Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Personal Experience with Niacin and Depression

Okay, this post is somewhat out of the ordinary when one considers the usual schlock I put out here on my little blog.  However, I have had enough people ask me about my experience that I think it could be beneficial to post it.  Also, I am just naturally lazy and don't want to have to repeat the same story over and over.  I'd rather have folks read my story and then ask questions if they have any. 

The topic of niacin (vitamin B3) and depression is also, I feel, a big part of why I am on the path I am now, including my renewed zest for exercise and changing my diet.  If it weren't for the lift in my deep depression, I would not be doing things to help myself.  Instead, I would still be on that horribly negative path of self-destruction, the same path I'd been treading for the last 12 years. 

I heard about the benefits of niacin for depression purely by accident.  I happened to watch a movie called "Food Matters."  WATCH IT.  The movie is generally about nutritional therapy and its amazing impact on chronic disease, how our diet has made us so incredibly sick, and how resistant the medical establishment and pharamceutical industry are to even the mention of "orthomolecular medicine." (Fancy for - you guessed it - nutritional therapy).  Anyway, my favorite guy in the movie, Andrew Saul, Ph.D., told a story about a woman who was so deeply depressed that she just sat in a corner and talked to nobody.  Her family talked to Dr. Saul about nutrition and he suggested that they try niacin.  Soon, the woman was out of her corner and talking to her family as if nothing had ever happened.  The sad thing is, when she saw her doctor, he warned that "taking all that niacin could be dangerous."  So they took her off of it and, of course, she was back in the corner.  I was touched by the story and thought, albeit briefly, "maybe I should try that."  And then promptly forgot about it as the drama in my life escalated to yet another out-of-control situation. 

Now, I've been on and off Prozac for many years.  At the time I watched the movie, I was definitely ON Prozac.  I've been given all kinds of psychological drugs, all kinds of psychological labels, and all kinds of therapies.  None of it really did much for me.  Furthermore, I am an alcoholic and a drug addict.  I also have another very serious process addiction (as opposed to a substance addiction).  Over the past 12 years, I had not been able to put together even a full year of sobriety.  I would have brief, happy times of sobriety and clarity, only to be drawn back down by bouts of deep depression and crippling self-doubt.  My struggles seemed insurmountable at times and for whatever reason, I could not sustain the motivation or drive to help myself.  I don't think I thought I was worth it.

So, three months ago I was at an all time low.  All of my addictions had led me to a truly awful place.  I had just seen a new psychiatrist that told me I had yet ANOTHER diagnosis, another label, and needed some new drugs.  My relationship with my husband was at the breaking point and I truly hated myself.  My husband and I had gone to Costco and while we were there, he suggested that we should pick up some niacin.  I said, "Why not?  I've got nothing to lose."  I started taking 1500 mg of niacin that night.  The next day, a Sunday, I was so depressed and hopeless, I was actually looking up ways to kill myself on the Internet.  I felt that desperate and low.  I didn't see another way out.  But I continued taking the niacin. 

Monday was a tough day - I was still feeling the after-effects and withdrawals from alcohol and drugs and continued to feel hopeless.  By Tuesday, I felt a little better, but that didn't surprise me because whenever I get sober, I always have a small spark of hope that maybe I can do it (which is inevitably crushed again, soon after).  I crashed into bed, exhausted by the day and the weight of my depression.  I began to think the niacin was not going to help.  But before I went to sleep, I was sure to take the 1500 mg. 

Wednesday dawned.  And I was NEW.  It was as if during the night, God had reached down and switched my black, diseased brain for a shiny, healthy one.  Suddenly, I had energy.  Suddenly, I had hope.  I was excited to get to work.  I did not linger at home to avoid having to see people or think about my life.  I was laughing, smiling and intentionally interacting with people.  I actually freaked my secretary out because she had not seem me so animated and happy in ages.  She was used to my glum ass attitudes and constant hiding in my office.  I was, for all intents and purposes, a new person. 

I thank God for that.  But I also thank niacin, and Dr. Saul and the people who made "Food Matters."  I thank God that I saw that movie, and that my husband encouraged me to try the niacin.  We were at a point that we would try anything.  And it worked.  By God, it worked! 

And the amazing, up-lifted feeling didn't end.  It didn't go away.  It's been three months now.  I feel AMAZING. I am totally sober.  I am off of all pharmaceutical drugs.  I've lost 12 pounds and a pant size.  I am exercising.  I am working my recovery program.  I am eating very healthy.  I am excelling in my work.  I am no longer avoiding people, places or things.  I am facing life and dealing with it.  And I am dealing with it very well - to my own total amazement. 

Not to say that I don't have my down moments because of course I have down moments.  I am human.  I get sad.  I get angry.  But instead of turning my sadness and anger inward and hurting myself and others, I have a new attitude that says, "hey, you need to deal with X.  You can do it."  And I do it.  Yes, it helps that I am sober.  But sobriety has never, EVER been as wonderful or as hope-inducing, prior to the lifting of my depression through niacin.  Not a single naysayer is ever going to convince me otherwise.  It is MY experience and nobody can change it or tell me that I am wrong.  It happened to me.  And I am sure that it has happened for others, too.  I WANT it to happen for others. 

People ask, "well, don't you get hot-flashes?" It's called a "niacin flush," and yes, occasionally I get the flush.  I take the niacin at night (I now take only 1000 mg a day) and so the flush occurs while I am sleeping and I do not feel it.  I've had a couple during the day (or been woken up late at night by something other than the flush) and experienced a full-on flush.  It is not fun - it is hot, and for me, itchy.  It goes from the top of my head to my toes, slowly, over the course of about an hour and half.  And then it's gone.  I've read that it is not harmful - just a weird side effect.  And frankly, I would go through that experience every single day of my life if it means that I will feel this good on a daily basis. 

