore our health, get proper medical care, adjust our diets and take supplements. Hoffer and Saul encourage us to eat foods that we can metabolize and supplement with nutrients (vitamins, minerals and amino acids, antioxidants, energy and enzyme co-factors and essential fatty acids). If we suffer from metabolic problems, deficiencies or dependencies, we can ask our health professionals to complement standard treatments with nutritional regimens. If our doctors don't know about restorative care, we can ask for second opinions.

As you read this fascinating book, you will learn how to restore health and live well by eating nutritious foods and asking health professionals to recommend nutritional supplements. Ortho-molecular medicine has helped thousands of patients, for decades. Optimum doses of essential nutrients tested safe and effective. You can help yourself recover, feel better and live longer; then tell your friends and families!

For ordering information, Click Here .

Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone

by Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, and Andrew W. Saul, PhD.

Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2008. 376 pages.

Reviewed by Irene Alleger in the Townsend Letter, No 315, October 2009, p 95. Reprinted with permission.

"Anyone who wishes to become familiar with orthomolecular medicine, may do so by simply beginning with a whole foods, sugar�free diet and a few vitamins. Even with this simple approach, people report success."

If the government is serious about making health care affordable for everyone, they need look no further than this book. Unfortunately, many doctors continue to discourage their patients from taking vitamins and other supplements, often stating that their benefits have not been proven. They are "toeing the party line," obscuring the fact that they know little or nothing about nutrition, whether in the form of food or supplements.

The authors of Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone, however, are experts in the field of nutrition, with many years of experience between them, and their book is an authoritative guide to the use of megavitamin treatments for a wide range of conditions. The 30 pages of scientific references disprove the "party line," offering evidence that megavitamin treatments are effective and safe.

Orthomolecular psychiatry began after the two forms of vitamin B3 were identified as niacin and niacinamide back in 1938, with notable results; and other clinical studies were done on diseases such as arthritis, showing that treatment with niacinamide reversed the disease. However, with the era of "wonder" drugs beginning, these nutritional studies were ignored, both in curricula and practice.

Over the past several decades, there is evidence that the public is showing much more interest in clinical nutrition than the medical community. Almost everyone takes a few vitamins, and the interest in so-called alternative medicine has increased greatly. The word orthomolecular was coined in 1968 by Linus Pauling to describe the use of nutrients in optimum amounts as the main treatment. This is in contrast to the amounts recommended in the government's "food guide pyramid" and dietary allowances, which are considered the minimum needed to forestall frank disease. With our current American diet, the need for scientific nutritional information is great; the average person remains confused about what constitutes a healthy diet.

Drs. Hoffer and Saul not only explain how food supplements are used to treat many conditions, with extensive chapters on niacin, vitamin C, vitamin E, other B vitamins, and A and D; they also write specifically of treating gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, and the aging brain. What this book does very well is to make nutrition and its effects on health understandable. For example, in discussing why the kinds of foods we eat is important, the authors write: "Animals in their native state eat whole foods ... the advantage of whole foods is that they contain all the nutrients needed to keep life going." The growing problem of obesity is addressed as "caused by excessive consumption of sugar." The term "sugar metabolic syndrome" is used to describe the enormous increase in the consumption of refined or processed foods, especially sugar and white flour. Studies show the harm from refining of carbohydrates as removing fiber from our diet, which affects the gastrointestinal system, from the teeth to the colon. It also causes overconsumption of calories, obesity, and diabetes, and it removes protein, which is required to neutralize hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone is full of illuminating advice, such as: "On the orthomolecular diet, there is no need to be concerned about getting too much fat. This becomes possible only when processed foods ... are used. In addition, with a good diet one need not be concerned about the ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fat, as a blend of animal and vegetable foods will ensure that neither too little nor too much of either fat is consumed.

Many Americans will be surprised to learn the real causes of atherosclerosis, too. Rather than a pharmaceutical drug deficiency, one of the main causes is the sugar metabolic syndrome diet. The relation among cholesterol, fat, and protein is complex, but clearly explained by the authors.

Much of the confusion and lack of information on nutrition is due to the political power of Big Pharma. Every opportunity is taken to disparage and deny any positive results from vitamins, as the orthomolecular approach to treating disease could compete in the marketplace for the billions of dollars now generated by drug treatment. The authors state unequivocally that "restoring health must be done nutritionally, not pharmacologically."

For ordering information, Click Here .

For information about Andrew Saul's other books:

FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy is reviewed at

DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works is reviewed at

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Dr Hoffer on the safety of Niacin:

AWS: What are the alleged "dangers" of niacin therapy?

AH: Niacin is probably not quite as safe as water, but pretty close to it.
Patients ask me, "How dangerous is niacin therapy?" I answer them, "You are
going to live a lot longer. Is that a problem for you?"AWS: Data compiled by the
American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) indicates that, over the
past 25 years, there have been a total of one or two deaths attributed to
niacin. When I looked for evidence to substantiate even this very low number of
alleged fatalities, it was absent or assumed. AH: There have been no deaths ever
from niacin. The LD 50 (the dosage that would kill half of those taking it) for
dogs is 6000 milligrams per kilogram body weight. That is equivalent to half a
pound of niacin per day for a human. No human takes 225 000 milligrams of niacin
a day. They would be nauseous long before reaching a harmful dose. The top
niacin dose ever was a 16-year-old schizophrenic girl who took 120 tablets (500
mg each) in one day. That is 60 000 mg of niacin. The "voices" she had been
hearing were gone immediately. She then took 3000 mg a day to maintain wellness.

AWS: If I do not press this point, a reader will: Maintained high doses of
niacin may raise liver function tests, and this is used as evidence of harm.

AH: Niacin is not liver toxic. Niacin therapy increases liver function tests.
But this elevation means that the liver is active. It does not indicate an
underlying liver pathology. Dr. Bill Parsons discussed this extremely well in
his book on niacin and cholesterol (Cholesterol Control Without Diet; Lilac
Press, 2000). I personally have been on 1500 to 6000 milligrams daily since
1955. The biggest danger of taking niacin is that you live longer. One of my
patients is 112. She does cross-country skiing and has been on niacin for 42
years. The fear doctors have of niacin is not based on data or facts and, like
any myth, is very had to eradicate. So many patients are on niacin that by
chance some will also have liver damage from other conditions such as
alcoholism, hepatitis and so on. Niacin does not make it any better nor worse.

AWS: What are the differences among the various forms of niacin?

AH: Niacin and niacinamide are equally effective for schizophrenia, but higher
doses of niacin can be tolerated without nausea. Inositol hexaniacinate (a
no-flush form of niacin) works, too, but not quite as well. Only niacin or
inositol hexaniacinate can lower cholesterol; niacinamide does not.

AWS: You have long been interested in nutrition as adjunctive therapy for

AH: I have treated over 1600 cancer patients, most of whom were given 12 000
milligrams per day or more of ascorbic acid, in combination with other
nutrients. The results have been good, and at least 40% of the 1600 reached
ten-year cure rates. A small number of patients who were on every attending
physician's terminal and untreatable list were cured. Linus Pauling and I had
examined the follow-up data and found that the significant prolongation of these
patients' lives favors the use of the vitamins. We published this in our book
Healing Cancer: Complementary Vitamin & Drug Treatments (CCNM Press, 2004).

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The last two days been on 6000mg in 3 divided daily doses.

Already the flushing is much less.

According to Hoffer everbody over 50 should be on a minimum of 3000 daily.

I tried this before and stopped, this time I am going to keep taking this for ever!!!


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I wish I knew what all my aunt used to take for years. She was a Shaklee saleslady...Who died of liver cancer. She suffered migraines for years.

And regularly incapacitated. But she got into the business because of the home sales, and her irregular health.

If only I had know then what I know now...

Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +

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No flushing at all today on 6000mg


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Niacin, Coronary Disease and Longevity

by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

In 1954, it was impossible to predict or even to think that my bleeding gums would one day, 31 years later, lead to additional useful life to people with coronary disease related to cholesterol and lipid metabolism. That year, malocclusion of my teeth had broken down the ability of my gum tissue to repair itself quickly enough. Because my bite was not correct there was too much wear and tear on tooth sockets and my gums began to bleed. No amount of vitamin C and no amount of dental repair helped. Eventually I reconciled myself to the idea I would soon have all my teeth extracted.

But at this time I had been treating schizophrenics and seniles and a few other diseases with niacin, and I began also to take this vitamin, 1 gram after each meal, i.e. three grams per day. I did so because I wanted to experience the flush which comes when one first takes niacin and its gradual waning with continuing use so I could discuss this reaction more knowledgeably with my patients. There was also a legal issue - most doctors' defence against malpractice suits is that they were doing what any other similar physician would do it like circumstances. If I were sued (I have never been sued) because of unusual discomfort or because of adverse effects from niacin, I would not be able to use that defence since only a handful of physicians had ever used these large quantities of niacin. I had concluded that if the unlikely did occur and I was charged with malpractice, one of my defences would be that I had tried it myself for at least three months without suffering any serious consequences. I must admit I had not discussed this with any litigation lawyer. My reasons were therefore both practical and paranoid. I had no intention of treating myself or my bleeding gums.

Two weeks after I had started taking niacin my gums were normal. I was brushing my teeth one morning and suddenly awakened in surprise there was no bleeding whatever! A few days later my dentist confirmed my gums were no longer swollen, and I still have most of my teeth. Eventually I reasoned that the niacin had restored the ability of my gum tissue to repair itself faster than I could damage it by chewing with my crooked teeth.

A few months later I was approached by Prof. Rudl Altschul, Chairman, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. He had taught neurohistology and I had been one of his students. Prof. Altschul had discovered how to produce arteriosclerosis in rabbits. He fed them a cake baked by his wife, Anna, which was rich in egg yolks. Rabbits fed cooked egg yolk promptly developed hypercholesterolemia and later arteriosclerotic lesions on their coronary vessels (Altschul and Herman, 1954). Altschul had also discovered that irradiating these hypercholesterolemic rabbits with ultraviolet light decreased their cholesterol levels. He wanted to extend this research by irradiating human subjects, but not one internist in Saskatoon would allow him access to their patients. People who bake in the southern sunshine may wonder why this "dangerous" treatment received such a negative response. Prof. Altschul thus approached me, as Director of Psychiatric Research, Department of Health, Saskatchewan, I had access to several thousand patients in our two mental hospitals. I agreed to this provided that Dr. Humphry Osmond, Superintendent of the Saskatchewan Hospital at Weyburn also agreed. This treatment was innocuous, would not cost us anything and would help us create more of an investigative attitude among our clinical staff. But before we started I requested that Prof. Altschul meet with our clinical staff and present his ideas to them.

A few weeks later he came to Regina by train and I drove him to Weyburn in my car to meet Dr. Osmond and his staff. On the way down and back we discussed our work. He gave me an interesting review of how he saw the problem of arteriosclerosis, which he considered to be a disease of the intima, the inner lining of the blood vessels. He hypothesized that the intima had lost its ability to repair itself quickly enough. As soon as I heard this I thought of my bleeding gums and of my own repair hypothesis. I then told him of my recent experience. I asked him if he would be willing to test niacin which if it had the same effect on the intima as it had had on my bleeding gums might have antiarteriosclerotic power. Prof. Altschul was intrigued and agreed to look at the idea if he could get some niacin. I promptly sent him one pound of pure, crystalline niacin from a supply I had received earlier, courtesy of Merck and Company, now Merck, Sharp and Dohme.

