Niacin side effect of depression

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Hi all,

I have read a few of you have experienced depression whilst using niacin. Online there is no information of this whatsoever. I wanted to hear any encouraging words of advice that may have helped some of you come out of this as I'm really struggling. I'm worried its permanent.

Please no fear mongering or stories of it lasting forever/years. That will only make me worse.

I have a 290 b12 level which seems pretty low and i have other anemic symptoms such as pins and needles, feeling faint etc. wondering if taking b12 may help?
 

pamojja

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With any side-effects of any of the B-vitamins the most likely seems to be a imbalance with all the other B-vitamins. All B-vitamins are metabolised in need of each other. Taking only one can place too much demand on any of the others, any easily push a slight non-symptomatic deficiency into severe. Therefore always good to start any low-dose, and best as a B-complex.

Such a low B12 serum level even without deficiency symptoms yet, would be for me a good reason to supplement with B12, and later retest. Better though methylmalonic acid, since this marker is more accurate, and can show deficiency even with whooping high B12 serum levels (for example if the B12 only accumulates, and due to lack of co-factors doesn't really metabolise at all). Again, better together with a B-complex

Personally never had bad effects from niacin, even taking about 3 g/d for 12 years now. Only from choline (formerly also considered Vitamin B4) above 300 mg/d caused chaw-tension, at one point. Which now has ceased by increasing insositol (an other formerly considered Vitamin B8).

Other causes for side-effects could be other ingredients in the supplements, like sensitivity to binders or fillers (testing different companies products helps to find out). Or simply a much too high starting dose. Finally there are many reasons for becoming depressed, and the coincidence of it with niacin-intake could also not be the cause.
 

Wishful

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I kept forgetting to add to the other thread: my niacin-induced suicidal moods lasted a day or so after a big dose of niacin. The excess seemed to clear out pretty fast, so I don't think there's any point in following a niacin-avoidance diet for lengthy periods to try to clear it out. So, based on my experiences, if your depression lasts more than a day or two after a dose of niacin, I think you should look for other causes and treatments. However, if taking a niacin tablet reliably causes a significant change that lasts longer, then take my experiences as something that doesn't necessarily apply to you.
 

ljimbo423

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I have a 290 b12 level which seems pretty low and i have other anemic symptoms such as pins and needles, feeling faint etc. wondering if taking b12 may help?
Niacin really makes me feel tired, depressed and just miserable. It seems to somehow interfere with methylation I think. My symptoms go away within a day or so after stopping the niacin.

You might want to look into improving your methylation. B 12 in the form of hydroxycobalmin or methycobalamin should improve methylation. Folinic acid or methyfolate are also crucial to the methylation cycle.

If you are sensitive to methy groups, then you might be better off with hydroxycobalamin and folinic acid, than methylcobalamin and methylfolate.

If you do decide to improve your methylation, then I would suggest starting very, very slowly and watch for side effects, like feeling hyper or anxious or feeling tired from methylation improving your ability to detoxify.
 
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If you do decide to improve your methylation, then I would suggest starting very, very slowly and watch for side effects, like feeling hyper or anxious or feeling tired from methylation improving your ability to detoxify.
Ok thanks. It sounds like that's what the niacin did to me. I was extremely anxious and hyper for a few days and now I'm just deeply depressed. I bought some low b12 supplements. I might try potassium as well as I read that could help
 
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@ljimbo423
If you are sensitive to methy groups, then you might be better off with hydroxycobalamin and folinic acid, than methylcobalamin and methylfolate.

When you say sensitive to methy groups, in what way do you mean? I've never tried any b12 supplements to know. Is it likely to affect mood in some people? Or is it more of a allergic reaction you mean?
 

Learner1

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B vitamins can affect mood. Niacin does because it can reverse methylation, a process that is essential to many important functions, including nervous system function, immune function, neurotransmitter production, managing the fluidity of cell membranes, and proper copying of DNA. Not something you want to be without. B6 can convert to niacin if needed.

Your serum B12 is low enough to be corrected with dementia and permanent nerve damage. Any competent doctor should recognize this, and even offer B12 shots to get it into you. @pamojja is right, you'll want to measure methylmalonic acid going forward - serum B12 will be high of you start taking it, but may hide and ongoing deficiency, but methylmalonic acid will build up and be high if you're still deficient.

It would be wise to test the other B vitamins and know your status and supplement if deficient. Methylation also uses B1, B2, B6, folate, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium and molybdenum, though you want to ensure you actually need the minerals before taking them as too much can be toxic - though most people are short of magnesium, so that's a good bet.
 

ljimbo423

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@ljimbo423
If you are sensitive to methy groups, then you might be better off with hydroxycobalamin and folinic acid, than methylcobalamin and methylfolate.