There is a bunch of science stuff out there on the Internet if you want to read about it.  Go to the Food Matters website.  Look up Andrew Saul, or better yet, the guy who discovered the effects of niacin on depression, Dr. John Hoffer. Go to these sources and read about it if your interest is piqued or you think this might help you or someone you love.  You owe it to yourself or your loved one to at least inform yourself about niacin and depression. 

Well, that's all I have for today.  I don't know that anyone will ever read this post but I wanted to get my experience out there so that perhaps some other depressed and hopeless person might stumble upon my story and find just a shred of hope that they, too, can recover from depression and live a more full life. 

I will write another post on this topic in 9 months - the one year mark.  I am certain that things will be even better than they are now.  'Cause I got HOPE, man!

129 comments:

Melodee said...

Wow, that is so great to hear! I am so happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Makes menwant to read more about it. And I am definitely going to find that movie! :). Thanks! And congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I watched that documentary as well and changed my habits instantly. My husband and I both detoxed and focused on raw healthy foods. I was really intrigued by the positive effect of niacin on depression and started that as well. Unfortunately i didn't continue taking niacin due to forgetfulness. I wouldn't say my depression is extreme, so I also didn't want to admit I struggle with depression. I'm so glad I read your article! ( found you through nerd fitness!) You've inspired me to start taking back a happy life that we're all entitled to! Thank you!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the comments - four months now and still going strong, feeling great, and seven more pounds gone. It is amazing what treating yourself with love and respect can accomplish.

Stephanie said...

The movie, Food Matters, is on Netflix and is also a cheap buy on Amazon. Good luck!

Stephanie said...

Yes, take it back! We're all miracles and are ****ing awesome! (See, I'll be good like the guy at NF and not cuss). Go for it -- thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if my previous comment went through. Want to try niacin for myself and my 13 yo son who has autism and anxiety. He is already taking 200 mg Zoloft...is niacin safe with Zoloft, how much would you recommend, and when will we know if it's working....thanks. So happy for you. Must be a huge relief!!!!

Anonymous said...

I started taking Niacin after an accident. I had to stop taking my MAOIs because it interfered with my treatment. So I bought myself a bottle, but I'm taking 3g/day divided into three doses.

Same as you, it's made a world of difference for me!

Stephanie said...

Comment from Nov. 17 - I'm no doctor so I can't recommend dosage or anything but I suggest looking up Dr. Saul and the Food Matters movie - I just used the info available to me and went frm there -- good luck!

Comment frm Nov. 22 - I'm so thrilled to hear that niacin was life changing for you! Please spread the word to those you know and love. We need people to know of this amazing option for treatment. Best of luck to you and your family!

Tara said...

Glad to read this..i came to it through the movie too, but today is the second day and if anything I feel worse, more depressed...you mentioned that happened to you too but attributed it to other things, so I'm hoping this is actually part of the process; if not, I suppose I'll know in a week or so, if I don't feel better, may as well go off it..? Have you read anything since about there being an adjustment period or people feeling worse before better? Glad you're doing so well and thanks for your post!

Tara said...

Glad to read this..i came to it through the movie too, but today is the second day and if anything I feel worse, more depressed...you mentioned that happened to you too but attributed it to other things, so I'm hoping this is actually part of the process; if not, I suppose I'll know in a week or so, if I don't feel better, may as well go off it..? Have you read anything since about there being an adjustment period or people feeling worse before better? Glad you're doing so well and thanks for your post!

Ashley Adams said...

I have been battling severe depression for 20 odd years of my life and after watching food matters two days ago and now, coming across your blog and doing research on niacin, I am going to the store Tmrw to buy some! And, I am telling everyone i can about it! Thank you! You have given me hope and encouragement!

Anonymous said...

i too am beginning niacin therapy and am on 750 mg. a day. i barely feel the flush anymore, does this mean its time to increase the dosage? i havent noticed any major changes in my attitiude and mood but my skin has cleared up a lot, most likely as a result of the flush bringing more blood flow to the surface of the skin... interesting stuff!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you shared. I'm doing the research on niacin so I can try it for myself soon, and the more stories I hear, the better! Good luck to you :)

Anonymous said...

I am also researching niacin because I also watched the movie Food Matters and was sure hoping niacin would help my depression. Mine comes with my cycle and I have also looked for ways online to end things but make it look like a natural death so not to upset my family... I just bought my niacin online and can't wait to start because this week has been tough!!

Anonymous said...

I started taking niacin for cholesterol and then saw that show on Netflix and was shocked that it helps with depression, I usually take an advil 30 min before niacin so it doesn't make me flush. I only take 100mg a day as I read that higher dosage can damage liver.

Anonymous said...

Hey Stephanie,

Thank you so much for writing this post. I started taking it one week ago and I cannot believe how AMAZING this VITAMIN is.

It completely took all desire to drink alcohol away from me in three days. It is truly miraculous.

Your post inspired me. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it.

Anonymous said...

So anyone else been helped?

dido said...

Stephanie
do you think that niacin is efficient against OCDs and heavy unwanted thoughts? did you started to take 1500 mg once a day or did you take 3x 500 mg after each meal? thank u so much

Anonymous said...

I am 57 years old and suffering from crippling depression and God knows what else. I am taking Ritalin for the depression because nothing...i mean nothing...else works. Ive been on every SSRI known to man and Elavil, etc. I am also taking Cymbalta but I feel awful most of time and I think the Ritalin is rotting my brain as Im almost insane every morning, can hardly work, my memory is gone and Ive ground my teeth down. Two days ago I stumbled upon Food Matters on Netflix. I just couldnt believe my ears. I cautiously ran to Walmart and purchased Niacin. I have been taking 2000mg a day-I am concerned about liver damage or something. This just cant be true, there has GOT to be a catch but I am going to continue taking it. I want to get off prescription meds so badly. Thank you so much for your story. I found you while researching Niacin. Wish me luck!!!

Jessica Walls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have had serious, sever clinical depression for ... 20 years? I am at the maximum dosage of two different anti-depressants (yes, taken together). I just watched "FoodMatters" and stopped when they started talking about niacin and depression. Could it be that easy? really? I'm going to try it and see...I'm so happy that it helped you. Keep your fingers crossed that it'll help me, too.

