Nicotinic acid/Niacin Side Effects

Nicotinic Acid also known as Niacin or Vitamin B3, is a white crystalline powder. It is used as a nutrient supplement for functional foods. Though Nicotinic acid/Niacin is considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.

What IsNicotinic acid/Niacin?

Nicotinic acid/Niacin, is a water soluble vitamin. Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) is used as a food additive, promotes the release of energy from food products, enhances proper nervous system functioning and aids in lowering the cholesterol. It is used in dietary products, breakfast cereals, in beverages, infant formulas, in mineral premix and pharmaceutical formulations

Possible Side Effects of Nicotinic acid/Niacin

Though Nicotinic acid/Niacin is regarded as safe supplement, there maybe some side effects:

Major Side Effects

Less common:

  • Darkening of urine
  • light gray-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • severe stomach pain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Minor Side Effects

Less common:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • feeling of warmth
  • flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rash or itching
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose

GRAS Affirmation: Yes

Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Nicotinic acid is considered safe.

Suggested Dosage


Special Populations Precaution

There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Nicotinic acid populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Nicotinic acid.

Related Research

1. Nicotinic acid activates the capsaicin receptor TRPV1: Potential mechanism for cutaneous flushing. [Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Jun] Author: Ma L, Lee BH, Mao R, Cai A, Jia Y, Clifton H, Schaefer S, Xu L, Zheng J.

2. Effectiveness and safety of extended-release nicotinic acid for reducing serum phosphorus in hemodialysis patients. [J Nephrol. 2012 May-Jun] Author: Aramwit P, Srisawadwong R, Supasyndh O.

3. Pleiotropic effects of nicotinic acid: beyond high density lipoprotein cholesterol elevation. [Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2011 Jul 1] Author: Florentin M, Liberopoulos EN, Kei A, Mikhailidis DP, Elisaf MS.

4. Comparison of simvastatin and nicotinic acid administration in alcohol-treated Wistar rats. [Hellenic J Cardiol. 2008 Mar-Apr] Author: Kolovou GD, Salpea KD, Mihas C, Malakos I, Kafaltis N, Bilianou HG, Adamopoulou EN, Mykoniatis M, Cokkinos DV.


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