For the uninitiated, the phrase ‘flush free niacin’ might seem strange, with no clear meaning. For those who have experienced ‘niacin flush’ for themselves, the phrase might seem oddly comforting.
Niacin is a powerful vitamin for the human body, but when people ingest isolated doses of it, it tends to produce a ‘body flush,’ complete with heat flashes, itchiness, and skin redness so extreme that you may think you’re having an allergic reaction.
Symptoms only last for about 10 minutes and are not as extreme for all people. But many people find this experience unpleasant and may avoid taking their niacin as a result. Fortunately, there are supplement forms of niacin which do not produce these symptoms. Below, we’ll talk about what niacin is, why it produces a flush, and how this can be avoided.
What is Niacin?
Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. There are between 20 and 80 nutrients that the human body needs to live, and niacin is one of these. Niacin has many roles in the body but is most commonly associated with the optimal function of the heart and circulatory system. People who don’t have enough niacin in their bodies can experience unpleasant symptoms of many different bodily systems, especially of the skin. Fortunately, niacin is easily supplemented. But what about when taking a supplement and experiencing a niacin flush?
Why Does Niacin Cause Flushing?
The main reason why niacin produces flushing is caused by vasodilation, a temporary widening of the blood vessels. This can lead to increased blood flow to places with only tiny capillaries, such as the surface of the skin. This feeling is experienced as warmth and redness when it occurs after taking a niacin supplement.
What About Flush Free Niacin?
Flush free niacin does not have any active nicotinic acid. This is the aspect of niacin’s composition most closely related to optimal cholesterol levels, so it is likely that this version of the supplement is not as effective in this regard. Flush free niacin is otherwise identical in action to its flushing counterpart, but people who take the vitamin specifically for its effect on cholesterol could consider taking the version that causes a flush.
Can I Handle a Niacin Flush?
If you want to take niacin for its impact on cholesterol, you may have to deal with its flush. Fortunately, the flush doesn’t last very long and tends to decrease after you’ve gotten used to its effect over several days and weeks.
If you are prone to flush, it’s important to take niacin only when you can afford the symptoms. A good moment might be while you’re working at your desk, or while you’re on a walk in the cool air. If you find the symptoms unpleasant, you can always take a cold shower. It is not recommended to take niacin while you are warm if the flushes are undesired because this can lead to uncomfortable body heat and itching, though only for a few minutes.
Not everyone dislikes the niacin flush, and some people find it pleasant and even fun. However, flush free niacin is available for anyone who wants to go without, and it has all the capabilities of regular niacin, minus its action on blood cholesterol. Normal niacin doses are otherwise without the side effect in almost all cases and are enjoyed by people all over the world.
If you’re interested in taking niacin, find out where it naturally occurs in your diet, and what symptoms you might be suffering as a result of potential niacin deficiency. If you think you are a candidate for niacin supplementation, you can find it in flushing and no-flush varieties in our own online store. Here is a supplement that will cause flushing, which may be ideal for your cardiovascular health. For a flush free alternative, try this product.