Anonymous said...

My husband heard about niacin on Dr. Oz show a couple years ago. My then-11yo daughter was terribly down all the time, we didn't have $$$ for therapy, so gave niacin a try... she ended up having flush at school, nurse thought it was a severe allergic reaction... a shot of epi-pen, ambulance to ER, and $800 later, needless to say we stopped the niacin! Until now... she's still really struggling, and hubby cannot get his mind around her seeing a therapist. We started the niacin again 3 days ago- what a difference!!! She hangs out with us now, carries interesting/fun conversation, LAUGHS and SMILES :o) We are cautiously optimistic, give her one dose at night to avoid problem with flush. Next chance we get we will watch Food Matters - its actually been in my queue for months but haven't gotten around to it.
Loved hearing about your experience, thank you for sharing!!!!

Hopefulgirl said...

Hello. Thank you so much for letting us know about your experience. I too stumbled upon Niacin while looking for natural ways to help my 30 years battle with depression. I began taking it around 4 days ago. I'm increasing the dose to 1500 mg. I will let everyone know if it works because if it works for me, I assure you it will work on anyone. I pray God for his mercy.

Hopefulgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tanya said...

Hey there I just joined to share my story and help the people out there who I know, just like me, are desperately searching for a cure! I'm more sure than life it's self that this is the cure we all need! I was shaking in my bed with millions of thoughts I couldn't escape for years! I lost my fantastic job my Mercedes everything in my life and became locked in my room for a very long time! I took a big spoon of fish oil and forgot about it and after about 10-15 minutes everything just stopped! (Anxiety/depression that is!) it's unbelievable than I started researching more on it I had before a lot but never took it so serious...anyway I can promise you it well help u too unless your not human lol here's some links that might help you too...
http://voices.yahoo.com/two-cases-suggest-fish-oil-could-help-repair-11835782.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/19/health/fish-oil-brain-injuries
http://www.naturalnews.com/016353_omega-3_fatty_acids_mental_health.html

Look! I have tried absolutely everything and if you really want to get better than take this as a blessing! It's the only thing that will make it all disappear! Goodluck and take your blessing I wish you great health!
P.s she is absolutely right niacin is fantastic and helps repair the brain and I encouge you all to take it and thank you so much for making this site, you are making such a unfathomable difference in so many people's lives!!! You are truly a blessing and thank you for taking your time to make this website so many people get cured and forget that others need their help but they just move on with their lives! Food matter is based on Dr. Abramham Hoffer's discovery of orthomolecular therapy of taking niacin and a few other vitamins in mega doses to cure ALL mental illnesses including schizophrenia and bi polar! An awesome man who has forever changed the health of millions including doctors and naturalpathics! And like the author of the website, I feel it was gods blessing that I found fish oil!! I took a big spoons of fish oil and all the panic and thought just stopped so I don't care how bad you think you have it there is hope I was the worst case possible! Take the fish oil and when the panic/anxiety/depression stops that's how you know you took enough! Good luck and God IS truly with us all!!

Anonymous said...

hi. i'm curious to hear your update as to the long term experience you had with niacin for your mood challenges.

Anonymous said...

Your post really gave me hope. Thank you and please continue to follow up. God bless

Anonymous said...

Hello Stephanie,

Here's my third shot at commenting, thanks to google havoc. Sigh. OK--never say die! I'm in the throes of reinvention, and am struck by how entirely stuck I am when it comes to how I treat my body. I'm good with the little things--excellent antioxidant and Omega protocol from Dr. Mercola (really quality stuff), but I can only account for my completely self-sabotaging failures and paralysis around nutrition (the word diet has such negative connotation) and exercise with a correlation to my mental health--mood and attitude. Watching Food Matters, like you, got me thinking about Niacin, so I did web search for Niacin and depression, and well, you weren't the first hit, but you were the first link I clicked on. I too recommend Food Matters. It's the first of these kinds of documentaries that does give useful information and does not spend 1-2 hours featuring people who give no information but do imply it's in their book that you can buy. Sigh. But I digress...I actually have a question for you or any reader who's taken Niacin for mood. How do you get to the high dose recommended as therapeutic and deal with the side effects??? All the science says the no-flush/flush-free form of Niacin (Inositol Hexaniacinate) either doesn't at all or barely gets into the blood stream, and is ineffective. So if immediate release Niacin is the only way--let me know. Did you jump in and white knuckle the heat, the itching, the flush? Did you work your way up to Dr. Saul's RDA? I've taken low-doses of Niacin before and gotten all the side-effect symptoms, so I'm unsure about tolerating this at such a high dose. Anybody??

Anonymous said...

If you take a small dose every day, say 100th or so, you'll soon stop flushing from that. Then amp it up by another 100. Or you can do what I did and take 500 the first night (had a big flush) and again the next night (Almost no flush).. when you stop flushing from that,keep amping up the dose until you feel effects. I'm at 3000mg a day, and I've gone completely off my prozak and valium! I hope it continues to work :)

Anonymous said...

Hi
I really hope someone can help me here, I have just read up about niacin, can you please explain what the flushes are and what happens when you have them? this is for my partner, I am desperate now to help him, his depression and mental ilness is taking its toll on our family I do not know what to do, he is on medication anti depression tablets but they are not working, can he still take niacin while taking those?

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing your story. I too battled post-partum-depression. I suffered in shame & had thoughts of death, difficulty getting out of bed, drained energy, hopelessness. Anywhoo, I watched Food Matters & decided to try niacin. Within 2 days I noticed a huge difference. I was amazed. It was such a struggle & it's amazing how effective niacin is. The word should be spread to the world about this... Your story was very inspirational. Thanks for sharing. Diana

Anonymous said...

Inspiring post! I was hoping for an update on your niacin treatment. Is it still working?

