Niacin Health Benefits Review: Does it Work or Not?

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Updated December 31, 2020

A staple of many fat burner ingredients in many supplements is Niacin. Niacin is in the B vitamin family. Some sources or ingredient list may refer to it as vitamin B3. To further bore you all to death, I will let you know that Niacin is also known as Niacinamide, Inositol Hexaniacinate, and nicotinic acid.

Niacin benefits are strongly linked to improved cardiovascular health. Niacin side effects occur at larger dosing levels; something research supports for being used to treat cholesterol levels. Niacin is water-soluble. Niacin occurs naturally in a variety of mushrooms, organ meats, and fish.

Niacin Benefits

How Does Niacin Help Cardiovascular Health?

Vitamin B3 is used by some individuals as a way to improve elevated cholesterol. In this way, Niacin is seen as a contributor to improved heart and cardiovascular health.

Simply put, Niacin, via a handful of studies, has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol (that’s the good one) and drop triglycerides (that’s the bad stuff). In the human body, when you raise the good and lower the bad, health tends to improve (it ain’t rocket science, folks).

Achieving these results, however, means loading up on Niacin. Niacin loading isn’t something you take a little of each day. Instead, you take mass amounts as recommended by your Doctor. And this is where things can be, well, not so great.

First off, if you have ever loaded up on Niacin (and I have), you will notice a warm, flush feeling overcome your skin. I usually describe this as my face warming up and almost getting hot. It can feel fun and scary at the same time. Second, Niacin side effects, such as stomach issues and liver damage have been reported. Again, always have a chat with your Doctor before taking anything.

Niacin Improves Mood

One of Niacin’s most impressive health benefits is that reportedly, Niacin improves mood. So some cases of depression have been treated with Niacin.

Niacin Alzheimer’s

Studies of cultures with notably increased levels of Niacin have often shown a lower frequency of Alzheimer’s. There is no proof that increased Niacin supplementation helps, however. These groups intake occurred due to naturally occurring Niacin.

Niacin Sunburn

People who are Niacin deficient tend to burn easier. Simply Niacin supplementation can help these people be relieved of those sun-related symptoms.

Niacin Motion Sickness

Niacin has been reported to help with motion sickness. Many say that the use of papaya tablets helps relieve severe cases of motion sickness.

Niacin Fat Burner Ingredient

Niacin tends to act as a stimulant. Any stimulant is a good idea in the science of fat burning. It also does an excellent job in converting food to energy. When your body fails to convert food to energy, which is typically the result of less energy exerted then taken into the body, the body takes on more fat. Usually, the end goal is less fat. Unless you are a sumo fighter, in which case more fat works out better.

But it doesn’t do anything overly exciting. Most supplements could live without it and most likely do, stand on the strength of their core fat burner ingredients.

Niacin Side Effects

Niacin has been reported to disrupt the stomach lining, thereby causing gastrointestinal distress. It has also reportedly caused liver issues. The liver problems seem related to extended release versions of the product, which most caution against using for this very reason.

The other notable issue with Niacin is that it causes flushing. The flushing is a red, splotchy, warm skin occurrence, usually on the face and other parts of the body. As I stated above, I’ve had this occur. It typically goes away within an hour at most. Niacin as a fat burner ingredient is much less popular due to this and the other niacin side effects we have noted. Some people aren’t comfortable experiencing flushing. It is something to consider if you aren’t comfortable with flushing. My advice would be to see how much Niacin is in the fat burner supplement.

Check out this Niacin flush example:

Niacin Deficiency

Signs of Niacin deficiency usually include fatigue, sores in the mouth (canker), nausea and vomiting, poor circulation and sometimes indigestion. You can get tested for all vitamin and mineral deficiencies by visiting your Doctor.


Niacin health benefits are very real. It can help lower cholesterol for people who may well be having issues. This can lead to improved cardiovascular health. Niacin is an essential B vitamin that helps people who are exposed (and sensitive) to the sun. Niacin sunburn benefits seem to be pretty strong.

I don’t see Niacin as a make-or-break fat burner ingredient. In other words, I’d never opt out of a fat burner supplement due to Niacin being left off the ingredient list. Sure, Niacin can help, but it isn’t going to be the one ingredient which takes your weight loss to the next level.

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Joe Costello
Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
Joe Costello is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA), author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 9 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a certified NWC who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers.

You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube. Joe Costello is one of the founders of and years after the creation of the site, partnered with TEK Naturals, a nutritional supplement company.