One evening about three months later I received a call from Prof. Altschul who began to shout, "It works! It works!" Then he told me he had given niacin to his hyperlipidemic rabbits and within a few days their cholesterol levels were back to normal. He had discovered the first hypocholesterolemic substance. Drug companies were spending millions to find such a compound.

But did it also work in humans? The next day I approached Dr. J. Stephen, Pathologist, General Hospital, Regina. I was a biochemical consultant to him. I outlined what had been done and wanted his help in some human experiments. I assured him niacin was safe and we would only need to give a few grams to patients. He promptly agreed. He said he would order his technicians to draw blood for cholesterol assay from a large variety of patients, would then given them niacin and would follow this with another cholesterol assay. I suggested we discuss this with the patients' physicians but Dr. Stephen laughed and said they did not know what went on in hospital and that to contact each one would probably make the study impossible. A few weeks later the data poured in: niacin also lowered cholesterol levels in people. The greater the initial or baseline level, the greater the decrease.

We published our results (Altschul, Hoffer and Stephen, 1955). This report initiated the studies which eventually proved niacin increases longevity. Because of its importance, this paper is reproduced here. Note, it was not double blind. However, patients did not know what they were getting or why they were getting it. This type of impromptu research is forever impossible with ethics committees, informed consent and so on. Thirty years ago only the integrity of physicians protected patients against experimental harm.

At the same time we were examining the effect of niacin on cholesterol levels, Russian scientists were also measuring the effect of vitamins on blood lipids but they used very little niacin and found no significant decreases, Simonson and Keyes (1961).

The finding that niacin lowered cholesterol was soon confirmed by Parsons, Achor, Berge, McKenzie and Barker (1956) and Parsons (1961, 1961a, 1962) at the Mayo Clinic which launched niacin on its way as a hypocholesterolemic substance. Since then it has been found to be a normalizing agent, i.e. it elevates high density lipoprotein cholesterol, decreases low density and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. Grundy, Mok, Zechs and Berman (1981) found it lowered cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 52 percent and wrote, "To our knowledge, no other single agent has such potential for lowering both cholesterol and triglycerides."

The Coronary Study
The only reason for being concerned about elevated cholesterol levels is that this is associated with increased risk of developing coronary disease. The association between cholesterol levels in the diet and coronary disease is not nearly as high even though the total diet is a main factor. The kind of diet generally recommended by orthomolecular physicians will tend to keep cholesterol levels down in most people. This diet can be described as a high fiber, sugar-free diet which is rich in complex polysaccharides such as vegetables and whole grains.

Once it became possible to lower cholesterol levels even with no alteration in diet, it became possible to test the hypothesis that lowering cholesterol levels would decrease the risk of developing coronary disease. Dr. E. Boyle, then working with the National Institute of Health, Washington, D.C., quickly became interested in niacin. He began to follow a series of patients using 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) of niacin per day. He reported his conclusions in a document prepared for physicians in Alcoholics Anonymous by Bill W (1968). In this report Boyle reported that he had kept 160 coronary patients on niacin for ten years. Only six died against a statistical expectation that 62 would have died with conventional care. He stated, "From the strictly medical viewpoint I believe all patients taking niacin would survive longer and enjoy life much more."

His prediction came true when the National Coronary Drug Study was evaluated by Canner recently. But E. Boyle's data spoke for itself. Continuous use of niacin will decrease mortality and prolong life. Perhaps Boyle's study was one of the reasons the Coronary Drug Project was started in 1966. Dr. Boyle was an advisor to this study which was designed to assess the long term efficacy and safety of five compounds in 8341 men, ages 30 to 64, who had suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) at least three months before entering the study.

The National Heart and Lung Institute supported this study. It was conducted at fifty-three clinical centres in twenty-six American states and was designed to measure the efficacy of several lipid lowering drugs and to determine whether lowering cholesterol levels in patients with previous mycardial infarcts would be beneficial. Niacin, two dosage strengths of estrogens, Clofibrate, dextrothyroxine and placebo were tested.

Eighteen months after the study began, the higher dose estrogen group in the study was discontinued because of an excess of new non-fatal myocardial infarctions compared to placebo. The thyroxine group was stopped for the same reason for patients with frequent ectopic ventricular beats. After thirty-six months dextrothyroxin was discontinued for the rest of this group, again because myocardial infarcts were increased. After fifty-six months the low dose estrogen group study was stopped. There had been no significant benefit to compensate for the increased incidence of pulmonary embolism and thrombophlebitis and increased mortality from cancer. Eventually only niacin, Clofibrate and placebo groups were continued until the study was completed.

Canner's Study (1985)
Dr. Paul L. Canner, Chief Statistician, Maryland Medical Research Institute, Baltimore, examined the data for the Coronary Drug Project Research Group. About 8000 men were still alive at the end of the treatment trial in 1975. This new study was begun in 1981 to determine if the two estrogen regimens and the dextrothyroxine regimen had caused any long term effects. High dose estrogen had been discontinued because it increased non-fatal myocardial infarctions, low dose estrogen increased cancer deaths and dextrothyroxine increased total mortality, i.e. compared to placebo, Clofibrate and niacin. None of the subjects continued to take the drugs after 1975.

The 1985 follow-up study showed no significant differences in mortality between those treatment groups which had been discontinued and placebo or Clofibrate. However, to the investigator's surprise, the niacin group fared much better. The cumulative percentage of deaths for all causes was 58.4%, 56.8%, 55.9%, 56.9% and 50.6% for low dose estrogens, high dose estrogens, Clofibrate, dextrothyroxine, placebo and niacin, respectively.

The mortality in the niacin group was 11 percent lower than in the placebo group (P = 0.002). The mortality benefit from niacin was present in each major category or cause of death: coronary, other cardiovascular, cancer and others. Analysis of life table curves comparing niacin against placebo showed the niacin patients lived two years longer. With an average followup of fourteen years, there were 70 fewer deaths in the niacin group than would have been expected from the mortality in the placebo group. Patients with cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg per 100 mL benefited more than those with lower levels.

What is surprising is that the niacin benefit carried on for such a long period even after no more was being taken. In fact the benefit increased with the number of years followed up. It is highly probable the results would have been much better if patients had not stopped taking niacin in 1975. Thus, E. Boyle's patients who remained on niacin for ten years and received individual attention had a 90 percent decrease in mortality. With the huge coronary study this type of individual attention for the majority of patients was not possible. Many dropped out because of the niacin flush, of these many could have been persuaded to remain in the study if they had been given more individual attention. This is very hard to do in a large scale clinical study of this type. Dr. Boyle, in discussions with me, referred to this as one of the defects in the Coronary Drug Study. I would conclude that the proper use of niacin for similar patients should decrease mortality somewhere between 11 and 90 percent after a ten year follow-up, with the reduction in mortality increasing as the safe natural substance which will decrease mortality and increase longevity especially in patients with elevated cholesterol levels.

The National Institute of Health (1985) released the conclusions reached by a consensus development conference on lowering blood cholesterol to prevent heart disease held December 10 - 12, 1984. This was followed by an NIH conference statement, "Lowering Blood Cholesterol to Prevent Heart Disease," Volume 5, No. 7. This statement reports that heart disease kills 550,000 Americans each year and 5.4 million are ill. Total costs of heart disease are $60 billion per year. Main risk factors include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. NIH recommends that the first step in treatment should be dietary and their recommendations are met by the orthomolecular diet. But when diet alone is not adequate, drugs should be used. Bile-acid sequestrants and niacin are favoured while the main commercial drug, Clofibrate, is not recommended "because it is not effective in most individuals with a high blood cholesterol level but normal triglyceride level. Moreover, an excess of overall mortality was reported in the World Health Organization trial of this drug."

Since niacin is effective only in megavitamin doses, 1 gram three times per day, NIH is at last promoting megavitamin therapy. The National Institute of Health asked that their conference statement be "posted, duplicated and distributed to interested staff ". Since every doctor has patients with high blood cholesterol levels, they should all be interested. In fact, if they are not, some of them will be facing litigation from angry wives whose husbands have not been treated with niacin for their elevated cholesterol levels.

Niacin Combined With Other Drugs Which Lower Cholesterol
Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited disease where plasma cholesterol levels are very high. Illingworth, Phillipson, Rapp and Connor (1981) described a series of 13 patients treated with Colestipol 10 grams twice daily and later 15 grams twice daily. Their cholesterol levels ranged from 345 to 524 and triglycerides from 70 to 232. When this drug plus diet did not decease cholesterol levels below 270 mg/100 mL they were given niacin, starting with 250 mg three times daily and increasing it every two to four weeks until a final dose of 3 to 8 grams per day was reached. To reduce the flush patients took aspirin (120 to 180 mg) with each dose for four to six weeks. With this dose of niacin they found no abnormal liver function test results. This combination of drugs normalized blood cholesterol and lipid levels. They concluded, "In most patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, combined drug therapy with a file acid sequestrant and nicotinic acid (niacin) results in a normal or near normal lipid profile. Long term use of such a regimen affords the potential for preventing, or even reversing, the premature development of atherosclerosis that occurs so frequently in this group of patients."

At about the same time Kane, Malloy, Tun, Phillips, Freedmand, Williams, Rowe and Havel (1981) reported similar results on a larger series of 50 patients. They also studied the combined effect of Colestipol and Clofibrate. Abnormalities of liver function only occurred when the dose of niacin increased rapidly. The first month they took 2.5 grams per day, the second month 5.0 grams per day and 7.5 grams per day the third month and thereafter. In a few blood sugar went up a little (from 115 to 120 mg), and uric acid levels exceeded 8 mg percent in six. None developed gout. All other tests were normal. They concluded, "The remarkable ability of the combination of Colestipol and niacin to lower circulating levels of LDL and to decrease the size of tendon xanthomas suggests that this combination is the most likely available regimen to alter the course of atherosclerosis." The combination of Colestipol and Clofibrate was not as effective. For the first time it is possible to extend the life span of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia.

Fortunately, niacin does not decrease cholesterol to dangerously low levels. Cheraskin and Ringsdorf (1982) reviewed some of the evidence which links low cholesterol levels to an increased incidence of cancer and greater mortality in general. Ueshima, Lida and Komachi (1979) found a negative correlation between cholesterol levels between 150 and 200 and cerebral vascular disorders (r = .83). Mortality increased for levels under 160 mg.

Hoffer and Callbeck (1957) reported that the hypocholesterolemic action of niacin was related to the activity of the autonomic nervous system. We referred to a previous study by Altschul and Hoffer where we found on normal volunteers (medical students) that there was a linear relationship between the effect of niacin in lowering cholesterol, the initial cholesterol levels and body weight. The regression equation was Y = 0.95X - 0.39Z - 90 where Y is the decrease in cholesterol level in milligrams, X is the initial cholesterol value and Z the body weight in pounds. The multiple correlation coefficient is 0.83. When Y = 0 niacin has no effect on cholesterol levels. When Y is negative it means the cholesterol levels were elevated by niacin. This might then be a good indication of the optimum cholesterol levels. For a 200 pound patient Y = 0 when X is 176 mg, and for a 150 pound subject Y = 0 when X is 156 mg. This is remarkably close to the optimum values recommended by Cheraskin and Ringsdorf and others, i.e, 180 to 200 milligrams.