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Anonymous said...

wow, thank you for writing this. One night, drunk, I was watching that documentary on Netflix Food Matters. I remember hearing about the Niacin and that exact story you mentioned about the lady in the corner with severe depression....for the past couple of weeks I could not remember for the life of me where I heard about the benefits of Niacin and depression so I did a google search, read your blog, and now remember watching that documentray..crazy. Just wanted to share that. Im off to the store tomorrow to pick some up. Looking forward to some good results...do you smoke cigarettes? If so I was wondering if this helped you quit or if you think it could help some.

Brandon Frye said...

I am amazed at the number of people who are starting to take care of their own health. I too, am starting to take Niacin and get off of Paxil. In the last year, I have reduced my medicines, started running, and switched to a whole-food vegan diet. Ok, so here's my question. What form of Niacin are you taking. I am using a kind that is labeled "Flush Free". They are capsules. Is that ok or should I be taking a more pure form?

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Anonymous said...

Loved your story! I found out about Niacin after watching a clip of Dr. Saul on YouTube over the holidays (2012). I've struggled with depression for over 30 years (starting in Jr. High School, but not knowing what it was until early adulthood). I tried almost every herb remedy on the market and was prescribed Wellbutrin when I felt like I was at the end of my rope and had to finaly tell my doctor about it. After a few months of taking it, I stopped. Fearful of a possible seizure that may come without warning. I couldn't live with myself if I crashed my car and hurt or killed someone.

On a chilly night after work last winter I came across Dr. Saul's clip and had the same attitude that you had. "Why not give it a shot? I tried almost everything else!". I started with 500mg and felt my years of unexplained depression slowly lift in about a month. I have since worked my way up to my current daily dose of 1,000mg. I feel like a new person. I've lost 25 pounds and I love going to the gym and I don't dread going to work in the morning either. Nor am I half as irritable and hopeless as I was before. I feel like I have the life back that I lost when I was a child.

Do I still feel down every now and then? Yes, but the difference now is that I can see my way out of it. I thank God for leading me to Dr. Saul's Food Matters clip on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

Continued from my post above (July 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM). I don't take the flush-free Niacin. I like the flush, although I don't flush nearly as intensely as I did when I first got started. I like knowing that I'm "saturated". Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. Reading your post has encouraged me. I watched the documentary "Food Matters" about a week ago. I am trying to encourage my family to watch it also. After watching the documentary I immediately made changes in my food choices and bought some niacin at a health food store. I have been struggling with depression for a long time. I am taking 500mgs at night and have experienced the "niacin flush". My entire body gets red and itches. My skin feels a little bit like a mild sunburn, but it only lasts about an hour. I have heard your body acclimates to the niacin and the flush decreases over time. I am going to stay on it and hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story! Just in case anyone thinks that this is a placebo effect, niacin worked for me unexpectedly. I've struggled with depression all my life and did okay with antidepressants, but always had that underlying feeling of depression that would flare up into full blown depression at times. I figured I had to live with it. Then I got high cholesterol. I couldn't tolerate statins, so my doctor gave me a prescription brand of niacin. One day, after taking it for a while, I realized that my depression was completely gone. Couldn't figure out why. I decided to research niacin, since that was the only thing different and found that doctors used to give it to people for depression before there were anti-depressants! Later, I had to stop taking it for a week and the depression came back. Started it again and the depression went away! It does have side effects (liver) but so do anti-depressants. And my doctor does blood work every six months to monitor it. I can't believe how much better I feel!

Anonymous said...

dido, you can try Inositol (18g/day) for intrusive thoughts.

Chris said...

What dosage did ur doc prescribe?

Chris said...

What dosage did ur doc prescribe?

Chris said...

Stephanie, how are u feeling currently?

Chris said...

How are u doing currently?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stephanie!!! i have also started taking niacin recently, and it does help. May the Lord Bless and keep you and may i pray that you will continue in good health!!!

Anonymous said...

Your experience is indeed interesting, but could you use a more friendly color for the blog? My eyes had a hard time when I was reading it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm really happy to hear that you've had such amazing results. We are just starting niacin for our son who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Anonymous said...

I just started on 500mg of Niacin and had a big flush from it.I was reading that Dr. Hoffer says that if you experience a flush then thats your optimal dose.So if im treating it for depression problems, should i really go up to a higher dose?

I couldnt imagine taking 1500mg starting out as that would be hell! maybe im not as deficient as i once thought :/

Anonymous said...

Amazing story. I have always been somewhat depressed. I always just assumed it was the stress of becoming a young adult. Until I started having these insane droughts of pure depression where I feel so hopeless for weeks at a time.

I started taking Niacin 500mg initially for passing my drug test. Yes, I do receive the flush effect but after awhile you actually start to like it because you know its working. I recently (around 2 months ago) watched the Food Matters documentary about how you can treat depression with hyper doses of niacin and I have found great results from it. I take about 3 grams a day now and have felt great. I have always been the one to try natural cures before taking medicine. Good luck to all who try. Niacin also works great for Acne as well!

Kim T said...

Thank you for sharing your story and giving others such hope..I recently started taking Niacin...as of 4 days ago and like you stumbled upon the Video by accident and procrastinated for a long time before finally starting...I do however Highly recommend the Book...Niacin The Real Story..by Abram Haoofer MD Ph.D, Andrew Saul Ph.D and Harold D Foster Ph.D....it is a very informative book and answers many questions one may have about Niacin also why No Flush is not as effective

Kim T said...

Thank you for sharing your story and giving others such hope..I recently started taking Niacin...as of 4 days ago and like you stumbled upon the Video by accident and procrastinated for a long time before finally starting...I do however Highly recommend the Book...Niacin The Real Story..by Abram Haoofer MD Ph.D, Andrew Saul Ph.D and Harold D Foster Ph.D....it is a very informative book and answers many questions one may have about Niacin also why No Flush is not as effective

Kim T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim T said...

