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Response to Nicotinic Acid as an indicator of methylation status

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Journeyman, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior Member

    Hi folks,

    Over my years of research into reaching personal wellness I've looked into a few different areas as I'm sure most of you have. I've found some benefit in taking useful tidbits from studies in Chinese medicine right through to Ayurveda. One of the most relevant areas to methylation, though, was Orthomolecular medicine which is explained here: http://www.orthomed.org/

    Now you'll see that one of the founding forefathers of it (Abram Hoffer) was a big advocate of Niacin (nicotinic acid) as a means of treating the mentally ill. Indeed there seems to be a rule of thumb test to use to identify if you are under or over methylating and this is as follows:
    Take a 50mg Nicotinic acid tablet on an empty stomach and see if you get a flush response, and continue taking this dosage till you get an effect. Now apparently if you flush on the first 50mg you're deemed an undermethylator and 'histadelic' where as if you need two or more then you're allegedly copper toxic and so an overmethylator.

    One of the key issues for us who are on methylation protocols is knowing what the right dosage is. This is evidenced by the lengthy posts on issues such as titrating to avoid certain side effects and the like which has many forum goers captivated as we try to find what might be right for us to become fully functional human beings achieving what we want to achieve in life.

    So I thought that using this rule of thumb from orthomolecular medicine principles I'd be in a great position to use the nicotinic acid test to see whether I'm 'over' or 'under' methylating and so adjust my methylation protocol accordingly. However I'm finding it very difficult.

    I'm fairly sure I'm high in B12 because each 1mg of Methyl B12 leads to what I understand to be a higher level of B12 in the body for at least the following 2-3 days, and this just keeps building as you take it daily.... However I will flush at the drop of a hat when I take the Niacin tablet. Even at 25mg on an empty stomach I will often get a very strong red flush on all the key body parts. So how is this so if I'm so 'over methylated' or is the test more about copper toxicity which I'm certainly not having supplemented with plenty of Zinc daily for years now....

    I'm keen to get your thoughts as always...

    Theodore and sregan like this.
  2. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

    I have high b12 levels from moderate supplementation, and low copper AND zinc levels. I thought one would dominate, but even though I was taking 50 mg of zinc a day, I was low.
    Journeyman likes this.
  3. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

    It really depends on how you define "over-methylation".
    Is it too many methyl groups in your body? Typically from supplementation?
    Or is the methylation cycle running too much depleting homocysteine?
    Or is it something else?

    Often times people refer to "over-methylation" as the side effect of taking too much methyl-folate or methyl-B12 which is associated with elevated anxiety, nervousness, irritability and can also cause more physical symptoms.

    I have felt that way many times during the first experiments with methyl supplements, but that didn't mean that the methylation cycle was really running any better. In fact in my labs all markers showed an impaired methylation (too low GSH, SAMe, too high SAH etc...)

    The over-methylation symptoms from excessive supplementation are usually solved by taking niacin / niacinamide to mop up the excess methyl groups.

    Journeyman and ahmo like this.
  4. pogoman

    pogoman Senior Member

    I doubt niacin flush is a good indicator for methylation status.
    Its normal to flush on it and other things like certain pain meds do interfere with the process.
    I've taken niacin at times over the past 15 yrs for high trigs.
    Journeyman and PeterPositive like this.
  5. Squirmy85


    Your logic is flawed..... really it is. Niacin does not in anyway shape or form increase histamine, decrease it, or any of that. what it does do is cause a release of prostaglandins (pgd2 I believe) which is what causes the flush,

    Now why might someone who thinks they have low histamine flush at such a small dose, because chances are your arachidonic acid and DHA levels are good (you probably take omega 3 fish oil right?)

    Now someone who may not have enough of those acids won't flush as easily, reportedly.

    The first time I took niacin 300mg didn't make me flush that was on an empty stomach. Since I started taking fish oil I flush easier on a full stomach at 100mg.
    Journeyman, cph13 and Gondwanaland like this.
  6. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior Member

    Thanks for clarifying this myth. I'm sure a lot of others might benefit from this information. Particularly those that like me, who had always associated niacin effects with histamine levels, when in fact its more to do with prostaglandin levels.
    I was able to find a journal article where they supplemented a group with fish oil for 3 months before exposing them to UVB radiation. They exhibited far less inflammation of the skin in response to the sun than did the control group who would have been lower in the PGD.... Obviously a different medium of exposure but the inflammatory analogy probably carries over...

    I've been feeling edgy/tense/anxious for a long time now so I'm planning to be much more liberal with my Niacin. Can anyone indicate the best way to tread this path. I know from my SNPs that I benefit from supplemental Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate, Benfotiamine, TMG etc. but how would my methylation status be if I continue my current path of only taking these methylation supplements once a week and then taking Niacin at 2 x 70mg a day every day.....
    I mean arent I absolutely saturated in B12 from the mid 2013 to mid 2015 period of taking 1mg of Methyl B12 daily? Wouldn't it take many months of dosing Niacin in the absence of B12 supplementation to truly cause any drain on that? Or am I not conceptualising it correctly? NB that I will be eating a diet rich in folates from steamed vegetables and a decent amount of meat which should logically maintain B12 levels that I've now bolstered...



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