Hoffer and Callbeck found that niacin also lowered cholesterol levels of schizophrenic patients, but the schizophrenic response was represented by a different equation Y = 0.28X -0.43Z + 53. This is shown in the following table where expected decreases in cholesterol are calculated from two equations. (See Table 3 page 220.) i.e. at higher levels niacin decreases cholesterol levels more in normal subjects while at lower levels niacin did not increase the level of cholesterol. Again niacin elevated levels in normal subjects from 150 to 176, decreased it from 200 to 178 and from 250 to 181 mg.

How Does Niacin Work?
Niacin, but not niacinamide, lowers cholesterol levels even though both forms of Vitamin B3 are anti pellagra and are almost equally effective in treating schizophrenia and arthritis and a number of other diseases. Niacin also differs from niacinamide because it causes a flush to which people adapt readily while niacinamide has no vasodilation activity in 99
percent of people who take it. For reasons unknown, about 1 in 100 persons who take niacinamide do flush. They must be able to convert niacinamide to niacin in their bodies at a very rapid pace. There must be a clue here somewhere. It is believed that niacin causes a flush by a complicated mechanism which releases histamine, interferes in prostaglandin metabolism, may be related to serotonin mechanism and may involve the cholinergic system, Rohte, Thormahlen and Ochlich (1977).

Histamine is clearly involved. The typical niacin flush is identical with the flush produced by an injection of histamine. It is dampened down if not prevented entirely by anti-histamines and by tranquilizers. The adaptation to niacin is readily explained by the reduction in histamine in the storage sites such as the mast cells. When these are examined after a dose of histamine, these cells contain empty vesicles which contained the histamine and also heparinoids. If the next dose is spaced closely enough there will have been no time for the storage sites to be refilled and therefore less histamine will be available to be released. After there is complete adaptation to niacin a rest of several days will start the flushing cycle again. This decrease in histamine has some advantage in reducing the effects of rapidly released histamine. Dr. Ed Boyle found that guinea pigs treated with niacin were not harmed by anaphylactic shock. Because the flush is relatively transient it can not be involved in the lowering of cholesterol which remains in effect as long as medication is continued. Prostaglandins appear to be involved. Thus, aspirin, Kunin (1976), and indomethacin, Kaijser, Eklund, Olsson and Carlson (1979) reduce the intensity of the flush, Estep, Gray and Rappolt (1977).

In 1983 I suggested that niacin lowered cholesterol because it releases histamine and glycosaminoglycans. Niacinamide does not do so (Hoffer, 1983). Mahadoo, Jaques and Wright (1981) had earlier implicated a histamine-glycosaminoglycan histaminase system in lipid absorption and redistribution. Boyle (1962) found that niacin increased basophil leukocyte count. These cells store heparin as well as histamine. He suggested that the improvement caused by niacin is much greater than can be explained by its effect on cholesterol. "Possibly," he wrote, "it is due to release of histamine and also to the eventual marked diminution in the intravascular sludging of blood cells."

It is possible the beneficial effect of niacin is not due to the cholesterol effect but is due to a more basic mechanism. Are elevated cholesterol levels and arteriosclerosis both the end result of a more basic metabolic disturbance still not identified? If it were entirely an effect arising from lowered cholesterol levels, why did Clofibrate not have the same beneficial effect? An enumeration of some other properties of niacin may one day lead to this basic metabolic fault. Niacin has a rapid anti sludging effect. Sludged blood is present when the red blood cells clump together. They are not able to traverse the capillaries as well, as they must pass through in single file. This means that tissues will not receive their quota of red blood cells and will suffer anoxemia. Niacin changes the properties of the red cell surface membrane so that they do not stick to each other. Tissues are then able to get the blood they need. Niacin acts very quickly. Niacin increases healing, as it did with my gums. Perhaps it has a similar effect on the damaged intima of blood vessels.

Within the past few years adrenalin via its aminochrome derivatives has been implicated in coronary disease. If this becomes well established it provides another explanation for niacin's beneficial effect on heart disease. Beamish and his coworkers (1981, 1981a, 1981b) in a series of reports showed that myocardial tissue takes up adrenalin which is converted into adrenochrome, that it is the adrenochrome which causes fibrillation and heart muscle damage. They further found that Anturan protects against fibrillation induced by adrenochrome and suggest this is supported by the clinical findings that Anturan decreases mortality from heart disease.

Under severe stress as in shock or after injection of adrenalin, a large amount of adrenalin is found in the blood and absorbed by heart tissue. Severe stress is thus a factor whether or not arteriosclerosis is present, but it is likely an arteriosclerotic heart can not cope with stress as well. Fibrillation would increase demand for oxygen which could not be met by a heart whose coronary vessels are compromised.

Niacin protects tissues against the toxic effect of adrenochrome, in vivo. It reverses the EEG changes induced by intravenous adrenochrome given to epileptics, Szatmari, Hoffer and Schneider (1955), and also reverse the psychological changes, Hoffer and Osmond (1967). In synapses NAD is essential for maintaining noradrenalin and adrenalin in a reduced state. These catecholamines lose one electron to form oxidized amine. In the presence of NAD this compound is reduced back to its original catecholamine. If there is a deficiency of NAD the oxidized adrenalin (or noradrenalin) loses another electron to form adrenochrome (or noradrenochrome). This change is irreversible. The adrenochrome is a synaptic blocking agent as is LSD. Thus niacin which maintains NAD levels decreases the formation of adrenochrome. It is likely this also takes place in the heart and if it does it would protect heart muscles from the toxic effect of adrenochrome and from fibrillation and tissue necrosis. None of the other substances known to lower cholesterol levels are known to have this protective effect. Niacin thus has an advantage: (1) in lowering cholesterol and, (2) in decreasing frequency of fibrillation and tissue damage.

Niacin as a Treatment for Acute Coronary Disease
Altschul (1964) reviewed the uses of niacin clinically where it is used as soon as possible after an acute event. Goldsborough (1960) used both niacin and niacinamide in this way. Patients with a coronary thrombosis were given niacin 50 mg by injection subcutaneously and 100 mg sublingually. As the flush developed the pain and shock subsided. If pain recurred when the flush faded another injection was given, but if pain was not severe another oral dose was used. Then he used 100 mg three times daily. If the flush was excessive he used niacinamide.

Between 1946 and 1960 he treated 60 patients, 24 with acute infarction and the rest with angina. From the 24 patients, six died. Four of the angina patients also had intermittent claudication which was relieved. Two had pulmonary embolism and also responded.

Niacin should be used before and after every coronary bypass surgery. Inkeless and Eisenberg (1981) reviewed the evidence related to coronary artery bypass surgery and lipid levels. There is still no consensus that this surgery increases survival. In most cases the quality of life is enhanced and 75 percent get partial or complete relief of angina. I believe a major problem not resolved by cardiovascular surgery is how to halt the arteriosclerotic process. Inkeles and Eisenberg report that autogenous vein grafts implanted in the arterial circuit are more susceptible than arteries to arteriosclerosis. In an anatomic study of 99 saphenous vein grafts from 55 patients who survived 13 to 26 months, arteriosclerosis was found in 78 percent of hyperlipidernic patients. Aortic coronary bypass grafting accelerates the occlusive process in native vessels.

If patients were routinely placed on the proper diet and if necessary niacin long before they developed any coronary problems, most if not all the coronary bypass operations could be avoided. If every patient requiring this operation were placed upon the diet and niacin following surgery, the progress of arteriosclerosis would be markedly decreased. Then surgeons would be able to show a marked increase in useful longevity. One would hope to have the combined skills of a top cardiac surgeon and a top internist using diet and hypocholesterolemic compounds.

Niacin increases longevity and decreases mortality in patients who have suffered one myocardial infarction. The Medical Tribune, April 24,2985, properly expressed the reaction of the investigators by heading their report, "A Surprise Link to Longevity: It's Nicotinic Acid." Had they taken Ed Boyle's finding seriously they would not have been surprised and would have gotten even better results.

Note: In 1982 Keats published my review of Vitamin B3 (Niacin). This present review concentrates in greater detail on only one aspect of niacin's many beneficial properties. The two should be read together as they are companion reports.

Derivatives of niacin have been examined for their ability to alter lipid levels as well as niacin. It would be advantageous if the niacin vasodilation (flush) were eliminated or removed. The main disadvantage of the niacin derivatives will be cost. Inositol hexanicotinate is an ester of inositol and niacin. In the body it is slowly hydrolyzed releasing both of these important nutrients. The ester is more effective than niacin in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Abou El-Enein, Hafez, Salem and Abdel (1983). I have used this compound, Linodil, available in Canada but not the U.S.A. (at the time this paper was written) for thirty years for patients who can not or will not tolerate the flush. It is very gentle, effective, and can be tolerated by almost every person who uses it.

Niacin is effective in decreasing the death rate and in expanding longevity for other conditions, not only cardiovascular diseases. It acts by protecting cells and tissues from damage by toxic molecules or free radicals.

One of the most exciting findings is that niacin will protect against cancer. A conference at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at Fort Worth early this year, was the eighth conference to discuss niacin and cancer. (Titus,1987). The first was held in Switzerland in 1984.

In the body niacin is converted to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is a coenzyme to many reactions. Another enzyme, poly (Adenosine adenine phosphate ribose) polymerase, uses NAD to catalyze the formation of ADP-ribose. The poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase is activated by strands of DNA broken by smoke, herbicides, etc. When the long chains of DNA are damaged, poly (ADP-ribose) helps repair it by unwinding the damaged protein. Poly (ADP-ribose) also increases the activity of DNA ligase. This enzyme cuts off the damaged strands of DNA and increases the ability of the cell to repair itself after exposure to carcinogens.

Jacobson and Jacobson (Hostetler (1978) believe niacin (more specifically, NAD) prevents processes which lead to cancer. They found that one group of human cells given enough niacin and then exposed to carcinogens developed cancer at a rate only one-tenth of the rate in the same cells not given niacin. Cancer cells are low in NAD.

It is not surprising that niacin also decreased the death rate from cancer in the National Coronary Drug Study. The first cancer case I treated was given niacin 3 grams per day and ascorbic acid 3 grams per day, Hoffer (1970).

Niacinamide also increases the production of NAD. Three grams per day given to juvenile diabetics produced remissions in a large proportion of these young patients, Vague, Vialettes, Lassman-Vague, and Vallo (1987). They concluded, "Our results and those from animal experiments indicate that, in Type I diabetes, nicotinamide slows down the destruction of B cells and enhances their regeneration, thus extending remission time." See also Yamada, Nonaka, Hanafusa, Miyazaki, Toyoshima and Tarui (1982). Kidney
tissue is protected by niacinamide, Wahlberg, Carlson, Wasserman and Ljungqvist (1985). It protected rats against the diabetogenic effect of Streptozotocin. Clinically niacin has been used to successfully treat patients with severe gIomerulonephritis. One of my patients was being readied for dialysis. Her nephrologist had advised her she would die if she
refused. She started on niacin 3 grams per day. She is still well twenty-five years later.

Niacin and niacinamide are protective in a large number of diseases. I will refer to one or more its ability to reduce fluid loss in cholera, Rabbani, Butler, Bardhan and Islam (1983). It inhibits and reverses intestinal secretion caused by cholera toxin and E. coli enterotoxin. It reduces diarrhea associated with pancreatic tumors in man.