Thank you for sharing your story and giving others such hope..I recently started taking Niacin...as of 4 days ago and like you stumbled upon the Video by accident and procrastinated for a long time before finally starting...I do however Highly recommend the Book...Niacin The Real Story..by Abram Hoffer MD Ph.D, Andrew Saul Ph.D and Harold D Foster Ph.D....it is a very informative book and answers many questions one may have about Niacin also why No Flush is not as effective

Anonymous said...

Hey Stephanie are you still using niacin? If you are email me sebockmd@hotmail.com
I would like to know if you are still doing good?

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie thanks for sharing this.
I also found out about niacin from "Food Matters". I tried it and it gave me a flush at around 150mg. It seemed to work and then i forgot to take it the next few days. When i had a low mood again i took 150 mg and I flushed gain. I have read that its good to flush 3 times a day so i tried again around noon time about 200mg but i didnt get any flush and it didnt seem to improve my mood anymore. I really hope someone can help me here. Any inpust will be appreciated. You can email me at SigmundFreudStars@yahoo.com thanks all peace and love.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the additional info on Niacin. I plan to start treating myself next week.

I'll tell you what though, it would be great if you could have a more relaxed colour scheme for the blog! - I had to copy and paste the content to a plain word doc to be able to read it without blinding myself!

Udom Horn said...

I live in Cambodia.How can I get niacin nature way?Just now I want to commit suicide because of my depression :(.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie. Just wondering if the niacin is still working for you?

Anonymous said...

It makes sense that niacin would help depression. First, it is converted to niacinamide in the body, which agonizes (acts upon) the neurotransmitter GABA. Second, it is a vascular dilator, so it could improve blood flow to the brain (possibly). At any rate, cogratulation on your progress, and keep it up! My story is similar, and I can relate.

NoLongerDepressed! said...

I'm taking REGULAR Niacin (NOT flush free or sustained release) & the difference it has had in my life is amazing! I'm on Zoloft for depression & it has helped some. Although I still had some major anxiety & some depression.

I stumbled across Niacin therapy on the net. I have not seen Food Matters but I can't wait to see it now.

I tried flush free Niacin - it did NOT work for me. I tried regular Niacin & this is where I got results.

When taking Niacin, I feel at peace, relaxed, happy. I'm able to sleep. I don't worry. I still have issues but I can cope now.

Niacin is miracle pill for me!

Anonymous said...

On my 3rd day of taking niacin for major depression and anxiety. Tried most anti depressants currently on venlafaxine. I take 100 mg niacin 3 times daily with food, the bigger the meal the less flush, on an empty stomach I get a major flush! but I will put up with it if it works...will post again after 7 days. Toby

Anonymous said...

I thought Andrew Saul said the no flush was fine. I am so depressed and so I just began taking the no flush. I am spreading out the doses throughout the day, about 300 mg 4x a day. Should I buy the niacin that causes a flush?

Anonymous said...

I have now introduced Niacinamide 2 x 500 mg a day on top of my 300 mg Niacin Flush. Decided to do this in order to be able to increase the dosage without flushing like à beetroot all day! although I kinda like the flush now. looking to get to 2000 mg combined and stick at that for a week or so. will update soon. Toby

Gabriel Vila Nova Siqueira said...

I saw Food Matters 2 days ago. It was the best thing it could happen to me. I'm taking olanzapine since I had a schyzofrenic episode, never had problems with that since then. But I saw that even niacin deffiency can cause schyzofrenia.
Now I'm eating better and very focused on my exercises and yoga :)
One question: Do you take 1000mg niacin only at night?

Diana Evans said...

I to have been struggling with depression for many years. After watching the program and reading the blog I have hope. Going to pick up some Niacin tommorow. Sure hope it helps cause I just can't live like this anymore.

Diana Evans said...

Thanks Stephanie for sharing your story you have Givin me hope. I will be picking some up tommorow and will be sharing your story. 😉😉😉

Sammy MacGill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sammy MacGill said...

I love that I have found this post. I am currently in anti depressants and have been looking at niacin to help me lower my anti depressant dosage so I can finally come off them. I have experienced intense flushes so will just stick to the 50mg a day at night for now and increase as my medication gets decreased.
Thanks for sharing your journey. I found out about niacin in exactly the same way as you did.
Please do repost in a few months Id be very interested to see how you are.
Thanks again

Sammy.x

Anonymous said...

Guys... Stephanie has not responded since 2012. I think she killed herself.

Ginny Lethangue said...

Are you still on niacin and would you still recommend it?

Anonymous said...

That's a rather trollish reply..
Stephanie is still practicing law. A story mentions her and her husband this year...

Anonymous said...

http://m.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_1f8de39c-beca-11de-aa72-001cc4c03286.html?mode=jqm

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this story.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your journey. I've just watched Food Matters and am pleased to know there are people willing to take a stand.

Just a comment about Niacin - there are three types which all come under this umbrella: nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, and inositol hexaniacinate.

They have different functions, for example, Nicotonic acid is good for lowering 'bad' cholesterol: http://supplement-geek.com/niacin-and-cholesterol-which-type-is-best/ however nicotinamide will NOT work for this function.

Nicotinamide does not induce the flushing and is the form of B3 found in most vitamin and mineral preparations, however it may be less effective in treating depression - read a discussion here: http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-take-niacin-vitamin-b3-for-depression-and-anxiety

Read more here from the Linus Pauling Institute: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/niacin/

I've also read that other vitamins need to be taken with Niacin for the body to properly use it, along with changes in diet and exercise for any real results. Please check labels and do your own research!



Yanni Fyssas - Sound Designer said...

This link describes some of the potentially toxic side effects to the liver. http://livertox.nih.gov/Niacin.htm

I was kind of tired of all the official doctors "not recommending" high doses of B3 and decided I wanted to read about it and make my own descisions.

It might be useful to
Add the link to your blogpost

Anonymous said...

