Did you know that there is a US government approved patent for a natural ‘cure’ for multiple sclerosis? Yes, it’s true. The patent includes niacin, otherwise known as vitamin B3, and was granted in 2004.
That’s right, this supposed cure has been around for 12 years.
Nowadays, along with other vitamins such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B12, Niacin is getting more attention regarding its effects on multiple sclerosis.
Now most people who know anything about MS must be aware that it is a neurological disorder and certainly understand that disability is common in those diagnosed – even if many people with the illness have what we term as invisible disabilities.
As with nearly all disease, modern medicine still does not know the mechanism of how the disease develops in the first place. They only know the effects. Thus, the creation of the multitude of disease modifying drugs that only seek to slow the progress of what is labelled as ‘incurable’.
Now, there are those who maintain that all disease stems from nutrient deficiencies and one of these is Dr Michelle Kmiec, a chiropractor who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology. She is life-long athlete who claims to have cured herself 100% naturally from MS and anxiety before becoming an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.
She says:”My premise is that all disease is a deficiency of some nutrient (or many) and/or stress induced. Naturally, stress is a major cause of deficiencies so around and around this cycle of disease we go.
“Luckily however, the idea of ‘incurable’ is not within the premise of the holistic model of thinking!
“Currently, there is much research being done as to certain nutritional deficiencies and how that relates to MS. Some of the more popular research is regarding Vitamins D and B12. However, there are others that are gaining more steam and fast becoming treatments for this disease as well.”
She continues: “Furthermore, the idea that a single deficiency causes multiple deficiencies is even starting to gain some attention by the medical profession. Since the human body relies on its biological functions to work in conjunction with one another, the idea of ‘holistic’ medicine is gaining more popularity among the general public. People are simply getting tired of the never-ending drug solution to everything!”
As far as the 2004 patent is concerned, Dr Kmiec says: “As part of the high-dose vitamin therapy, it includes total dosages of 1000 mg of niacin broken down in separate dosages.
“It is the ‘flush’ part of the treatment that is important in order to expand the capillaries, flooding the body with much needed nutrients. Many doctors believe that this is vital for the rebuilding of the damaged myelin sheath, which is the reason why MS is such a potentially debilitating disease.
“Why isn’t this information common news among medical doctors and MS patients?” she asks.
(Edited by Susan Hartman, Co-Founder and Content Editor of The Triad of Life, Inc.)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is a water-soluble vitamin that can be synthesized in the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan with the aid of vitamin B6. However, the conversion from tryptophan to niacin isn’t very efficient because it takes 60 mg of tryptophan to produce 1 mg of niacin.
Why do you need Vitamin B3 (Niacin)?
Niacin (Vitamin B3), also known as nicotinic acid, is often confused with niacinamide, although technically, they are both vitamin B3.
Niacin is vital for over 50 different processes in our body. As with all ‘B’ vitamins, niacin works closely and in tandem with other B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
Niacin is an essential vitamin mainly due to its many enzymatic functions. Some of the more important roles of niacin are as follows:
- Cell respiration
- Aids circulation
- Controls cholesterol
- Protects cells and tissues from damage due to free radicals
- Aids with the proper functioning of the nervous system
- Lipid production and regulation
- Synthesis of sex hormones
- Normal bile secretion
- Proper functioning of stomach fluids
- Carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism
- Helps control blood glucose level
- Promotes Healthy Skin with vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- Promotes normal Digestion with vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Conditions related to Niacin deficiency
- Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Alcoholism (the leading cause of niacin deficiency in the United States)
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Bleeding gums (Gingivitis)
- Protection against cancer
- Cataracts with vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Typical niacin dosages range from 100 mg to 3000 mg, with the higher end being in the therapeutic range.
In some cases, niacinamide is used when people are concerned about or unable to tolerate the flushing effect. Also, those who have Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) are often told to use niacinamide instead. However, more recent studies are now showing that niacin may be safe even for those individuals.
Niacinamide is NOT as effective as niacin in lowering cholesterol. However, both niacin and niacinamide are equally as effective in treating other conditions such as pellagra, schizophrenia, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.
For some, niacin is used as a means of detox. For more information, please see niacin for detox.
Niacin, even at high doses, is very safe. Besides the harmless flushing effect, few, if any, side effects have been reported.
In some cases however, there is the potential for the elevation of liver enzymes and liver damage. This condition is very rare and most commonly occurs when taking timed-release or extended- release preparations of niacin. (Some people prefer these niacin options to avoid the flushing effect.) Even with the timed-release or extended- release preparations of niacin, high doses of 1500 – 3000 mg can be achieved, and maintained, for long periods of time.
Anyone contemplating high dose niacin therapy should have their liver enzymes checked within several months of achieving therapeutic levels (1,500-3,000 mg), especially when using niacinamide and extended release niacin. If you have any concerns with using high doses of niacin, simply ask for a blood test to determine your liver enzymes. Chiropractors, medical doctors and most naturopath doctors can order lab tests (dependent upon the law of the state you live in).
What is important to understand is that with any supplement, complications or side effects usually occur as the result of an imbalance elsewhere in the body. For example, Vitamin A, in the form of retinal, gets an unmerited “bad rap” for being highly toxic at doses above 5000 IU. But the truth is that often Vitamin A supplementation is done incorrectly. Vitamin A requires Vitamin D much like calcium requires magnesium in a specific ratio. When this balance is disturbed, side effects may occur. Instead of advising individuals to keep Vitamin A levels to a minimum to avoid toxicity, the public should be educated as to the importance of maintaining the correct ratio of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. The same is true of calcium and magnesium.
With that in mind, niacin, being part of the “B” family, works best in conjunction with all of the other B vitamins and Vitamin C. A B-100 supplement is recommended. This simply means that most of the B vitamins in the formula are 100 mg, with the exception of vitamin B12 and folic acid (Vitamin B9) as those require a different ratio so as to be in balance with the other B vitamins. In most cases, any side effect of niacin, aside from the flushing effect, could be prevented by taking it in conjunction with the other B vitamins.