There are 3 forms of niacin (vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid). The basic kind causes an uncomfortable flushing if taken in large does (up to 3 mg). Niacinamide and inositol hexanicotinate do not cause flushing, but their effects may differ slightly from basic niacin. All three forms are available without a prescription. Niacin should not be taken at high doses for long periods of time because it can be toxic to the liver.
Niacin (vitamin B3) has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, decrease triglycerides, and reduce the risk of second heart attacks by 26%. It is one of the few vitamins that can reverse arterial plaque (atherosclerosis). It is also powerful antioxidant, so it helps slow aging.
Niacin also works well in conjunction with hormone replacement therapy. Niacinamide has a strong calming effect, so it works synergistically with melatonin to make you sleep well. And sleep, as we all know, is essential to growth hormone production. Niacin also directly stimulates growth hormone secretion. Back in 1983, researches found that intravenous administration of 500 mg of niacin produced a dramatic rise in growth hormone. Now we know that even small amounts of niacin can boost blood levels of growth hormone.
Niacin is said to inhibit the production of ketones and prevent the use of fat as an energy source. This is contrary to one of the desired effects of growth hormone. However, niacin only prevents fat burning for 3 to 5 hours. This is then followed by a strong increase in circulating cortisol, glucagon, and growth hormone. So, although niacin inhibits ketosis at first, it actually promotes it after a few hours.
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Niacin will slightly increase fasting blood glucose levels, so it magnifies the effects of growth hormone, glucagon, and cortisol which all push blood glucose levels higher in the morning. But there is not evidence niacin increases average blood glucose levels. All in all, the effects are similar to being on a low carbohydrate diet.
Niacin’s benefits for cholesterol make it worth taking, so its ability to increase growth hormone production is a side benefit. You should take niacin with a meal, to prevent flushing and lightheadedness. Niacin already has delayed effects so you do not need the slow-release form. The basic “flushing” form of niacin seems to work best to release growth hormone. Wait 3 to 5 hours for niacin to kick in with a surge of energy before exercising. The exercise will also assist with both growth hormone and testosterone production.