Hi at age 27 severe anxiety was introduced in my life. It is something that I don't to wish to happen even to my worst enemy. I was taking Paxil for almost 5 years and to be honest it helped me a lot at the beginning of my treatment. After a period of time in Paxil I started to gain weight and had some terrible side effects. I was very agitated about almost everything and had terrible brain zaps. Without knowing what to do I started to cut off cold turkey the drug and felt very terrible. I even had suicide ideas coming and going every day. After a research online I found a website where I finally managed to cut off slowly the drug and finally managed to get off of it with the help of supplements such as tryptophan pills, omega 3 fatty acids and herbs. It took me 7 months to achieve that. After this harsh trip though depression was coming back. I then discovered niacin (flush form) and it helped me tremendously. Till know I am supplementing with b3 pills and I feel better especially when I am very anxious, I am not aware if niacin is hazardous about health but personally I don't care since it gives me a great relieve for this pain. Wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I just read your post on depression and nician . I have been seriosly depressed for 2.5 years now . Been on all ssri with no luck just more problems . I went and got nician and took 3000 mg wow i know hope i don't get sick . i hope this works

please email me if u have any other advice colin_crestejo@hotmail.com

Unknown said...

Bill Wilson Co founder of AA Tried Niacin and has several talks and papers about it. He found it especially helpful for alcoholics and pill heads with depression.

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A Trem said...

I've suffered from depression nearly my whole life if not all (I'm 40) I've been on almost every anti-depressant on the market sometimes several at at time, without much relief if any really. I watched food matters and decided to try niacin but honestly was sceptical and at first not really religious about taking it but noticed with my monthly period my depressive symptoms getting worse and in August went really down hill actually should of been hospitalized but am stubborn and decided to try maga dosing niacin from 5000mg to 7000mg per day. Within a couple of hours really i noticed a difference still wasn't out of the woods but was feeling not so bad, I continued to maga dose for about 5 days than tapered off to 3000mgs per day that I have been taking all at once first thing in the morning (further research has stated to space out the dose which I'll try) also I have been taking the non flush niacin which I've learned may not be as effective as the other so I'll be trying the flush version starting today. Now so far I've been taking the niacin religiously for near 2 months and I feel great actually never better, I no longer have to work constantly in an attempt to change my thoughts because the negative thoughts that use to consume every thought just aren't there anymore, don't get me wrong I have the odd one but truly the odd one not everyone, I no longer have suicidal thoughts which I use to almost constantly be there. I'm far more social, hopeful and optimistic without trying and have been recommending niacin to anyone willing to listen, I actually have no faith in pharmaceuticals just based on my own experiences of very little if any relief I honestly thought I was going to live the rest of my life suffering because no amount of anti-depressants or therapy really gave much relief in fact over the 12 years since my diagnosis therapy was the only real source of relief i.e trying to change my thoughts and for those of us that suffer we know how difficult if not nearly impossible that can be. I am a total believer in niacin my head is clear (I actually just finished reading the first novel I could get through in years) I have no known side effects from taking the niacin and with the exception of trying the flushing niacin and spacing out my doses fully intend on remaining on them forever if need be, I'm fine even happy to take anything that actually helps. Also my September period came and although I did still notice a dip in my mood it was nothing compared to the month previous and this coming month I've set a reminder so I can increase my dose just before that time to see if that helps. I do believe everyone's different and so we need to be willing to adjust our treatments to meet our own personal needs and I have had a lot of experience with many medications, have quit cold turkey ( never wise) I've been through a lot with this disease and have learned that it truly is a personal journey for each of us but one things for certain it is curable we just have to find what works for us so if your experimenting and not having success right now don't give up ( as hard as it maybe ) just keep trying and you'll see you will win the war.

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Michelle Sather said...

I also watched food matters. I am convinced our society is sick because we are always looking for a quick fix, simplicity, and stressing to be or have the best of everything. We've lost our spiritual grounding. I don't mean religious based spirituality... I mean the kind of spirituality we have in those little moments like looking up at the stars, staring out at the ocean, feeling in touch with our own bodies as a machinelike vessel. When we maintain our body with quality fuel, it brings us joy and our body rewards us. Its ironic how we will polish our granite countertops, wax our wood floors, use the best fuel in our expensive cars, care for those little luxuries we have in our life, but we neglect our "selves". I believe this behavior is a result of depression in itself but its much more than that! Our body is ALSO sad! So we can jack our brains up on all kinds of drugs but we arent addressing the ROOT of depression. I've been using Niacin, B-Complex, and Magnesium along with a supplement with way too much too list. 3 weeks of this and I cant believe the improvement in my overall mental and physical well being. Everyone should know about this nutrition thing!

Daron Bragan said...

I am a 35 year old and have struggled with alcohol anxiety and depression since I was 16. Although I've been taking 60 mg of cymbalta, I started taking niacin slowly, the Flush, and am now up to 3000 mg 4000 mgs of vitamin c and a 1000 mcg of b12 and 100 mg of b6. I also watched the documentary Food Matters. Though I was feeling good taking just Cymbalta, I am feeling amazing, absolutely hopeful and have had no urge to drink!! I feel blessed to have watched that documentary! It is possible to heal YOURSELF!! I AM SO EXCITED FINALLY ABOUT MY FUTURE!!

Anonymous said...

Hi I was wondering how you're doing now? Are you still taking niacin? I'm severally depressed and stopped taking Prozac. I've been taking niacin but only 200 - 400 mg a day BC I flush so much. How long did it take you to get to 3000 mg. I read that's the appropriate dose to eliminate depression. Thanks for your reply & any info you have regarding this issue. ��

Michael Mccullough said...

Medical science is quite clever from the outside in. Inside out they remain relatively clueless the biochemistry of well being is a bit complex but essentially ruled by the substances we put inside our selves and our relationship you had a good man (so rare) that loved you imagine what may have or have not been without that gift and so few lost souls have that and never return.

Anonymous said...

I Robert Van Guilder, Had also watched this movie/ documentary just last night. My wife and I were at our ropes end! GOING FOR IT! Thank you for your uplifting blog!

TimBowers said...

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Jaki Jo said...

This is amazing I just watched the documentary and started googling all about it. I'm almost 12 years in recovery but still suffer from depression at times but think a lot of it is also my diet. Which Nacine do you recommend? Thank you for your honesty :)

Jaki Jo said...

