Jump Ahead to the Best Niacin Products

What is Niacin?

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3 or niacinamide, is a water-soluble vitamin that comes in three forms: niacinamide, nicotinic acid, and inositol hexaniacinate. Niacin is one of the eight essential B complex vitamins. Your body uses niacin to turn food into energy.

Natural sources of niacin include tuna, mushrooms, yeast, milk, organ meat, turkey, green peas, Jerusalem artichokes, grapefruit, peaches, and sweet potatoes. Typically, healthy American adults are not at risk of developing a vitamin B-3 deficiency, so most people need not be concerned about niacin intake. However, certain medications, such as those prescribed for tuberculosis, may increase the risk of niacin deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin B-3 deficiency include scaly skin rash, diarrhea, memory loss, and headache. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek medical attention straight away.

Uses & Benefits of Niacin

Every part of your body needs niacin to function properly. It helps enzymes function properly. Specifically, it is a component of coenzymes NADP and NAD, both of which play an important role in cellular metabolism. There are also a number of other specific niacin benefits.

  • LDL cholesterol: This type of cholesterol is present in the blood as low-density lipoprotein. High levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Niacin has been used to treat high cholesterol since the 1960s. Although it is effective at lowering LDL cholesterol by 5–20%, it is not the first choice of treatment because of its possible side effects. It is generally used for high cholesterol in people who cannot tolerate statins. Therapeutic doses are needed to this end.
  • HDL cholesterol: As well as lowering harmful cholesterol levels, vitamin B-3 also increases beneficial high-density lipoprotein levels.  High levels of HDL help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Niacin can raise HDL cholesterol by up to 15-35%. Therapeutic doses are needed to this end.
  • Triglycerides: This is a type of fat in the bloodstream. Over one-third of adults in the U.S. have high triglyceride levels. Vitamin B-3 can lower triglycerides by 20–50%. It does so by inhibiting an enzyme which triggers triglyceride synthesis. Therapeutic doses are needed to this end.
  • Heart disease: As well as helping reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol, niacin can also benefit your heart in other ways. It can help reduce hardening of the arteries by inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Type 1 diabetes: This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It caused the body to attack and destroy pancreatic cells which create insulin. Some studies suggest that niacin may help protect these cells.
  • Brain function: A 2013 study published in the Neurobiology of Aging, suggested that niacin may support healthy brain function in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. More research is needed.
  • Skin health: Whether taken orally or applied topically, vitamin B-3 helps protect the skin from sun damage.
  • Arthritis: Preliminary research suggests that niacin may alleviate some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis. More research is needed.

Taking Niacin

According to Healthline, the niacin dosage you need based on the Dietary Reference Intake depends on your age and gender.

  • Males 14 years and older – 16 mg per day
  • Females 14 years and older – 14 mg per day
  • Pregnant women – 18 mg per day
  • Breastfeeding women – 17 mg per day

Therapeutic niacin supplement dosages are higher than the recommended daily amount and should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor.

Niacin Side Effects and Precautions

Although consuming niacin in the amounts found in dietary sources, taking a niacin supplement can cause side effects including:

  • Niacin flush: The most common side effect of taking vitamin B-3 supplement is a flushing of the skin caused by dilation of the blood vessels. As well as flushing on the chest, neck, and face, niacin can cause a tingling or burning sensation.
  • Stomach irritation: Taking slow-release niacin can cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Liver damage: Taking high doses of vitamin B-3 (3–9 grams per day) over a long period can lead to liver damage.
  • Blood sugar: Taking high doses of vitamin B-3 may result in impaired blood sugar control.
  • Gout: Taking a niacin supplement may lead to increased levels of uric acid, which can cause or worsen gout.

What to Look for in a Good Niacin Supplement

There are three forms of vitamin B-3 supplements available over-the-counter:

  • Nicotinic acid
  • Nicotinamide
  • Inositol hexanicotinate (flush-free niacin)

Studies on vitamin B-3’s efficacy for lowering triglyceride levels mainly used nicotinic acid. Nicotinamide and inositol hexanicotinate are popular supplemental forms of vitamin B-3 because they do not cause flushing. However, there is little evidence that these forms reduce triglyceride levels. You should check the supplement bottle label to see which form of niacin it contains.

Nicotinic acid is also available in three different forms:

  • Immediate release (IR): The body absorbs this at one time. This form is more likely to cause side effects such as flushing.
  • Sustained release (SR): This is released gradually, which may reduce the risk of some side effects.
  • Extended-release (ER): This is released over a greater period but is only available by prescription.

Top 10 Niacin Products Compared

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1. Nature’s Bounty Niacin Flush Free

One of the best niacin supplements on the market, Nature’s Bounty Niacin Flush Free provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size is one capsule. The bottle contains 120 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • Inositol hexanicotinate flush-free niacin
  • Gluten-free
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Contains fillers

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Bounty Co. has been providing nutritional supplements for more than 70 years. They are a global company with over 4,000 associates worldwide. Their brands include Body Fortress®, Sundown Naturals®, Osteo Bi-Flex®, and Puritan’s Pride®. The company has offices in the U.S. and overseas.

Bottom Line

This is a powerful niacin supplement that is made with inositol hexanicotinate, so you won’t get the annoying skin flushing. Nature’s Bounty is a long-lasting and reputable company that offers quality dietary supplements at affordable prices. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for vegetarians and it does contain unnecessary fillers.

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2. Doctor’s Best Real Niacin

Doctor's Best Real Niacin

Doctor’s Best Real Niacin provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size is one capsule. The bottle contains 120 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg of niacin per serving
  • Time-released
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten-free

Who Makes It?

Doctor’s Best nutritional supplements is a U.S.-based company. The company was founded in 1990. All their supplements are formulated using science-based research. Each one is tested to rigorous standards. Doctor’s Best currently offers more than 200 dietary products through outlets worldwide.

