A newer form of vitamin B-3 (niacin), which does not cause flushing, is inositol hexaniacinate, sometimes called inositol hexanicotinate. When six niacin molecules are attached to a large molecule of inositol, inositol hexaniacinate is the result. Inositol hexaniacinate delivers niacin in a natural slow-release way, allowing for all the cholesterol-modulating benefits of niacin with little potential for side effects such as flushing (itching, heat and redness in the skin) or liver damage. Preliminary research has shown that inositol hexaniacinate has similar actions to niacin.
Effective inositol hexanicotinate doses are similar to those of niacin, about 1500 to 3000mg daily. However, the amount of research studying the safety of inositol hexaniacinate remains limited. Therefore, if you are considering taking this supplement in amounts over several grams per day you should be under a doctor’s care.
Vitamin Inositol Hexaniacinate can help with the following
Inositol hexaniacinate, a special form of vitamin B3, has been used successfully to treat intermittent claudication. A double-blind trial explored the effect of 2gm bid for 3 months. In nonsmokers and in people with unchanged smoking habits, the increase in walking distance was significantly greater than in the placebo group. [Br J Clin Pract 1988;42: pp.141-5, 377-83]
Inositol hexaniacinate, a variation on the B vitamin niacin, has been used with some success for relieving symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. 30 people in one study with Raynaud’s disease took 4gm of inositol hexaniacinate each day for 3 months and showed less arterial spasm. [J Int Med Res 1979;7: pp.473-83]
Inositol is especially helpful for undermethylated persons (for example most persons with OCD), but can cause negative side effects in those who are overmethylated. Since Inositol is one of the primary second messengers in neurotransmission, it’s surprising it isn’t more commonly used. It’s especially useful in reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep.
To enhance sleep for a 160 lb person, we usually recommend 650mg tablets, 1-3 as needed for sleep. Persons who have difficulty falling asleep should take it 30-60 minutes before sleep. Persons whose main problem is waking up in the middle of the night should take it at bedtime.
We’ve often given as much as 3-4 grams/day to undermethylated persons who respond beautifully to Inositol, and these persons take it morning, noon, and evening.
I once gave an invited presentation at a symposium at an APS annual meeting… in which data on megadoses (15-30 g) of Inositol were reported by another speaker. The volume of Inositol used seemed extreme to me, and would present daunting compliance problems. I believe such huge doses of Inositol are unnecessary, if methionine, calcium, B-6, and other nutrients to combat undermethylation are used. However, massive doses of Inositol might be needed if one tries to combat OCD with Inositol alone.
Regardless of the form of inositol, its use should be started as a trial, with close monitoring of the patient. We’ve found that persons who achieve improved sleep after inositol are excellent candidates for taking it throughout the day also. I recommend you be alert for adverse side effects, especially with persons with severe anxiety or panic symptoms. [Willam Walsh, Ph.D., past senior scientist, Pfeiffer Treatment Center www.hriptc.org]
There is evidence that niacin may be beneficial for the treatment of dysmennorhea. Hudgins reported on a group of 80 women suffering from painful menstrual cramps who were supplemented with 100mg niacin twice daily, beginning 7 to 10 days before the onset of menses and then every 2 to 3 hours during heavy cramps. 90% of participants experienced significant relief. It should be noted that the dosage required during heavy cramping is high enough to cause unpleasant side effects and that it would seem that the use of flush-free niacin (inositol hexaniacinate) might be indicated. In addition, the inositol would provide lipotropic effects. Lipotropic agents help in the metabolism of hormones by the liver, important for the prevention of PMS.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
(Vitamin B-3): A coenzyme B-complex vitamin that assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Essential for the health of the skin, nerves, tongue and digestive system. It is found in every cell of the body and is necessary for energy production. Niacin is also needed for DNA formation.
Usually considered part of the vitamin B complex. It is thought that along with choline, inositol is necessary for the formation of lecithin within the body. Involved in calcium mobilization.
(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.