Niacin for depression

March 2, 2013

Niacin or vitamin B-3 has been known to be a long-standing remedy for anxiety and chronic depression. Unfortunately, a lot of us have never heard of the possible emotional benefits of Niacin.

Among the most publicized cases of Niacin being used as a treatment for depression is the case of Bill Wilson who happens to be the founder of AA.  Bill struggled with chronic depression most of his life. After he was introduced to psychiatrists Abram Hoffer and Humphrey Osmond during the late 50s, he started to participate in a study which included the use of Niacin for depression.

Firstly, it is essential to recognize that depression and anxiety can actually be enhanced by stress and poor diet. Niacin should never be the first treatment. Stress, nutrition and exercise should be dealt with first.  Performing exercises regularly, taking time to meditate or relax and improving your diet can remarkably improve problems with anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, it is important to note that a lot of prescription medications for emotional illness have side effects.  Actually, taking these drugs can enhance emotional distress or may have other harmful effects.

In case, depression and anxiety are very severe, you need to seek consult from a doctor who has familiarity with natural remedies and treatments. Even if niacin has not been known to result to death, it should be taken in carefully managed doses.  Also, it should be supplemented with other vitamins particularly other B vitamins.

Most doctors will prescribe Niacin in tiny but frequent doses.  Then these doses are slowly increased in a daily basis.  Huge amounts of Niacin will cause skin flushes. However, a slight niacin flush should disappear in about 10 minutes or so. This is considered normal.  Most likely, a doctor will suggest that niacin should be consumed after every meal in a small dose like 25 mg. Then, the dose can be increased each day such as 50 mg during breakfast, 25 mg during lunch and dinner.  Usually, these doses should not be more than 3,000 to 9, 000 a day.  This must be reduced if the skin of the patient continues to flush.

Niacin will not only treat depression. It has been shown to help with high cholesterol, sleeping problems, arthritis, schizophrenia and addiction.

Filed under: Food Supplements


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