Bottom Line

These have got to be some of the best niacin pills out there. This supplement has everything you need: a potent dose, time-released vitamin-B3 so you can avoid the side effects, it’s non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free. What’s more, it’s also offered at a great price. What more could you want?

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3. Life Extension Vitamin B3 Niacin

Life Extension Vitamin B3 Niacin

Life Extension Vitamin B3 Niacin provides 500 mg of niacin per serving. Serving size is one capsule. The bottle contains 100 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • Non-GMO
  • Good reviews
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Good price

Who Makes It?

The Life Extension Foundation was established in 1980. It is a non-profit organization which aims to extend the human lifespan by finding scientific ways to eradicate disease and control aging. It is one of the largest organizations of this type in the world. The company receives private funding for research programs to identify new and novel therapies.

Bottom Line

Another strong vitamin B-3 supplement made by a company with an excellent reputation. Life Extension Vitamin B3 Niacin is non-GMO and very affordable. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for vegetarians.

4. Nature’s Way Niacinamide

Nature's Way Niacinamide

Nature’s Way Niacinamide provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size is one capsule. The bottle contains 100 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • Non-flushing
  • Gluten-free
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors
  • Contains no common allergens

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Way is a U.S.-based company that uses cutting-edge DNA biotechnology, known as TRU-ID, to test their herbal ingredients for purity. They have been manufacturing dietary supplements since 1968. They are also partnered with North America’s Non-GMO Project.

Bottom Line

Nature’s Way Niacinamide is an effective niacin supplement. It’s free from allergens, gluten and artificial additives and is made with the non-flushing form of vitamin B-3. It’s a high-quality product from a reliable company and is offered at a good price.

5. Sundown Naturals Niacin

Sundown Naturals Niacin

Sundown Naturals Niacin provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size is one capsule. The bottle contains 200 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • Slow release
  • Contains 106 mg calcium
  • Gluten-free
  • Suitable for vegetarians

Who Makes It?

Sundown Naturals is a U.S.-based company. They offer a range of vitamins and minerals that are non-GMP, gluten-free and contain no common allergens or artificial additives. There manufacturing facilities are independently audited by UL-Registrar LLC.

Bottom Line

These are very good niacin pills made by a company with a great reputation. They are vegan-friendly and allergen, gluten and additive-free. All the ingredients are organic, and they are offered at a great price.

6. Now Foods Niacin

Now Foods Niacin

NOW Foods Niacin provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size in one tablet. The bottle contains 100 capsules.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • Value for money
  • Good reviews
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Contains fillers

Who Makes It?

NOW Foods is a U.S. and Canada-based company that has been manufacturing dietary supplements since 1968. They utilize state-of-the-art testing laboratories to conduct more than 16,000 rigorous tests on their ingredients and finished supplements every month.

Bottom Line

NOW Foods is a company you can count on and this niacin supplement is good value for money. Unfortunately, it is not vegetarian-friendly and it contains fillers.

7. Rugby Niacin

Rugby Niacin

Rugby Niacin provides 500 mg per serving. Serving size is one tablet. The bottle contains 1000 capsules.

Specs

  • Provides 500 mg per serving
  • Good value
  • Not extended release
  • Contains fillers
  • Good reviews

Who Makes It?

Rugby Laboratories are based in Livonia, MI. They have been making dietary supplements for more than 40 years. They are a subsidiary of Cardinal Health™. The company is proud of its commitment to high manufacturing standards and ethical conduct.

Bottom Line

This is a good choice if you want a niacin supplement with a large number of capsules for a good price. It’s not time release so you will need to increase the dose slowly to avoid flushing. It also contains fillers.

8. Solaray Niacin Capsules

Solaray Niacin Capsules

Solaray Niacin Capsules provide 100 mg of niacin per serving. Serving size is one tablet. The bottle contains 100 capsules.

Specs

  • Provides 100 mg of niacin per serving
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Contains fillers
  • Good reviews

Who Makes It?

Solaray is the flagship brand of the Nutraceutical Company. It was founded in Utah in 1973 and acquired in 1993. The company manufactures a full range of vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements that can be purchased online and at health food stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Bottom Line

This supplement is not the best value for money compared to other supplements of its kind, as it only contains 100 capsules. It also contains fillers and the capsule is made from gelatin, so it’s not suitable for vegetarians.

9. Source Naturals Niacin Vitamin B-3

Source Naturals Niacin Vitamin B-3

Source Naturals Niacin provides 100 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size is one tablet. The bottle contains 250 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 100 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • Contains 21 mg of calcium
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Good reviews
  • Contains fillers

Who Makes It?

Source Naturals was established in 1982. The company has since won a number of prestigious awards. Source Naturals formulate unique combinations of ingredients to support good health. Some of their most popular products include Essential Enzymes™ and Life Force Multiple™.

Bottom Line

Because this is a low-dose supplement, you can build up gradually to avoid the fluchine effect. It also has an added bonus of 21 mg of calcium. It is suitable for vegetarians, but it does contain fillers.

10. Solgar Niacin Vitamin B3

Solgar Niacin Vitamin B3

Solgar Niacin Vitamin B3 provides 100 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving. Serving size is one tablet. The bottle contains 100 tablets.

Specs

  • Provides 100 mg of vitamin B-3 per serving
  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • Gluten-free
  • Free from common allergens
  • Suitable for vegetarians

Who Makes It?

Solgar has been making dietary supplements since 1947. The company distributes their products through the natural products industry worldwide. All their nutritional supplements are science-based.

Bottom Line

This is a high-quality supplement made with natural ingredients. It contains no additives, fillers, or common allergens. Because of its low dose you can build up your intake gradually and avoid the flushing effect.

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