*niacin lol I ask cause I keep seeing bottles only for 500mg and I know you were taking more on a daily basis.

Infinity said...

Hi everyone,
I am still trying niacin for depression, about 1500 mg daily without aparent effects but still hoping it could work maybe by increasing dose, your comments are so positive! Anyway somebody wise said, that love is the best cure for depression....
If somebody struggeling the same would like to chat sometimes here is my email :galaktyka@gmail.com
I wish healing for all of us!
Ivone

Veggie momma said...

Thanks so much for sharing this info. I've been struggling with health issues and doctors haven't been much help. I recently started taking Niacin in the hopes of getting relief without taking meds, but I was unsure of it's safety and effectiveness...so much conflicting data out there. I didn't get a flush for several hours after taking 300 mg on an empty stomach in the morning, coincidentally or not, right after I finished eating dinner. I had chills for a bit, but brain fog cleared, headache diminished, and my fatigue wasn't so intense.

kellie spilman said...

Thank you so much for sharing.Very encouraging

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that offer is just open to Stephanie of this blog.

Patrick Beyers said...

This testimony may help anyone whose relation have Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: My son of 28 years old is always confused, incoherent and childish in behaviour, repeating everything said to him. After years of treatment, using numerous Western medicine (Clozapine, Geodon, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify) without any improvement. I found a better medicine that work effectively in all cases of psychosis. The medicine is liquid and herbal made. It improve my son's health and does have any negative effect, my son is now back to his work with beautiful kids. Do not be discourage, there is still hope. Contact Dr.Justin for an order (rodwenhill080 @ gmail. com)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! It gives me hope!
What brand did you buy of the Niacin pills?

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Anonymous said...

Another success story here..

Been taking flushing niacin since 2-3 years back. Niacin gives me great relief. Without it i feel mentally pained, can not relax, for no reason. Maybe serotonin deficiency?

Niacin and tryptophan are together supposed to be a good natural source of serotonin.
I believe that is what i get from it. Serotonin - great relief...

Its been wonderful for me, could not do without it. REALLY cheap and no serious side effects for me. !00-200 mg a day is plenty enough for me.

best regards

Janet Williams said...

I decided to share this to help someone out there who is still held with schizophrenia.
My son suffered from chronic schizophrenia for 18 years and we traveled round the world from one hospital to another neurologist and spent thousands of dollars and even got scammed in this process of seeking a cure and the problem still persisted. He acted weird and aggressive and this was so scary. All thanks to Dr Joseph who was able to use his medicine to cure him permanently. He is one of the Honest men out there. If you want to contact him on how to get his medicine or for info just reach him directly on josephalberteo@gmail.com Thanks admin.

Philip said...

I never believed in herbal medicine until i was introduced to this herbal doctor who helped me cure my mental issues. I started taking cocaine and marijuana when i was 15 and this got worst when i was in the university because i have two friends who where junkies. We inject ourselves with all kinds of drugs and living life like we don't care. Life became complicated when i burnt my dad's most expensive house in Atlanta after taking overdose of cocaine and didn't off the marijuana that i was smoking. It really affects me mentally and i become violent and my dad placed me on rehab but it didn't work because my situation was chronic and my presence scares people. I was alone in my lonely world because no one wants to associate with a crackhead. I was introduced to Priest Odibo 2012 by an old friend who had same issues. Priest Odibo sent me herbal medicine and this medicine really restored my mental state and i am a happy man. I have not taken any drugs for the past 4 years and i will never do it. I got married 6 months ago and i am happily living with my wife. Anyone who is having issues with drugs should email Priest Odibo for help. His email is templeofpermanenthealing@hotmail.com

Philip

Tom said...

High dose niacin is extremely safe. However, the most common effect is a harmless “flushing” of the skin, often with a burning sensation. Even at high doses, niacin is safe. However, at a higher dose there is a common, but harmless, side-effect known as the “ Niacin Flush.

Ryan Thomas said...

I'll just say ditto to your entire post. I'm up to 1000mg a day of niacin. It has been a god sent for my depression,anxiety,anger,social withdraw. I quit smoking, no sugar, or marijuana almost overnight without trying.

Please understand that everyone will need different doses and will react differently. My flush was almost unbearable at 500mg. Also I take multivitamins 6 a day will a high quality omega3.

This all cost me a fraction of my prescriptions but I feel good.

Warning side effects others than flush include diarrhea (eat plant base fiber alot) and a raging libido. No complaints from the wife.

If you are on something like a SRRI paxil or the such ...taper off very very slow if you decide to. We're talking 10% a month. Despite what your doctor may tell you the side effects of withdraw are a nightmare and last for months after it is out of your system. We're talking up to a year.

Anonymous said...

Niacinamide is a form of niacin you can take to avoid the "niacin flush".

Anonymous said...

Hi I noticed that there is a non-flush niacin available. should I avoid that or does it work the same way as the flushing kind of niacin?

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone - yes it's true it cures Schizophrenia as well! Now people will pooh pooh this but mostly they don't have someone they love that they would do anything to see well again. Ignore them and try it. My son has had sz for the past 15 years. Just over 2 months ago we started niacin according to Dr Hoffer's book Niacin the real story. He is so much better that today the doctors had to lower his dose of clozapine and admit that niacin was taking over from their drugs. Whoopie Happy 2017 everyone. You are so lucky you came here

Anonymous said...

Just read through this blog post and all the comments and found SO MUCH information that I am copying it all to keep as reference! Too bad she stopped blogging here in 2012. Curious to know what her life is like today.

Craig & Heidi Taman said...

There is a non-flush niacin you can buy at the pharmacy

Riviera said...

