Taking Alka-Seltzer Slows Niacin Flush

Volume 7    |    Issue 20

If you read the last two Nutrient Insiders, you know that niacin is a powerful nutrient that can completely prevent stroke and even slow the progression of glaucoma. But, if you've ever taken niacin, you know about the uncomfortable niacin flush.

A lot of people think the red, warm, and itchy skin the vitamin causes is due to an allergic reaction. But it's not. Niacin triggers a response that causes your capillaries to expand. This, in turn, increases the flow of blood to the surface of the skin. It's a good thing — not something you should be worried about.

Some people enjoy the flush. But others want to avoid it at all costs. If you're in the latter group, I've got good news. There's a very simple way to avoid the flush.

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You may have heard that taking aspirin (325 mg) 30 minutes before taking the niacin can help reduce the risk of flush. It does work. But you probably know that aspirin can cause bleeding in the gut. So it's not my preferred way to avoid the flush. Fortunately, there are other options.

Start by eating an apple or three tablespoons of applesauce before taking the niacin. The pectin in the apple has a similar effect to aspirin. If the applesauce doesn't work, don't give up. Keep eating the applesauce. Then wash the niacin down with a small glass of cold water and Alka-Seltzer. Do this at night right before you go to bed. You won't feel any flush with this recipe.

There's also some evidence that the white willow bark, which is similar to aspirin, in Ultimate Knee Relief can help reduce the flush. If you try it, let me know how it works.

If the niacin flush is uncomfortable for you, these remedies will help. This is important because a lot of people stop taking niacin due to the flush. Don't let that happen to you. It takes a lot of niacin to prevent strokes. But it's worth it to never have to worry about suffering a stroke. In fact, there's evidence that it takes up to 2 grams of niacin to ensure the prevention of strokes. Taking this much every day is sure to cause the flush. So keep some applesauce and Alka-Seltzer handy until your body gets used to the niacin and the flush stops.

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