It is clear Vitamin B3 is a very powerful, benign substance which is involved in numerous reactions in the body, and which in larger doses is therapeutic and preventative for a large number of apparently unrelated diseases. Are all these conditions really expressions of minor and major Vitamin B3 deficiency states due to diet, or to accumulation of toxins in
the body?

It is highly likely that any human population which increased the intake of Vitamin B3 in everyone, by even 100 mg per day and to much higher levels in people already suffering from a number of pathological conditions, will find a substantial decrease in mortality and an increase in longevity.

Literature Cited
Abou EI-Enein AM, Hafez YS, Salem H and Abdel, M: The role of nicotinic acid and inositol hexanicotinate as anticholesterolemic and antilipemic agents. Nutrition Reports International, 281:899-911, 1983.

Hoffer A: The psychophysiology of cancer. J. Asthma Research, 8:61-76, 1970.

Hostetler, D: Jacobsons put broad strokes in the niacin/cancer picture. The D.O., Vol. 28, August 1987, pp. 103-104.

Rabbani GH, Butler T, Bardhan PK and Islam A: Reduction of fluid-loss in cholera by nicotinic acid. The Lancet, December 24CE31, 1983, pp. 1439-1441.

Titus K: Scientists link niacin and cancer prevention. The D.O., Vol. 28, August 1987, pp. 93-97.

Vague PH, Vialtettes B, Lassmanvague V and Vallo JJ: Nicotinamide may extend remission phase in insulin dependent diabetes. The Lancet, 1:619-620, 1987.

Wahlberg G, Carlson LA, Wasserman J and Ljungqvist A: Protective effect of nicotinamide against nephropathy in diabetic rats. Diabetes Research, 2:307-312, 1985.

Yamada K, Nonaka K, Hanafusa T, Miyazaki A, Toyoshima H and Tarui S: Preventive and therapeutic effects of large-dose nicotinamide injections on diabetes associated with insulitis. Diabetes, 31: 749753, 1982.


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Great info...Thanks.

Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +

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This is all very interesting. I'd never read anything about Niacin before.

*Brittany Lyme Aware on FB*

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still on 6000mg.

Decided to stop taking the aspro, the flushing is so mild now there is no need and i fear it may diminish the affects of Niacin.

Just ordered a book by Dr Hoffer on B3 called living longer which I ll mention when it arrives.

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saw on your blog you talking about heat.

Niacin is a bit like giving you and instant internal sauna!

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I'm trying some Niacin,and along with the flushing & tingling & reddening I have some skin itching. Is that part of the reaction or some sort of allergy?
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A thread on naicin and lyme which answers a lot of Qs

Thats the flush but once you get on around 3000mg daily it stops after a day or so. what dose are you on?

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Picked some up today at the health store to try...

I wished I had know about this a few months ago when I was freezing to death no matter what I tried...

Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +

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This is so tempting but the last and only time I ever took niacin was over 20 years ago and I felt like I was on fire - also covered in large welts that burned and itched. It was horrific!

Just can't bring myself to try it again.

old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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I have been a little more tired than usaul.

I now have a minor flush for 30 minutes every morning. If I took my first Niacin after breakfast instead of before it I wouldnt have any flush. Now quite like the sensation, it prepares me for my cold shower! Also encourages you to drink lots of water.

Feeling cold all the time is something I feel Niacin can help with. I am sure gradually your body temperature with rise. I have just started taking D ribose no effect from it so far.

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on Dr K's KPU protocol which mentions Dr Hoffer. Dr Hoffers solution was straight Niacin which is certainly simpler than Dr K's protocol for KPU.
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From the web I notice some people with Morgellan disease find Niacin useful.

I have a little psorarsis so it will be interesting to see if niacin has any effect on that;

Niacin and Pellagra - Part 1

James D. Hajicek
June 15, 1999


My name is James D. Hajicek, and I live in Wisconsin. I am now 59 years old, and am self-employed with a custom software and computer service business.

I have had many symptoms suggestive of a spirochete disease: intermittent arthralgia in both knees, muscle stiffness, floaters, tinnitus, numbness in one leg, unrestful sleep, other neurological problems, chronic fatigue, and also a peculiar skin problem.

I have been treating myself with a "megadose" of niacin for almost four months now. There was an immediate, strong improvement in my sleep patterns. There have been other promising signs, and also mild Herxheimer reactions. I can elaborate on this later, but it is not really my purpose here to offer anecdotal evidence at this time.

I have been using the niacin treatment based upon an unconventional theory that pellagra was not a vitamin deficiency disease, but rather that pellagra was caused by a Borrelia spirochete, and that niacin was found to be preventive and curative for pellagra because it has some kind of antibiotic property.

Let me say here that I have no medical credentials. I am not attempting to diagnose anyone or to recommend treatment for anyone, but am only describing my own therapy. Niacin can raise blood sugar levels, and is dangerous for people with diabetes. Time-release formulations can plug up liver ducts, and there can be other problems. I am treating myself, but it is usually recommended that this kind of treatment be performed under the care of a physician.

I am not selling anything, nor am I promoting any particular vitamin supplier. I am taking about 4000 mg of regular niacin per day. This is 200 times the RDA. I buy regular niacin at a local pharmacy in a large economy size, no prescription is required, and it costs me about 15 cents per day. There is no big fortune to be made on this therapy.

I started with a lower dosage, and increased over time. Niacin can cause a flush reaction over large portions of the body for an hour or so. This can be uncomfortable and alarming, but it is believed to be harmless. I tried to get a flush, because I believed that the extra blood supply to my skin was in itself therapeutic. Sometimes I was able to have three flushes per day, but now after adjusting to the niacin, I do not flush at all.
My Case History, Abbreviated

I quit my last regular employment in 1990, believing that I was suffering from "burnout". I did not realize at the time that this slight fatigue was only an early warning sign of more serious problems ahead, or I might have tried harder to keep my job and my health insurance.

I have not been diagnosed with Lyme disease, but I am intending to eventually be tested. I may be infected with something different, but similar to LD, and I may have had it for as long as 30 years. Besides many of the usual LD symptoms, I now get small sores on my arms, legs, and torso. These sores heal slowly and may recur after appearing to have healed.

So far as I can remember, I was never bitten by a tick, but I was bitten repeatedly by "black flies" while camping in northern Minnesota in the Superior National Forest near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This is the Simulium venustum fly, also called the "buffalo gnat". They are active in the spring and early summer. These gnats get inside of shirt sleeves or pant legs, and can gnaw away at the flesh for some time before being discovered.

I was treated by a dermatologist two years ago with 30 days of an oral cephalosporin antibiotic. This was beneficial, but he refused to renew the prescription for another 30 days. I have not been to see a physician since.

After suffering increasing fatigue for another year, I began to treat myself. Hot showers relieved the fatigue enough so that I was able to use the internet effectively for research, and I began to attend a Lyme disease support group in Madison, WI.

I had read on the newsgroup that some physicians were recommending that patients not take vitamin supplements during their antibiotic therapy, and I mentioned this at a support group meeting. Two people immediately said that this was wrong. One woman said that she knew that vitamins were beneficial because she felt better when she took them. Another woman said that she knew that vitamins were beneficial because she felt worse when she took them, which she attributed to a Herxheimer reaction. There is a little humor here.

I considered the first statement to be believable. At first, I considered the second statement to be obvious nonsense, ridiculous even. However, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered, "What if?" The question then became to determine which of the vitamins might possibly have an antibiotic effect. After a little investigation, I settled on niacin.

I can now add my own testimony to the strange proposition that a "vitamin" can cause something like a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction.
Why I Began to Post

My therapy is still in the experimental stage. I have discussed it with people in the Madison, WI support group, and have given out supporting documentation. However, I had not intended to widely disseminate this theory until I had a positive indication that it was helping at least myself. It would be bad for people to abandon regular antibiotics in favor of a wild idea which might not really work. It is one thing to be willing to experiment on oneself, but quite another to entice others to be guinea pigs.

However, one of my support group friends kindly sent me a photocopy of the Phillips paper about the culturing of Borrelia spirochetes. This paper contained a surprise. The recipe for the culture medium includes "yeast extract".

Infection, vol. 26 (1998) No. 6, pp. 364-367

A Proposal for the Reliable Culture of Borrelia burgdorferi from Patients with Chronic Lyme Disease, Even from Those Previously Aggressively Treated

S. E. Phillips, L. H. Mattman, D. Hulinska, H. Moayad

... 10 ml of medium were boiled to dissolve the agar just before use and the following was added to each tube: 1 ml separately autoclaved yeast extract from a 10% solution to give a final concentration of 1% ...

... Even small variations produce no growth. For example, 2% yeast extract instead of 1% is inhibitory. ...

The "yeast extract" is probably rich in niacin. Brewer's yeast was known to possess pellagra-preventive properties as early as 1928.

The yeast extract contains a multitude of nutrients, and is presumably necessary for the culture. However, it clearly also contains something which inhibits the spirochetes. If the inhibitory factor is niacin, perhaps the niacin could be somehow removed from yeast extract, making possible an even more reliable culture medium.

The important need for a reliable spirochete culture, as quickly as possible, compelled me to make an immediate public announcement of this idea, however premature, without any further delay. I began posting to the newsgroup the day after receiving the Phillips paper.

If this theory is right, and if researchers are already working on this, then I apologize for any ensuing problems with the research or with subsequent publishing of the research results. However, the modern practice of secret research does not fully serve the public.

If this theory is right, and if researchers are not working on this, then someone should get started. Whatever the "inhibitory" component of yeast extract, it should be possible to identify it, and to use it in treating patients.

If this theory is wrong, then I apologize in advance to everyone, both to the researchers and to the patient community.
Comparison of Pellagra and ACA

It is the purpose of this and the next two sections to compare the dermatitis of pellagra with that of acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans.

Pellagra is characterized by what are called the four D's: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death. It is difficult to study pellagra today, because it is not as common now as it was years ago.

Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, or ACA, was first recognized in 1883. It is now considered to be a late manifestation of Lyme disease. This is more common in Europe than in the United States, perhaps due to a different species of Borrelia or due to a failure to properly recognize and diagnose this problem in the US.

Pellagra is an acute condition, with a rapid deterioration of the skin, followed by severe peeling, with the loss of subcutaneous fat, followed by either death or by the regrowth of brown paper-thin skin. ACA is a chronic condition, with a course over years, with continual scaling and peeling, leading ultimately to the loss of subcutaneous fat, and brown paper-thin skin. The end result seems to be quite similar, but the progression is more rapid in pellagra. This difference does not prove that the cause is different, only that pellagra is more serious than ACA.

Some photographs of pellagra are deceptive in their appearance, because they show the scaling as the principal visual feature, rather then the condition of the skin after the scale has been removed and partial healing has taken place. This should be taken into account when a comparison is made between these two conditions.

Pellagra is now said to be caused by a deficiency of niacin. It has been proven that dietary supplementation of Vitamin B3 is a cure for this disease. Until 1915 it was generally believed to be a contagious disease caused by an unknown pathogen. Then Joseph Goldberger reported that it was caused by an inadequate diet. However, he had great difficulty convincing many of the medical authorities of his new theory.

What I am suggesting is that, (1) niacin cures pellagra, (2) the dermatitis of pellagra has some resemblance to ACA, (3) ACA is caused by LD, and that therefore (!) niacin might be useful therapy for Lyme disease.

