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Niacin: The Real Story: Learn about the Wonderful Healing Properties of Niacin Hardcover – October 9, 2015
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"Dr. Andrew Saul's new book, Niacin: The Real Story is co-written with Abram Hoffer M.D., Ph.D., presents some very compelling evidence to support treating most psychotic disorders as a vitamin B3 deficiency. Considering it is very inexpensive and has virtually no dangerous side effects, niacin would certainly be worth a consideration for anyone who has a family member with this mental health challenge. I highly recommend picking up this book and learning more about its use."
(Dr. Joseph Mercola)
"Niacin: The Real Story is a classic." (Dr. Richard Passwater) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
I have lived a full, interesting and creative life supported by my family and many friends and irritated and spurred on by the hostile criticisms of a group of psychiatrists representing APA and NIMH. I was born on a farm in Southern Saskatchewan in 1917, completed High School in a rural school, my PhD at University of Minnesota and Medical degree at University of Toronto. By the time I got my first job I was 33 years old, had three children and was totally fed up with being a student. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to become a psychiatrist, then the lowest branch of medicine. My wife Rose put up with these long student years while she brought up our three children. Bill became one of the worldâ€™s best antiquarian book experts. He died 6 years ago from lung cancer. John is a Professor of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal a great clinician and researcher into nutrition, and Miriam is dietitian at Women College hospital in Toronto and recently published her very good book Fueling Body, Mind and Spirit. Rose died in August 2001 and since then I am alone but absorbed with my family and my work. I have the support of remarkable friends and scientists and all of us working together will eventually overhaul medicine back to its interest in nutrition and in nutrients. Since they did not know me personally I never took it personally although I must admit I would have preferred had they been supportive. I give my critics full credit for having delayed the full introduction of orthomolecular medicine into the medical world and for having denied life, health and happiness for innumerable patients. Supporters of old paradigms never realize how much damage they do by their remarkable rigidity and adherence to old theories.
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Personally, although I did try the combination of niacin and simvastatin for 6 months, I've relied on niacin and proper diet to improve my cardiovascular parameters. I've managed to decrease my calcium score by 14% per year and I'm the only male in my family to not have a stroke or heart attack by the age of 50 (I'm 57 now).
One aspect of niacin which the author's experience and mine differ significantly is the niacin flush. The authors claim that it rapidly decreases, but in my case, the flushing only got significantly better after 4 to 5 years of continuous use (I use the immediate release form). The flushing is mediated by two distinct pathways. The flushing caused by the production of PGD2 can be lessed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, naproxen sodium, etc. The other pathway is mediated by the release of serotonin from platelets, which is much more difficult to counter. I've read that either Thorazine or Haldol helps with the flushing from that pathway. Great. Flushing is reduced as long as niacin is taken every day, with very few missing doses. The authors do mention three times a day dosing, but every time I took it three times a day, I experienced elevated liver enzymes, which is an indication of liver damage. On the other hand, taking the immediate-relase form twice daily has never caused a problem.
With niacin and the proper diet, I've increased my HDL from 30 to 70, dropped my LDL to 100 and halved my triglycerides.
On 600 mg instant niacin a day:
(a) I could suddenly sleep well 7 hours a night (I was taking 300 micrograms melatonin at night which I no longer needed);
(b) Besides going as red as a beet when I took my first two 100 mg tablets, I noticed an immediate boost in mood; yes, niacin often makes me feel high. (I am someone who never drinks or takes drugs.)
(c) My joint pains and muscle pains, which I had for years, went away overnight, almost completely.
(d) I had so much more energy, which remains steady through each day (I was taking carnitine, which I no longer need.)
(e) I had a very unpleasant, painful, protruding pile which had lasted for more than a month, before I began taking niacin. Within 3 days my pile had shrunk, I could hardly feel any lump and the muscle tone in that area felt much better. I haven't had any problems with piles in the 6 months I have been taking niacin, no matter how much I push.
(f) On a gram of slow release niacin, taken in addition to the 600 mg fast niacin a day, my LDL dropped from 5.6 to 3.0 in two weeks. My HDL went from 1.31 to 1.68.
The book is not merely about the many benefits of niacin, but is the story of niacin, of how Dr. Hoffer first came to use it on many of his patients. It is also, in a very real sense, the story of Dr. Hoffer himself, and what a wonderful, inspiring story it is!
According to this book, about 50% of all people in the world can benefit from taking niacin every day. I am clearly one of them. Curiously, the opposite seems to be true for my wife: for one, it aggravated her piles overnight, causing them to flare up painfully, and she experienced no subjective benefits. It is therefore a question of each person must try for himself / herself and closely monitor what they experience. There is a bit of jargon that apparently explains this: under-methylation (me); over-methylation (my wife.)
The only downsides I experienced (I do not see the itching, burning sensation on the skin and the hot flashes which sometimes arise, as such) is that it seemed to aggravate my sinusitis. However, I was able to counteract this effect effectively with curcumin and msm. Further, if taken directly before switching off the light at night, I tended to experienced arythmias (irregular heart beat) while waiting to fall asleep or on waking during the night. So now I take 200 mg about an hour before I switch off the night light, which makes all the difference.
One area the book does not effectively or safely address, which is a bit of a bummer, is clear directions on the use of slow niacin. Reading this book, one can be forgiven for thinking that it would be safe to take 3 grams of slow release niacin a day, instead of 3 grams of fast release niacin, although this book almost exclusively recommends the latter. However, it is in fact quite unsafe to take 3 grams of slow release niacin a day, for every 500 mg of slow release niacin is the equivalent of 1 gram of fast niacin in its effect on the liver. Thus, if you want to substitute slow release niacin for 3 grams of instant niacin, you should take no more than 1.5 grams of slow release niacin a day. This does not mean you will experience exactly the same effect/ benefit if you do. In my case, I find that a gram of slow release niacin (which is the equivalent of two grams of fast niacin) and up to a gram of fast niacin a day produces the best synergy of benefits in me, with each enhancing the other.
This book also recommends inositol hexanicotinate (it says you need to take twice as much as the instant niacin to get the same benefit). I guess the good doctor and Andrew Saul speak from their experience. However, I haven't found this product to be effective at all, and there is mounting evidence that inositol hexanicotinate is not very bio-available.
Besides for these few complaints about the value of this book, I highly recommend it, even if you are not wondering how effective niacin might be for you, and whether you should take it or not. it is written in refreshing, easy to follow, non-jargon prose and if you read it, you will know more about niacin than most medical doctors do.
For lowering cholesterol, 1.5 grams of slow release niacin a day is best, or take a gram of slow release niacin and up to a gram of fast release niacin per day. If you are thinking primarily of your cholesterol, "Cholesterol Control Without Diet! The Niacin Solution" by Dr. William B Parsons Jr. would be more up your alley. However, the latter is not nearly as exciting a read as the current read.
I highly recommend "Niacin - The Real Story".
taking 1000mg after every meal, 3 times per day. I tried his protocol for 3 days and after the 3rd day I got sick and vomited. It didn't work for me.
I don't know how his patients could take this for 2 weeks to 3 months or longer without feeling sick.
I couldn't figure out why my vision was worsening and my eyes were becoming dryer and dryer. After doing research, I learned that it was the Niacin. This is a common side effect. I'm going to have to discontinue supplementing with Niacin, which, for me, is unfortunate, because I was feeling so wonderful on it. I have no other choice, as Niacin is doing horrible things to my eyes.
I'm wondering if Niacinamide will have the same effect?