How do I Choose the Best Niacin Tablets?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
High doses of niacin may cause fatigue.
High doses of niacin may cause fatigue.

Choosing the right niacin tablets is a task that involves considering three specific issues. One has to do with the type of niacin product needed to produce the desired result. Another important consideration is whether to go with a prescription or over the counter tablet. A last point to ponder is the actual dosage contained in each niacin tablet, and how much you need to take each day in order to reap the benefits of taking vitamin B3.

Many prescription forms of niacin use the extended release model.
Many prescription forms of niacin use the extended release model.

Many people are not aware that niacin tablets are manufactured in more than one formula. No-flush niacin, also known as niacinamide, is great for a few basic nutritional needs and offers the benefit of not causing any type of flushing in the two- to three-hour period after taking the product. An alternative is nicotinic acid, a form of niacin that does often cause flushing, especially with larger doses. Many healthcare professionals recommend going with the nicotinic acid version if the goal is to reduce bad cholesterol while supporting the increase of good cholesterol in the system. As a bonus, many people find the flush to be somewhat relaxing, a side effect that may be helpful for someone who is feeling slightly nervous or edgy.

Niacin products may be purchased over-the-counter.
Niacin products may be purchased over-the-counter.

It is also important to determine if over the counter niacin tablets are the best choice for your particular state of health. In some cases, this approach works fine, especially for people who don’t mind taking two to three doses per day and are comfortable with the flushing. Others may prefer extended release niacin tablets that slowly release the vitamin into the bloodstream throughout the day. Many prescription forms of niacin use the extended release model. Consulting with a physician will help you decide which approach would be best.

Many healthcare professionals recommend nicotinic acid to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Many healthcare professionals recommend nicotinic acid to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

The amount or dosage contained in the niacin tablets is also important. While vitamin B3 is a water-soluble nutrient that must replenished each day, there are minute traces stored in the body. Some research indicates that prolonged use of megadoses, typically over 4 grams per day, could eventually lead to problems with the liver. When used to manage cholesterol and other specific ailments, many physicians urge patients to take anywhere from 500 to 1000 milligrams over the course of the day. Working with your doctor will make it easier to decide how much you need, what time of day to take a niacin tablet, and how long you should continue the therapy. With a little luck, the health issue can be corrected and you can begin to use natural sources of niacin in a balanced diet to maintain your good health.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

bluedolphin

I'm looking for the best niacin tablets that don't cause flushing. I've tried several different brands but experienced flushing with each one. I even experienced flushing with one labeled "no-flush." I don't know if I'm just very sensitive to the effects of niacin or whether this is an inevitable side effect. If anyone has found a niacin supplement that doesn't cause flushing, I'd definitely like to know about it.

SteamLouis

@ZipLine-- I've not used the slow release version but my sister has and she told me that she didn't notice any difference. I'm not sure that slow release is necessarily a better option. It's probably best to check with your doctor.

I use regular niacin tablets, but only 500mg. I also take a break from them every now and again. Although this is a water soluble vitamin that we need to get regularly, too much does have negative side effects. I only take it because I don't have a very balanced diet and the doctor diagnosed a deficiency in my last visit. I think it's important to follow doctor's dosage directions very carefully, even with supplements.

ZipLine

Has anyone used slow niacin tablets? Is it true that this type of niacin supplement is harmful? I read something about this but the source wasn't very reliable and I'm not sure if it's true.

I'm using niacin tablets for cholesterol and I thought that instead of taking it several times a day in smaller doses, I could take one slow-release tablet instead.

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    • High doses of niacin may cause fatigue.
      By: kmiragaya
      High doses of niacin may cause fatigue.
    • Many prescription forms of niacin use the extended release model.
      By: 18percentgrey
      Many prescription forms of niacin use the extended release model.
    • Niacin products may be purchased over-the-counter.
      By: javiercorrea15
      Niacin products may be purchased over-the-counter.
    • Many healthcare professionals recommend nicotinic acid to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
      By: blueringmedia
      Many healthcare professionals recommend nicotinic acid to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
    • A pharmacist may be able to offer advice about over-the-counter niacin tablets.
      By: Tyler Olson
      A pharmacist may be able to offer advice about over-the-counter niacin tablets.