I have no medical training. I am aware that many medical experts will probably find reasons to quickly reject this idea. I am also aware that completely different diseases can often cause similar symptoms, and that dermatology is especially difficult in this regard. Also, pellagra is not listed in the differential diagnosis list for ACA, so what seems similar to an untrained person like myself with no clinical experience may seem completely different to experienced medical people.

However, I suggest that the possible pellagra and ACA resemblance should be given further consideration by those who are familiar with both conditions. Although the early researchers were unable to identify a pathogen in pellagra, I suggest that a search for a spirochete cofactor should be made with more modern instruments and methods. Also, that niacin should be investigated for possible antibiotic properties, and tested for treatment of chronic LD.

I am not claiming an identity for pellagra and LD, but I am merely noting a resemblance in some respects. One difference is that the people who suffer from pellagra are often malnourished and deficient in all of the vitamins, truly suffering from multiple metabolic problems. Moreover, there are many possible spirochetes other than LD which are candidates for being a cofactor in the development of pellagra. For example, many species of spirochetes are commonly found in the pockets around the teeth and other places in the body, which could become opportunistic pathogens.

Having given two possible reasons for a different presentation, let me continue by listing the similarities. First, it may be noted that both pellagra and Lyme disease can cause mental problems. Secondly, the resemblance between them also consists in the fact that both pellagra and ACA are conditions of the skin which seem to involve atrophy of the skin.

In the following sections, I choose selections which emphasize the similarities rather than the differences.

The quotations below were mostly obtained from internet sites and medical dictionaries. The web sites given below sometimes also include some photographs, but those internet photographs are quite inadequate. For some good photographs of Pellagra, see the book Pellagra, discussed in Part 2. For a description of ACA and one good photograph, also see the book:

Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease
and Other Tick-Borne Disorders
Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner, 1997
John Wiley and Sons
pp. 58-60

Pellagra Dermatitis

Here are some descriptions from various sources:

Custom Medical Stock Photo, Inc.

a photograph of pellagra on both lower legs

National Institutes of Health, Museum of Medical Research

A loathsome skin disease, it was called mal de la rosa and often mistaken for leprosy. ...

Mosby's Medical, Nursing, & Allied Health Dictionary, Fifth Edition

... It is characterized by scaly dermatitis, especially of the skin exposed to the sun; ...

National Library of Medicine

A family, mother and children, all suffering from pellagra, which caused the skin to turn red and then scaly. Stomach disorders, diarrhea, and depression followed. Victims often became insane.

Health World Online

One of the first signs of pellagra, or niacin deficiency, is the skin's sensitivity to light, and the skin becomes rough, thick, and dry (pellagra means "skin that is rough" in Italian). The skin then becomes darkly pigmented, especially in areas of the body prone to be hot and sweaty or those exposed to sun.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, PubMed

abstract of "Particular features of clinical pellagra."
Rom J Intern Med 1994 Apr-Jun;32(2):165-70
Dumitrescu C, Lichiardopol R

... sun-exposed teguments revealing erythema and rapidly becoming pigmented and parchment like, ...

Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Edition 15

... Skin may become dry, scaly, and atrophic. ...

In summary: pigmented, scaling, parchment-like, atrophic skin
Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans

Here are some descriptions from various sources:

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

a photograph of ACA on one lower leg

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

a photograph of ACA on both lower legs

Freidrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

... a dermatological condition that takes a chronically progressive course and finally leads to a widespread atrophy of the skin.

Posted by [email protected] on, apparently taken from "Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans: Historical and Clinical Overview," by Rudolph J. Scrimenti.

Eventually, atrophy appears in the involved sites, subcutaneous fat is lost, and inflammation may subside. Now the skin becomes wrinkled, thin, scaling, dry, hypohidrotic and transparent. The underlying venous architecture is readily visible.

... early infiltration and/or inflammation and, later atrophy.

I translate the following descriptions from German:

University of Heidelberg, Medical Clinic

... beginning with swelling and brownish discoloration of the skin at the affected places (chiefly hands and the extensor side of the lower arms and lower legs), later changing over to an atrophic state with cigarette-paper thin and wrinkled skin.

Austrian Institute for General Medicine

Typical for that is a thinning of the skin, especially on the lower extremities. The veins show clearly through the cigarette-paper thin skin.

In summary: brownish, scaling, paper-thin, atrophic skin
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Liittynyt: 26 Tam 2009
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JATKOA .....

Niacin Benefits

Benefits have been proven with niacin therapy for treating the following conditions:

* high LDL cholesterol
* heart attacks

Niacinamide does not reduce LDL cholesterol levels. The relative benefits of niacin and niacinamide are in general not known, but the body converts niacin to niacinamide, and niacinamide to other related compounds.

It is my understanding that benefits are being tested with niacinamide therapy for the following condition:

* juvenile-onset diabetes

Niacinamide is believed to prolong the time before insulin is required, following the presence of specific antibodies that indicate developing diabetes. When the official testing has been completed, perhaps this will be accepted therapy, and routine screening of young people will become common. I am not sure exactly how far along the testing is for this disease.

Caution: Niacin can raise blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should definitely take niacin only under a physicians care. Niacin can also cause liver damage and gout.

Anecdotal evidence of benefits, not generally accepted by the medical authorities, has been claimed for treating or preventing the following conditions with niacin or with niacinamide:

* acne
* arthritis
* bad breath
* cancer
* depression
* fatigue
* learning and behavior problems in children
* schizophrenia

To this list, the items of which can be found in various testimonials, I would like to add the following item from my own personal experience:

* disturbed, unrestful sleep

Judge for yourself how many of these symptoms may be associated with Lyme disease or with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Some of these conditions, like the juvenile-onset insulin-dependent diabetes, apparently have no known cause. If niacin is ultimately proven to be effective for this "autoimmune" disease, consider how many other such "autoimmune" diseases might also respond if treated in time.

Read the following extremely important, twelve-page paper:

Thorne Research

Vitamin B-3: Niacin and its Amide
A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

This was written by a psychiatrist, A. Hoffer, apparently in 1995, and discusses arthritis as well as some other medical conditions.

One of the topics discussed by Dr. Hoffer is that of "Concentration Camp Survivors". He argues that the malnutrition leaves the survivors with a permanent need for niacin therapy. Relapsing fever is a Borrelia disease transmitted by ticks and lice. There might also be other Borrelia species transmitted by lice or bedbugs.

Niacinamide has been used for over 50 years for treating arthritis, as first described in books written by W. Kaufman. See Reference 13 in the above paper. The evidence is anecdotal, not generally accepted, but it seems that many physicians continue to use it for arthritis treatment. It is hard to know for sure, because these statistics are not reported. However, if it is true that niacin may sometimes help arthritis, it suggests a Lyme disease connection.

With regard to the safety of niacin therapy, you may want to locate the following paper.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, PubMed

J Am Coll Cardiol 1986 Dec 8:6 1245-55

Fifteen year mortality in Coronary Drug Project patients: long-term benefit with niacin.

Canner PL, Berge KG, Wenger NK, Stamler J, Friedman L, Prineas RJ, Friedewald W

The "Coronary Drug Project" ran for 9 years on a group of people with heart problems, tested a number of drugs, but found none of them to prolong life during that time.

However, the above follow-up study, made after another 9 years, found that the mortality rate from all causes for the niacin group was 11% lower than for the people in the placebo group. This was after the end of the original study, and people in the study groups were not necessarily even still taking the drugs. Apparently niacin has a preventive effect for more than one disease.

This information should be common public knowledge, but apparently is not.

The follow-up study was published over 12 years ago. No effort has been made, so far as I know, to begin a new study on healthy subjects. It seems obvious that a more thorough study would have merit, because heart disease may be preventable.

If arteriosclerosis is ultimately determined to be caused by a bacteria infection, as seems to be likely, the exact role which niacin plays in treating heart disease will be of increased interest.
Properties of Niacin

Niacin is a simple molecule, not complex like that of the usual antibiotics. This small molecule ought to be easily absorbed by the intestines, easily pass through the blood-brain barrier, and be absorbed by all of the cells of the body. All of this needs to be demonstrated, or refuted. However, it would seem to have a good chance of working against even cell-wall deficient forms of bacteria, even those hiding inside of human cells.

Niacin was originally called nicotinic acid. It was discovered in 1867, and sat on chemists shelves with no obvious use. When this was first proposed as a vitamin in 1937, many people thought that it was chemically too simple to be classified with the other vitamins.

The usual therapeutic dosage of niacin for an adult male is 1000 milligrams three times per day, following meals, in other words, 3 grams per day. This is 150 times the RDA for this vitamin. Harmful side effects are possible at this level, but mostly when the time-release formulations are used instead of regular niacin. It is usually recommended that treatment be performed under the care of a physician.

Apparently the continuous niacin can plug up liver ducts, causing fluids to back up, which results in jaundice. Physicians can monitor the liver enzyme levels, and prevent possible problems. Liver damage is usually reversible by discontinuing the niacin therapy.

Flushing with niacin, but not with niacinamide, is common when therapy is first begun. Flushing is a reddening and a burning sensation of large portions of the skin, caused by a dilation of the capillaries, much like a histamine reaction to an allergen. This begins perhaps fifteen minutes after taking niacin on an empty stomach and lasts less than an hour. Some people find the flush to be uncomfortable, but it is considered to be harmless, and may be related to the benefit obtained. It is considered prudent to begin therapy with a smaller dose of niacin, perhaps 100 mg at a time, then increasing the dosage as the body becomes accustomed to it.

Niacin has been illegally used to keep ground beef from turning brown with age. The perpetrators of this scheme have been caught when someone has gotten a flush from eating a hamburger.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Inflammation is part of the body's healing process. It indicates that the defense system is at work.

When a cell is under attack, it releases a histamine. This is an SOS signal asking for help. When enough histamine is released in a local region, the blood vessels dilate, and blood cells and antibodies go to the rescue.

There may be times when inflammation does more harm than good, but in general, taking antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and other pain killers merely disables the body's defense mechanisms.
Vasodilators and Vasoconstrictors

It is said that the niacin flush is caused by the body cells releasing histamines. Perhaps the cells react to niacin flowing through the cell walls, as if they were under attack.

In any case, niacin is a vasodilator. It opens up the small blood vessels. The flush reaction is due to the capillaries opening in the skin, and letting in more blood. This allows antibodies and extra oxygen to reach portions of the body which are normally out of reach.

The opposite is true of substances like nicotine and caffeine. These are vasoconstrictors. They close the small blood vessels, and give spirochetes more room. Nicotine is noted for constricting blood vessels in the hands and feet, and caffeine is noted for constricting blood vessels in the brain. The headaches which can be caused by quitting caffeine are said to be due to the expansion of blood vessels in the head.

In conclusion, a good suggestion is to quit smoking, coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, and chocolate. Caffeine should be quit gradually, tapering off to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Good and Bad Vitamin Supplements

My motto is "B no ACE".

Although I have begun to take more than the RDA amounts of all the B vitamins, I take no more of the vitamins A, C, and E than the RDA found in a one-a-day vitamin tablet.

I am very suspicious of an extra dosage of vitamins A, C, and E, which are called "antioxidants" because they are said to fight against "free radicals". Flaxseed oil, ginkgo biloba, and many other substances said to be "antioxidants" are commonly being used by people with Lyme disease. The case in favor of these things is made with the argument that "free oxidizing radicals" injure the cells of the body. This may be, but I surmise that microaerobic bacteria like the spirochetes, which cannot survive in normal oxygen levels, are far more vulnerable to oxidizing radicals than human cells.