ATTN: EVERYONE! Do your own research. The only "official studies" I found that reported "liver damage possibility" were done by pharm.backed "medical researchers". I'm not saying there aren't other studies, only that I didn't find any! After carefully considering all I've found, I came to my conclusion that the B-3 as specifically recommended by those doctors and researchers who've been working with it for sooo many years, and who obviously are doing what they do for the benefit of humanity, are trustworthy. I need not listen or look for what anyone else has to say. On to the next personal research project.Word to the wise: It's YOUR body, your health, your life. Don't ever go by what you "hear". I am thankful to have the tools that I need, and so therefore, use them for good.




















Rose Weel said...

Rose Weel is my name, I live in USA. I want to say to the whole world how my husband was cured of his Alzheimer’s disease. Brothers and Sisters, my husband is 78 years old. He is a retired US Army. He fought so many wars, and had encounter with so many dangerous diseases. Before he embarked on his last peace mission to Iraq they were administered injections that will enable them carry out their duties effectively. So they went to the battle field where he lost so many of his colleagues and also he was shot on his throat but bullets don’t have much effect on him. So after the battle he survived it and returned back to USA off course he was rewarded heavily by the government, and that lead to his retirement. But after his retirement, he began to behave funny like forgetting all he did in the past, and sometimes don’t recognize me his wife quickly. I took him to Military hospital, and the doctor said some king of liquid in his body is causing him so many reactions, and this is affecting his brain to cut the long story short, after much diagnoses using EEG, and also the test of PROTEIN 14-3-3 all pointing out to the fact that his brain has malfunction. So he was giving medicines but his condition was still becoming worse even while taking the medicines administered. So we went back to the military hospital, and he was finally diagnosed of Alzheimer’s disease and this the doctor said have no cure. So his conditions began to get worst by the day. I cried out for help, but the government only gave us financial support. I all the time surf the web looking for possible cure until I ran into a blog where a man named James Watt gave testimony on how his cousin was cured of CJD by an herbal doctor called Doctor Uwadia Amenifo. In his testimony he imputed the contact detail of the herbalist. So I quickly copied out the contact details of Uwadia, and I contacted him immediately and explained to him what my husband is going through. He encouraged me and promised me that surly he will cure my husband, so after all necessary arrangement was made; he prepared the herbal medicine, and shipped it to me in USA, so I followed his instructions, and gave the medicine to my husband. Behold just like a magic in my eyes my husband was responding positively to the medicine and in just less than 3 weeks I started giving him the medicine, he was very okay, and in less than 7 weeks my husband was totally curd, and as I speak to you now my husband is totally cured, and he is now very okay, and in good health. So please all here shall help me say a big thanks to Doctor Uwadia Amenifo for helping me cure my husband of his Alzheimer’s disease. Please if you need Doctor Uwadia’s contact details, here is it. Email (doctoruwadiaamenifo@gmail.com) and his number is (+2349052015874). God bless all.

paul mervyn said...


I am happy because today i am a living testimony. i want all here to know how i was cured of my schizophrenia. i was diagnosed of schizophrenia some months back. And my health begins to deteriorate gradually. It got to the extent that the symptoms was now all over my body. i have spent thousands of $$ in search for a cure but my doctor keep telling me no cure. i almost gave up. But on a very faithful day as my daughter was browsing on the internet, she saw someone who testified of how a herbal doctor by the name Doctor Ehidiamen cured him of his disease with the use of herbs. So she tried to get in contact with this doctor, and after she explain to him, he assured her that he can cure me of my schizophrenia. He gave me the steps to follow, i followed it and he prepared the herbs and send it to me in USA. i took the mixture according to his prescription and behold it worked perfectly for me. Today i am happy to say i totally cured of my schizophrenia and my family is happy together again. Please i want you all suffering from schizophrenia, or other brain related problem to also get cured just as i was cured. for this reason i want you all to contact the herbal doctor Ehidiamen. His email is email is: doctorehidiamen@gmail.com and his phone number is +2348102802949. Just explain to him what you are passing through and get his counsel and treatment. Thanks to you all.

paul mervyn said...

I am happy because today i am a living testimony. i want all here to know how i was cured of my schizophrenia. i was diagnosed of schizophrenia some months back. And my health begins to deteriorate gradually. It got to the extent that the symptoms was now all over my body. i have spent thousands of $$ in search for a cure but my doctor keep telling me no cure. i almost gave up. But on a very faithful day as my daughter was browsing on the internet, she saw someone who testified of how a herbal doctor by the name Doctor Ehidiamen cured him of his disease with the use of herbs. So she tried to get in contact with this doctor, and after she explain to him, he assured her that he can cure me of my schizophrenia. He gave me the steps to follow, i followed it and he prepared the herbs and send it to me in USA. i took the mixture according to his prescription and behold it worked perfectly for me. Today i am happy to say i totally cured of my schizophrenia and my family is happy together again. Please i want you all suffering from schizophrenia, or other brain related problem to also get cured just as i was cured. for this reason i want you all to contact the herbal doctor Ehidiamen. His email is email is: doctorehidiamen@gmail.com and his phone number is +2348102802949. Just explain to him what you are passing through and get his counsel and treatment. Thanks to you all.

Matt said...

Everyone keeps wondering how Stephanie is doing. You can search Stephanie Breck and find her on Facebook, as of today. Not are if she's still using niacin but she appears to be doing well.

Kathryn Carter said...

Whether you're a mother, father, sibling or friend with schizophrenia, or someone suffering from the disorder yourself, my daughter's story should inspire others for future. My daughter spent most of her teenager and twenties struggling with mental health (schizophrenia). She faced discrimination because of her illness too. But it’s a myth that people who have schizophrenia have no chance of permanent survival, hence, they can’t do great things and achieve their dreams/goal. Especially, with family love and support of others. I am personally sharing this for the sake of patients who are passing through pains and frustrations. Our breakthrough, achievement and success is credited to an herbal medicine called CONSUMMO, because there has been in the past too much pessimism and bad news about the illness, that it is incurable. Have a look here: http://curetoschizophrenia.blogspot.com . My daughter is back and permanently heal without any schizophrenia symptoms. Mental illnesses are a curse upon human kind, only those with mental disorders truly understand.

Anonymous said...

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