Orthomolecular Supplementation: Niacin

Many within the healthcare industry frown upon large doses of vitamins, and some even insist they may be harmful. While this is true for some vitamins, it may not be so for all.

There are two main types of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins are oil-based and are stored in the body’s adipose (fat) tissue. These consist of vitamins A, D, E, and K. Since the body stores these vitamins upon ingestion, supplementing beyond the FDA’s recommended daily allowance is generally not recommended by health care professionals, as they can become toxic.

Too much of anything can become toxic, including water and oxygen. In a society driven by overconsumption well beyond any reasonable level, many essential minerals and nutrients can even become toxins.

All other vitamins are water soluble (they dissolve in water). Water soluble vitamins need to be ingested daily since the body does not store what it doesn’t use every day, preferably with nutritious food whenever possible. Since healthy, nutritious food is not always a practical option in our society, some specialists recommend supplementing with vitamins and whole food supplements.

Scientists in the field of orthomolecular (nutrition-based) medicine, such as the late Dr. Abraham Hoffer, often recommend daily doses of water soluble vitamins well beyond what is recommended by the FDA. Hoffer pioneered the use of Vitamin B3 (niacin) to treat many conditions such as arthritis, learning and behavioral disorders, mental illness, and cardiovascular disease. He successfully used doses up to and even beyond 40,000 mg per day! To put this into perspective, here are the FDA’s recommended daily allowances of niacin:

Children 1-3 years, RDA = 6 mg
Children 4-8 years, RDA = 8 mg
Children 9-13 years, RDA = 12 mg
Males 14-70 years, RDA = 16 mg
Females 14-70 years, RDA = 14 mg
Pregnancy 19-50 years, RDA = 18 mg
Lactation 19-50 years, RDA = 17 mg

Niacin-rich foods include yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, beans and grains.

Hoffer found that contrary to the popular belief that too much niacin was harmful for the liver no long term ill effects were recorded on his patients. He even took at least 3000mg per day for most of his life, before expiring in 2009 at the age of 91.

Dr. Andrew Saul is a pupil of Hoffer. In his book “Niacin: The Real Story,” Saul notes that there has never been one recorded death from overdosing on niacin. Contrast this with 106,000 deaths per year from the “adverse effects” of FDA-approved prescription medications!

Vitamin therapy seems to hold much promise in treating many chronic conditions. Though the supplement industry is thriving, vitamins are not patentable and are therefore not profitable. For this reason, many companies and corporations are not willing to spend the money to invest in further research in vitamin and orthomolecular science, opting instead to focus their efforts on rushing poisonous drugs through premature FDA approval in the name of “helping people.”

Does this seem right to you? Should our medical industry be motivated by profit at the expense of the health of the people?





(photos courtesy of: http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n159/crebello/Niacin%20Flush/th_niacinflushmembersclip.jpg, https://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/60e1f3de-9022-4822-b04f-6e65a57f5d12/ea908361-59be-435b-b9ed-225056bb419f/Image/fb68d108a29bf8aaeff0557db6a4a0da/niacin_foods.jpg, http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ApB0DISrL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-45,22_AA300_SH20_OU15_.jpg)

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