I am especially suspicious of excess vitamin C, because I associate the onset of health problems in 1971 and in 1997 in part with my taking a large supplemental dose of this vitamin. I am referring here to taking one or more 500 mg tablets per day, each of which is 8 times the RDA for this vitamin.

Consider the possibility that vitamin C may be a really bad idea, more beneficial to spirochetes than to the human body. Perhaps some free radicals are part of the defense system of the body, bullets aimed at spirochetes. Spirochetes are known to be fragile and anaerobic, or nearly so, and would therefore seem to be especially susceptible to an attack by the oxidizing effect of free radicals. If this is true, then taking a megadose of vitamin C might effectively neutralize one of the body's defense mechanisms against spirochetes, and make the victim more vulnerable to chronic Lyme disease.

My thinking on this subject is echoed by an article which appeared in the "Health Watch" section of the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

Chicago Tribune, February 10, 1999
Bottled up
Fanfare for antioxidants drowns out advice to pursue a balanced regimen
by Bob Condor, Tribune Staff Writer

The 1990s have been boom years for dietary supplements. Antioxidants, those cell-guarding compounds found in fruits and vegetables as well as countless pills, top the list as the most publicized and debated panacea in America. ...

In another widely cited study, a team of Finnish researchers reported in 1994 that 29,000 men who smoked a pack a day and took daily beta carotene supplements were 18 percent more likely to develop lung cancer. ...

Such a combination of antioxidants will reduce the body's overproduction of free radicals, those unstable molecules that can damage healthy cells and turn low-density lipoproteins into artery-clogging compounds.

But free radicals also are beneficial: They kill germs in the same way they kill other cells. In theory, taking too many antioxidants can decrease free radicals to below optimal levels. ...

I know that this is totally contrary to the prevailing opinion from the health food industry. There are a lot of merchants who are now making their living by promoting strange and exotic herbs. All you good people, please try to stop and think.
Antioxidant Oil

Flaxseed oil is the same thing as linseed oil. It is used in paint because it is a "drying oil". Linseed oil allows paint to dry because the oil is hardened by oxidation. The oil consists mostly of linolein, which is oxidized in the body to linoleic acid, which is then further oxidized. I cannot understand the rational for taking this as medication.

Good sources of linoleic acid are given on the internet to include cottonseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. Linoleic acid is an essential nutrient. Common table salt is also an essential nutrient, but no one is recommending a megadose. The same may be true of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient, but perhaps dangerous in a larger dose.

Something called "conjugated linoleic acid" is said to be a good antioxidant, and is being promoted by the health-food people. There is danger there. They sometimes used to put on maps, "Here there be dragons." Well, think about this. If oils are consumed which are easily oxidized, they will act as a sponge for free oxidizing radicals. Yes, this would be an "antioxidant", but it would sop up all of those compounds which might be a part of the body's immune system against anaerobic bacteria.

Our food supply has become flooded with antioxidant oils. Potato chips, cookies, and virtually all processed foods are saturated with these easily oxidized oils. Cottonseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, and most of the vegetable oils except olive oil, contain high percentages of linolein. This makes everything tasty, but perhaps we are being poisoned.
Yeast Extract

The 1998 paper by Phillips, Mattman, et al., reporting on the culture of Bb spirochetes, states that a culture medium with 2% "yeast extract" produces no growth. The purpose of this study here is to estimate what that number might signify in a quantitative sense for patient therapy.

Let us assume that the "inhibitory" component of the yeast extract is niacin. Yes, this is a big assumption, but it should be possible for research to verify or to refute this.

A qualified chemist could directly measure the amount of niacin in the yeast extract, given a sample of the particular yeast extract used by Phillips. Without this, we must use an estimate.

The following web site gives some statistics for one particular yeast extract product.

Cadersky-Envitek, Ltd., Czech Republic

RM 027 Yeast Extract Powder

Yeast Extract Powder is prepared by drying the extract obtained from yeast cells (Saccharomyces) specially cultivated for this purpose. It is manufactured under controlled conditions to retain its vitamin content and other nutritive values such as free amino acids.

It is a brownish yellow coloured, homogeneous, free flowing powder, that readily dissolves in distilled water. An aqueous solution of it is yellowish brown coloured and remains clear after autoclaving.

This site may not load correctly for you at first, but be persistent. It lists the niacin vitamin content of this product as an average of 300 mcg/g. This is the same as 300 mg/kg, or 136 mg/pound.

If yeast extract is estimated to contain 136 mg of niacin per pound, then a 2% "inhibitory" solution of yeast extract would contain 2.72 mg of niacin per pound. Therefore, at this "inhibitory" level, a 200 pound person would contain 544 mg of niacin in the entire body.

Niacin is easily absorbed by the digestive system. Let us assume that niacin is completely absorbed by the body, with none eliminated except after being transformed by various metabolic processes, and excreted in the urine.

When a 500 mg tablet is consumed, together with a glass or two of water, the niacin will partly dissolve, and then be absorbed into the blood. More will dissolve, and digestion should proceed until the niacin is almost completely dissolved and present throughout the entire body.

This is a rough assumption. If there are appropriate experts reading this, let them correct this assumption with accurate facts, and enlighten us with better information.

Using the above assumptions, it can be seen that the consumption of a single 500 mg tablet of niacin might indeed raise the niacin level of the entire body to a level which would inhibit spirochete growth.

An estimate of long-term serum levels depends upon additional assumptions about how quickly niacin is metabolized or otherwise eliminated from the body, together with information about the frequency of ingesting additional tablets.
Spirochete Culture

Let us reverse the argument. As it is known that 500 mg of niacin has a profound influence on the body, it might be considered to be a powerful drug at this dosage. Consider that this is the proportionate amount of niacin which is contained in a culture medium with 2% of yeast extract. It should be no surprise that this medium is not representative of the body of a normal spirochete host. It should be no surprise if spirochetes will not grow in it.
My Therapy

I spent several weeks gradually increasing the dosage. I am now taking a 500 mg tablet of niacin, not niacinamide, every two hours, over a 14 hour period from the first to the last dose. This amounts to 4000 mg per day. I quit at least an hour before bedtime. I found that when I took niacin too soon before retiring to sleep, or in the middle of the night, that I suffered from slight nausea the next morning. I think that this is due to halted digestion while sleeping. In any case, this schedule ought to give my liver an eight-hour rest each day, with which I hope to avoid liver problems.

I also take a moderately large dose of other B vitamins once or twice per day.

I am trying to avoid food products containing easily oxidized oils, such as cottonseed oil and canola oil, and do not supplement with more than the RDA amount of vitamins A, C, and E.

I have adopted green beans as my favorite vegetable. The dietary study published by Joseph Goldberger in 1918 seems to indicate that "string beans" have a pellagra-preventive property which cannot be explained by any known vitamin content. This will be discussed further in the analysis of Goldberger's diet study.

There is more to my story, but it would be premature to provide further information here. Of course anything that I could say is only anecdotal anyway.


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I have to eliminate SOME links because ( ) will not allow this post to happen and it is critical you see this information. I will provide the links privately, if you need/want them.

Niacin is also known as Vitamin B3. Interestingly, it's also called "nicotinic acid," and

the similarity of the name to "nicotine" isn't coincidental (structural similarity).

I recently found something curious:

Menthol in cigarettes prevents the destruction/breakdown of nicotine. People who smoke MENTHOL cigarettes have a harder time quitting smoking.

Also...many ex smokers here have increased lyme symptoms when they quit smoking which is curious.

Read Pharmacodynamics of nicotine here:

I am NOT promoting smoking which contains MANY carcinogens!

The flush is caused by a ***histamine release.***

Apparently nicotine also causes histamine release:

It is important to know there are 4 histamine receptors that have

***different functions.***

Typically H2 receptor antagonists stop the production of our stomac acid. Zantac is a familiar H2 receptor blocker. Curious... It has been suggested that H2 antagonists may cause sexual difficulties by

reducing the uptake of testosterone.

H1 receptor blockers (like Benadryl) are the only ones supposedly that cross the BBB and they typically make us sleepy...exception Unisom SleepTABS taken WITH (sub) B6 = H1 blocker without falling asleep. Bendectin.

The H3 receptor has also been shown to presynaptically

inhibit the release of a number of other neurotransmitters

(i.e. it acts as an inhibitory heteroreceptor) including, but probably not limited to dopamine, GABA, acetylcholine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. Wikipedia

An H3-receptor antagonist is a classification of drugs used to block the action of histamine at the H3 receptor.

Unlike the H1 and H2 receptors which have primarily peripheral actions, but cause sedation if they are blocked in the brain, H3 receptors are primarily found in the brain and are

inhibitory autoreceptors

located on histaminergic nerve terminals, which modulate the release of histamine.

***Histamine release in the brain triggers secondary release of excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate and acetylcholine via stimulation of H1 receptors in the cerebral cortex.***

Consequently unlike the H1 antagonist antihistamines which are sedating, H3 *antagonists* have stimulant and nootropic effects, and are being researched as potential drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Wikipedia

Chart here:

Histamine is an organic nitrogen compound involved in local immune responses as well as regulating physiological function in the gut and acting as a neurotransmitter.

Histamine triggers the inflammatory response.

As part of an immune response to foreign pathogens, histamine is produced by basophils and by mast cells found in nearby connective tissues.

Histamine increases the permeability of the capillaries to white blood cells and other proteins, in order to allow them to engage foreign invaders in the infected tissues.

It is found in virtually all animal body cells.

What is so odd about this is that we know Tritec (H2 blocker + bismuth citrate) is capable of destroying Bb in the GI track ...only.

So, at least in the GI track...stopping blocking the H2 receptors AND hitting Bb look to be important.

Many viruses NEED histamine to "happen". It helps them to invade!

Histamine triggers inflammation.

H4 (recent)

Differentiation of monocytes into macrophages or dendritic cells is associated with profound changes of histamine receptor expression. Upregulation of H1 receptors confers on macrophages the capacity of being activated by histamine.

Histamine may impact phagocytosis (gobbling up by macrophages)

Would blocking H1 and H2 (antagonists) help our own macrophages to complete their job?

In the case of the virus for foot and mouth disease (common in childhood) the treatment is an oral rinse of liquid Benadryl + Maalox...rinsed and spitted every 4 hours...or longer if accidentally swallowed.

H1 antagonist and H2 antagonist?


CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative short course famotidine (H2 antagonist) induces TILs (tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes) in breast cancer. Patients with TILs demonstrable in tumor specimens had an

improved disease free survival.

Famotidine (Pepcid) may improve disease free survival in breast cancer and these findings need validation in larger population subsets.

Recent studies have shown that NE (neutrophil elastase) cleaves vitamin D-binding protein, a molecule that binds to the surface of neutrophils and amplifies the complement C5a chemotactic activity.

Thus, histamine, via stimulation of H2 receptors on peripheral monocytes and subsequent elevation of cAMP,

suppresses IL-12 and

stimulates IL-10 secretion,

changes that may result in a shift of Th1/Th2 balance toward Th2-dominance.

This may represent a novel mechanism by which

excessive secretion of histamine

potentiates Th2-mediated allergic reactions and contributes to the development of certain infections and tumors normally eliminated by Th1-dependent immune mechanisms.

Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is known to inhibit IL-12 production in macrophages primarily at the transcriptional level with the involvement of p50 and p65 nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB).

PMID: 15720433

Interleukin-10 (IL-10 or IL10), also known as human cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor (CSIF), is an anti-inflammatory cytokine. In humans IL-10 is encoded by the IL10 gene.

This cytokine is produced primarily by monocytes and to a lesser extent by lymphocytes. This cytokine has pleiotropic effects in immunoregulation and inflammation.

It down-regulates the expression of Th1 cytokines, MHC class II antigens, and costimulatory molecules on macrophages.

It also enhances B cell survival, proliferation, and antibody production. Wikipedia


Taken together, our results suggest that monocytes from HIV+ individuals secrete decreased amounts of IL-12, a Th1-type cytokine, which may lead to the development of Th2-type responses characterized by

high IL-10 secretion and immune dysfunction.

In general, stress has been regarded as immunosuppressive.

Recent evidence, however, indicates that acute, subacute or chronic stress might suppress cellular immunity but boost humoral immunity.

This is mediated by a differential effect of stress hormones, the glucocorticoids and catecholamines, on T helper 1 (Th1)/Th2 cells and type 1/type 2 cytokine production.

Furthermore, acute stress might induce pro-inflammatory activities in certain tissues through

neural activation of the peripheral corticotropin-releasing hormone-mast cell-

histamine axis.

Through the above mechanisms, stress might influence the onset and/or course of infectious, autoimmune/inflammatory, allergic and neoplastic diseases.

The present study suggests that the blockade of H1 receptor-mediated function has a

protective role

in ischemia-induced decreases in glucose metabolism in hippocampal slices.

PMID: 8099434

Looks like we need to figure out which histamine receptor(s) to antagonize (block) and which to help out (agonist).

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Wallace, nice post and informative. Thx for sharing this interesting information. Unfortunately, a good # of links you provided are broken.

Just because you "open up the plumbing" with niacin, why should that change your body temp.? HPA regulation is really tricky stuff, eh?

My biofilm film:
2004 Mycoplasma Pneumonia
2006 Positive after 2 years of hell
2006-08 Marshall Protocol. Killed many bug species
2009 - Beating candida, doing better
Lahey Clinic in Mass: what a racquet!

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I need to wait for the books I have ordered before replying to the temp Q.

Marnie in plain english are you in favour of taking niacin or not?

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This is from Obviously I disagree with the 1000mg limit here and instead follow Dr Hoffer. This answers the temp Q.

Dr. Powell: Comments on Niacin in Cpn Treatment
Submitted by Jim K on Sun, 2006-01-08 16:31.

* Commentary
* niacin
* Supplements
* Vitamins

Cpni exploits a variety of mechanisms to thwart our immunei system. There is one mechanism that is particularly important and can be countered by over the counter supplementsi. Cpn targets niacini metabolism. In doing so it leads to impaired T-cell function, low melatonini, low serotonin, low tryptophan, low niacin all of which can present as depression, fatigue and insomnia, all familiar symptoms in Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgiai and a host of Cpn related disorders.

Niacin therapy has been used safely for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia for decades, just the same, niacin levels should be increased slowly to minimize flushing and liver enzymes should be monitored. Expect some endotoxini release (as organisms die) as niacin is increased. Endotoxin release will lower nitric oxide levels temporarily and lead to cold hands and feet and possibly increased muscle aches in the initial stages of niacin treatment. You have to build up gradually on niacin as ingestion causes a flush like a hot flash. This reaction abates as you get used to the increased levels, and you can increase (UP TO???) the dose as tolerance develops.

Eventually time-released niacin can be used after niacin tolerance is established, but this form of niacin can be harder on the liver. Just be careful and make sure your doctor is monitoring liver enzymes and CBC every month or so until tolerance is well established. Unfortunately Niacinamide, ("No Flush Niacin") does not appear to be as effective.

Adding herbs that increase nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity can also be helpful and can lead to improved immune function and warmer extremities. Garlic, ginseng, & ashwagandha all increase the activity of NOS and may be synergistic in combination with niacin. Increasing nitric oxide usually decreases FM related muscle pain and anxiety. One of the following articles supports the use of niacin for chronic headache (Mayo Clinic article) and another links infection with Cpn to disruption of niacin metabolism and immune evasion.Make sure that you are taking a good multivitamin daily when doing battle with Cpn. Nutritional demands are increased significantly by increased exposure to the endotoxin that is released from dying organisms. Biochemicals made by the the body to fight Cpn are made at the expense of tryptophan, niacin, melatonin, and serotonin all of which also are needed to fight Cpn in other ways. Supplementation with niacin and melatonin should make life more difficult for Cpn.

Best wishes to all of those who striving to be a bad host to Cpn. The last two articles document the effects of nitric oxide and melatonin on Cpn.

Michael Powell D.O.

Studies referenced:

Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Jun;78(6):770-1.

Sustained-release niacin for prevention of migraine headache.

Velling DA, Dodick DW, Muir JJ.

Division of Pain Management Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz 85259, USA.

Considerable advances in the diagnosis and treatment of migraine headache have occurred during the past decade, but treatment options for acute migraine attacks have expanded at a faster rate than those for prophylaxis. We describe a patient whose migraine headaches responded dramatically to sustained-release niacin as preventive treatment. Niacin is not generally considered to be effective for migraine prevention. However, low plasma levels of serotonin have been implicated in migraine pathogenesis, and niacin may act as a negative feedback regulator on the kynurenine pathway to shunt tryptophan into the serotonin pathway, thus increasing plasma serotonin levels. Sustained-release niacin merits further study as a potentially useful preventive therapy for migraine headache.

PMID: 12934790 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Can J Microbiol. 2005 Nov;51(11):941-947.

Effect of nitric oxide on the growth of Chlamydophila pneumoniae.

Carratelli CR, Rizzo A, Paolillo R, Catania MR, Catalanotti P, Rossano F.

Chlamydophila pneumoniae is an important human intracellulari pathogen; however, the pathogenesis of C. pneumoniae infection is poorly understood and the immune control mechanism versus host cells is not completely known. The role of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase pathway in inhibiting the ability of C. pneumoniae to infect macrophage J774 cells and the ability of NO to damage isolated C. pneumoniae were investigated. Exposure of infected cultures to recombinant murine gamma interferon (MurIFN-γ) resulted in increased production of NO and reduced viability. Addition of 2-(N,N-diethylamino)-diazenolase-2-oxide before infection of J774 cells or during chlamydial cultivation released NO, both resulting in a reduction in the viability of C. pneumoniae in a dose-dependent way. These results indicate that immune control of chlamydial growth in murine macrophage cells may trigger a mechanism that includes NO release with effects on the multiplication of the microorganism, thus suggesting that NO may play a role in preventing the systemic spread of Chlamydia.

PMID: 16333333 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2005 Nov;56(5):861-8. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Serotonin and melatonin, neurohormones for homeostasis, as novel inhibitors of infectionsi by the intracellulari parasite chlamydia.

Rahman MA, Azuma Y, Fukunaga H, Murakami T, Sugi K, Fukushi H, Miura K, Suzuki H, Shirai M.

Department of Microbiology, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, 1-1-1, Minamikogushi, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan.

OBJECTIVES: Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacteria, causing a variety of diseasesi, i.e. pneumonia, sexually transmitted disease, conjunctivitis and zoonosis. Tryptophan depletion by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is the most important host defence system against chlamydial infection. Thus chlamydial tryptophan metabolism is thought to play key roles for IFN-gamma resistance, persistent infection and host/tissue tropisms. We tested tryptophan derivatives for activity against chlamydia-infected cells. METHODS: Rates of chlamydial infection and sizes of the inclusions were evaluated by in vitro infection using three Chlamydiaceae species, Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydophila felis, which show significant divergence of tryptophan synthesis genes and different susceptibilities to IFN-gamma. RESULTS: Melatonin and serotonin, which are recognized as neural hormones for maintenance of organism homeostasis, reduced chlamydial infection but not other bacterial growth tested here. Unlike IFN-gamma, melatonin limited infection of all three chlamydiae and the effects were not recovered by tryptophan supplementation. Melatonin treatment only of host cells could diminish infection and the infection reduction was neutralized by a pertussis toxin, an inhibitor of G proteins. Ligands of melatonin and serotonin receptors also hampered infection. CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition mechanisms of chlamydial infection by melatonin and serotonin appear to be different from those of IFN-gamma and involve specific G-protein-coupled receptors. Melatonin is deemed to inhibit early progression of the chlamydial development cycle, such as establishment of intracellular infection and/or conversion from elementary bodyi to reticulate body. Utilization of melatonin, serotonin or their derivatives may be advantageous for harmless prevention of chlamydial infection.

PMID: 16172105 [PubMed - in process]

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I've started on niacin and...
Submitted by Jim K on Sun, 2006-01-08 16:59.

I've started on niacini and am ramping up, taking about three doses a day: 250mg each of Trader Joe's time release (5oomg tabs broken in half). It does induce some flushing/itching,but less so over time. I built up to this dose. Really helps the cold hands and feet and shivery feelings of endotoxini relelease.

On Wheldon/Stratton protocol for Cpni in CFSi/FMSi since December 2004.

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Can somebody please explain
Submitted by lee on Mon, 2006-01-09 07:05.

Can somebody please explain this in laymans terms. Funny that when I took my dog to the vet for dry eye( same as me) He put him on 1500mg of tetracycline and niacinamide.


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Niacin & Cpn: Simple
Submitted by Jim K on Mon, 2006-01-09 07:18.

Niacini & Cpni Simple:

1. Cpn disturbs niacin metabolism.
2. This results in impaired T-cell function, low melatonini, low serotonin, low tryptophan, low niacin, all of which are problems for us (depression, insomnia, immunei problems, etc.)
3. Niacin also counters endotoxini reactions (cold hands and feet, low body temperature, etc)
4. You have to use regular niacin, which causes a flushing reaction (I get itchy too), and have to ramp up gradually, and you will tolerate higher dosage as you build.
5. Gear towards 500-1000 mg per day spread over the day.
6. As it can be liver toxic in these larger doses, make sure your liver and CBC blood panels are checked regularly if you are using this supplement in this way.

On Wheldon/Stratton protocol for Cpn in CFSi/FMSi since December 2004.

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Doesn't sleep deprivation
Submitted by raven on Wed, 2006-01-25 08:52.
Doesn't sleep deprivation disrupt the the body's production of melatonini? Could this be why my infection ramped up when I had insomnia for so long from menopause? Low melatonin allowed more Cpni to grow and establish itself as the reticulate form. Interesting. I know I have had the infection for a long time, but it really began to wreak havoc on my body when I began going through menopause. "Melatonin is deemed to inhibit early progression of the chlamydial development cycle, such as establishment of intracellulari infection and/or conversion from elementary bodyi to reticulate body." Raven

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Submitted by Rog777 on Wed, 2006-01-25 11:39.




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Rog777- Most people do
Submitted by Jim K on Wed, 2006-01-25 13:00.

Rog777- Most people do pulses for 5-7 days, then rest. The impact of a pulse continues on for a nubmer of days after as cleared cells are mobilized.

There is no contraindication to using niacini with tinii that I know of, start gradually as Dr. Powell.

I found the best thing to counter toxicity from the Tini pulses has been a Vitamin C flush. It's referenced somewhere on the site, using buffered vitamin C powder. It's the thing that helps me the most, about day 3 of a Tini pulse.

On Wheldon/Stratton protocol for Cpni in CFSi/FMSi since December 2004.

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Maybe I missed something
Submitted by katman on Wed, 2006-01-25 13:04.

Maybe I missed something but I need to ask why you are doing such a long pulse. I always feel much worse when I am on Flagy and am always happy to be done. My body always needs the whole "off time" to recover.


Ignorance is voluntary bad luck. Lauritz S. A true Viking

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. Yogi Berra

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Submitted by Rog777 on Wed, 2006-01-25 15:11.



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Submitted by Rog777 on Wed, 2006-01-25 15:18.



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� Try this link for info on
Submitted by Jim K on Wed, 2006-01-25 15:57.

Try this link for info on Vitamin C flush:

Note: it uses buffered vitamin C powder, not tablets. Best brands I've found: by Nutricology (available at Vitamin Shoppe) and American Biologics Ultra AB-C which has added quercetin.

On Wheldon/Stratton protocol for Cpni in CFSi/FMSi since December 2004.

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Jim, how is it going with
Submitted by raven on Sun, 2006-01-29 14:01.
Jim, how is it going with the niacini treatment? I spoke with Dr. Powell by phone and he recommended that I take it. (as well as B5 and B6 and the Horny goat Weed--LOL) I bought some at Trader Joe's but have ony taken a quarter dose as I used to get some extreme itching/flushes from niacin. He thought a prescription brand might be better for me to take. I'm being a big chicken about this so any info would be encouraging. Raven

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Hi Raven- I did the same
Submitted by Jim K on Sun, 2006-01-29 16:53.

Hi Raven- I did the same thing with the Trader Joes time release version: split it in half and gradually worked up to 1.5 tablets (1/2 at breakfast, lunch and dinner). I have the Rx kind from him, but haven't started it yet. Taking HGW, but not the added B5 and B6 yet.

I've found it helpful to counter the endotoxini cold (hands, feet, body). It also makes life harder for the Cpni according to his research, so that's good too. The itching response gets easier, so you can increase dose to tolerance. I think I'm at max now, since when I start to increase blood flow (exercise) I get a flush of itchy scalp and face! Just go slow. Try the 1/2 with food, and you'll get short flushes shortly after (I don't think the time release is that good on the Traders version), but it subsides rapidly. Build up as you are comfortable. Listen to your doctor! He's a good one.

On Wheldon/Stratton protocol for Cpn in CFSi/FMSi since December 2004.

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yesterday tired with some liver/kidney tenderness.
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A bit tired. Taking a bit more Vit C.

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Pushing up my dosage beyond 6000mg to get to my saturation dosage


Niacin is vitamin B-3, one of the water soluble B-complex vitamins. One of niacin's unique properties is its ability to help you naturally relax and get to sleep more rapidly at night. And it is well established that niacin helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D. explains: "Niacin is one of the best substances for elevating high density lipoprotein cholesterol (the "good cholesterol) and so decreases the ratio of the total cholesterol over high density cholesterol."

Another niacin feature is its ability to greatly reduce anxiety and depression. Yet another feature of niacin is that it dilates blood vessels and creates a sensation of warmth, called a "niacin flush." This is often accompanied with a blushing of the skin. It is this "flush" or sensation of heat that indicates a temporary saturation of niacin, and that is our topic here.

When you flush, you can literally see and feel that you've taken enough niacin. The idea is to initially take just enough niacin to have a slight flush. This means a pinkness about the cheeks, ears, neck, forearms and perhaps elsewhere. A slight niacin flush should end in about ten minutes or so. If you take too much niacin, the flush may be more pronounced and longer lasting. If you flush beet red for half an hour and feel weird, well, you took too much. And large doses of niacin on an empty stomach is certain to cause profound flushing.

Dr. Hoffer writes: "With larger initial doses, the flush is more pronounced and lasts longer," says Dr. Hoffer. "But with each additional dose, the intensity of the flush decreases and in most patients becomes a minor nuisance rather than an irritant. Niacin should always be taken immediately after finishing ones meal."

I have found that the best way for me to accurately control the flushing sensation is to start with very small amounts of niacin and gradually increase until the first flush is noticed. One method is to start with a mere 25 milligrams (25 mg) three times a day, say with each meal. The next day, try 50 mg at breakfast, 25 mg at lunch and 25 mg at supper. The following day, one might try 50 mg at breakfast, 50 mg at lunch, and 25 mg at supper. And, the next day, 50 mg at each of the three meals. The next day, 75 mg, 50 mg and 50 mg. Then, 75. 75 and 50, and so on. In this way you have increased at the easy rate of only 25 mg per day. One would continue to increase the dosage by 25 mg per day until the flush occurs.

It is difficult to predict a saturation level for niacin because each person is different. As a general rule, the more you hold, the more you need. If you flush early, you don't need much niacin. If flushing doesn't happen until a high level, then your body is obviously using the higher amount of the vitamin.

Now that you've had your first flush, what next? Since a flush indicates saturation of niacin, it is desirable to continue to repeat the flushing, just very slightly, to continue the saturation. This could be done three or more times a day. To get to sleep sooner at night, niacin can be taken to saturation at bedtime, too. You might be asleep before you even notice the flush.

An important point here is that niacin is a vitamin, not a drug. It is not habit forming. Niacin does not require a prescription because it is that safe. It is a nutrient that everyone needs each day. Different people in different circumstances require different amounts of niacin.

Says Dr. Hoffer: "A person's "upper limit is that amount which causes nausea, and, if not reduced, vomiting. The dose should never be allowed to remain at this upper limit. The usual dose range is 3,000 to 9,000 milligrams daily divided into three doses, but occasionally some patients may need more. The toxic dose for dogs is about 5,000 milligrams per 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) body weight. We do not know the toxic dose for humans since niacin has never killed anyone."

Inevitable physician skepticism and questions about niacin's proven safety and effectiveness are best answered in Orthomolecular Psychiatry, edited by David Hawkins, M.D. and Linus Pauling, Ph.D. This nearly 700 page textbook is the standard reference for details on niacin therapy. Persons with a history of heavy alcohol use, liver disorders, diabetes, or pregnancy will especially want to have their physician monitor their use of niacin in quantity. Monitoring long-term use of niacin is a good idea for anyone. It consists of having your doctor check your liver function with a simple blood test.

Plain and simple niacin may be purchased in tablets at any pharmacy or health food store. Tablets typically are available in 50 mg, 100 mg, or 250 mg dosages. The tablets are usually scored down the middle so you can break them in half easily. You can break the halves in half, too, to get the exact amount you want.

If a niacin tablet is taken on an empty stomach, a flush will occur (if it is going to occur at all) within about 20 minutes. If niacin is taken right after a meal, a flush may be delayed. In fact, the flush may occur long enough afterwards that you forgot that you took the niacin! Don't let the flush surprise you. Remember that niacin does that, and you can monitor it easily.

If you want a flush right away, you can powder the niacin tablet. This is easily done by crushing it between two spoons. Powdered niacin on an empty stomach can result in a flush within minutes. Sustained release niacin is often advertised as not causing a flush at all. This claim may not be completely true; sometimes the flush is just postponed. It would probably be difficult to determine your saturation level with a sustained- or time-released product. They are also more costly. But the biggest reason to avoid sustained-release niacin is that most reports of side effects stem from use of that form.

There is nothing wrong with niacinAMIDE, by the way. That form of vitamin B-3 is frequently found in multiple vitamins and B-complex preparations. Niacinamide does not cause a flush at all. In my opinion, it is less effective in inducing relaxation and calming effects. Niacinamide also does not significantly lower serum cholesterol. This is an important distinction to make when purchasing.

It is a good idea to take all the other B-complex vitamins in a separate supplement in addition to the niacin. The B-vitamins, like professional baseball players, work best as a team. Still, the body seems to need proportionally more niacin than the other B vitamins. Even the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for niacin is much more than for any other B-vitamin. Many physicians consider the current RDA for niacin of only 20 mg to be way too low for optimum health. While the government continues to discuss this, it is possible to decide for yourself based on the success of doctors that use niacin for their patients every day.

TO FLUSH OR NOT TO FLUSH? That is this reader's question:

''We have learned a great deal from your site and your books and also enjoy them. We have also incorporated some of your suggestions in our lifestyle. My question for you is an attempt to clarify what seems to be a difference of opinion about the niacin flush between you and Dr. Hoffer. He had written ( ) that the niacin flush is normal with many people and will diminish or go away as the patient continues to use niacin at his recommended level of 3,000 milligrams per day. You, however, state that the flush is an indication of no niacin deficiency ( ). Who is correct or am I misinterpreting one of you?''

Andrew Saul's Response:

This is how I look at it: Generally speaking, people in fairly good health usually choose to increase their doses gradually in order to minimize flushing. If they do increase the dose slowly, what I describe is pretty accurate. For instance, I've been taking niacin for years, in daily but varying doses depending on my stress level or dietary intake. I know by the flush when I've had enough for the moment. It is like turning off the hot water when the tub is full enough for a nice bath. Dr Hoffer is highly experienced with serious psychiatric cases. Such patients have a niacin dependency, not a mere deficiency. Let's let him speak for himself:

Abram Hoffer, MD, writes:

``We are both correct. Most people flush at the beginning and gradually get adapted to it unless they stop for a few days and then resume it. A few cannot ever get used to it, and they take the no-flush preparations. But the intensity of the flush is very variable. Generally people who need it the most flush the least. That includes arthritics, schizophrenics, and elderly people with cardiovascular problems. Some schizophrenics do not flush until they get well and then they do. But the presence of the flush or its intensity can not be uniquely used measure the need as there are too many variables such as food in the stomach, whether the drink with it is hot or cold, the kind of food, other medication. Antipsychotics reduce the intensity of the flush as do aspirin and antihistamines.''


Vitamin B-3 and Schizophrenia: Discovery, Recovery, Controversy, by Abram Hoffer, MD. Quarry Press, Kingston, Ontario Canada (1998) ISBN 1-55082-079-6 Softcover, 150 pages plus bibliography and two appendices. Reviewed at

Dr. Hoffer's ABC of Natural Nutrition for Children, by Abram Hoffer, MD. Quarry Press, Kingston, Ontario (1999) ISBN 1-55082-185-7 (Softcover, 280 pages plus tables and bibliography)

The above Dr. Hoffer quotes are from a private communication, April 7, 2002

Copyright C 2008, 2004 and previous years by Andrew W. Saul.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

For ordering information, Click Here .

Andrew W. Saul

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Now on 9000mg and have possibly reached my saturation dose as I had no flush today!
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Sticking to my optimum dose of 9000mg. And not flushing!

Dr hoffers book referred to before on orthomolecular vitamin therapy is very good.

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Does anyone know anyone who really used Niacin to its full extent (in large does) with high C to put Lyme at bay?

Has anyone studied this, try it and succeeded or unfortunately did they simply fail with lyme and Niacin?

I note that it cannot be good news that Dr K of all people said that Niacin is a great antibiotic and and yet suggests about 10 other antibiotics in his lyme protocol- so obviously his experiments with Niacin have not been so effective against lyme. thanks, J

[ 11-23-2010, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: jl123 ]

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Taking niacin is not something to stop and start. You take it because you have a vitamin dependency.

Most people stop after a while......

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any updates?
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