When you say sensitive to methy groups, in what way do you mean? I've never tried any b12 supplements to know. Is it likely to affect mood in some people? Or is it more of a allergic reaction you mean?
Yes, methylation does effect mood. I'm not talking about allergic reactions, just common side effects.

Here is a list of side effects from increasing methylation. Both methylcobalamin and methylfolate increase methylation.You can find this list and more info. here.

Methylfolate Side Effects:
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • sore muscles
  • achy joints
  • acne
  • rash
  • severe anxiety
  • palpitations
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • migraines
 

Learner1

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Yes, methylation does effect mood. I'm not talking about allergic reactions, just common side effects.

Here is a list of side effects from increasing methylation. Both methylcobalamin and methylfolate increase methylation.You can find this list and more info. here.

Methylation is essential to life. Ideally, one would want to get it working well instead of focusing on all the potential side effects. There are likely a lot more ME/CFS patients who need methylation rather than those who need to reduce it.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406448/#__ffn_sectitle

https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2...romyalgia-b-12-folate-crowdfund-trial-begins/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332218342987

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01102/full
 

ljimbo423

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Methylation is essential to life. Ideally, one would want to get it working well instead of focusing on all the potential side effects. There are likely a lot more ME/CFS patients who need methylation rather than those who need to reduce it.
You don't need to convince me of how important methylation is, I know. :)I think you misunderstood my post. I agree completely that many or most people with ME/CFS would benefit from improving their methylation. I take about 5 mg a day of methylfolate, 2.5 mg of methylcobalamin and all of the cofactors.

I have never told anybody to reduce their methylation. Unless they are overmethylated and have side effects from improving methylation. Then low dose niacin can help reduce the side effects from that.

But I only do that or suggest that others do that just temporarily. Then adjust their dose of methylation supplements so they don't get side effects. I simply gave a list of potential side effects because so many of us are sensitive to increasing methylation and get them.

If you look at my other posts in this thread, you will clearly see that I am all for improving methylation. You might want to look at my post prior to the one you quoted, where I suggest to the OP to improve his methylation.
 
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B vitamins can affect mood. Niacin does because it can reverse methylation, a process that is essential to many important functions, including nervous system function, immune function, neurotransmitter production, managing the fluidity of cell membranes, and proper copying of DNA. Not something you want to be without. B6 can convert to niacin if needed.

Your serum B12 is low enough to be corrected with dementia and permanent nerve damage. Any competent doctor should recognize this, and even offer B12 shots to get it into you. @pamojja is right, you'll want to measure methylmalonic acid going forward - serum B12 will be high of you start taking it, but may hide and ongoing deficiency, but methylmalonic acid will build up and be high if you're still deficient.

It would be wise to test the other B vitamins and know your status and supplement if deficient. Methylation also uses B1, B2, B6, folate, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium and molybdenum, though you want to ensure you actually need the minerals before taking them as too much can be toxic - though most people are short of magnesium, so that's a good bet.
Yeah I did a hair sample test and it says I'm low in folate and b6. Also low in omega 3 dha.
Really messed myself up! Hadn't heard of methylation before, I must have the mthfr gene mutation 🤷‍♀️

Also my Dr is incompetent and says my b12 level is fine. Grrr!
 

dannybex

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Niacin really makes me feel tired, depressed and just miserable. It seems to somehow interfere with methylation I think. My symptoms go away within a day or so after stopping the niacin.

You might want to look into improving your methylation. B 12 in the form of hydroxycobalmin or methycobalamin should improve methylation. Folinic acid or methyfolate are also crucial to the methylation cycle.

If you are sensitive to methy groups, then you might be better off with hydroxycobalamin and folinic acid, than methylcobalamin and methylfolate.

If you do decide to improve your methylation, then I would suggest starting very, very slowly and watch for side effects, like feeling hyper or anxious or feeling tired from methylation improving your ability to detoxify.
How much niacin were you taking when that happened @ljimbo423 ?
 

dannybex

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It was awhile ago but I think it was about 30 mg. It don't take much to really make me feel miserable.
Wow, that's a tiny amount (relatively speaking). ;)

So I'm guessing you just don't take any? And your methylation and krebs cycle are doing fine, right? Maybe you're getting enough from food...

I couldn't tolerate niacinamide AT ALL. The half dozen times I've tried it, but can tolerate niacin better. I do wonder though if it's tanking my methyl groups. Weird how Sarah Myhill recommends both methylation/methylb12 and 500 mgs of niacinamide 3x/day for her patients!
 

ljimbo423

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Wow, that's a tiny amount (relatively speaking)
It really is!:)

So I'm guessing you just don't take any? And your methylation and krebs cycle are doing fine, right?
I take niacinamide from my multivitamin, so I get a little more than the RDA. Even niacinamide higher than 25-50 mg makes me feel horrible too.

I'm thinking both niacin and niacinamide slow methylation and that's why they make me feel so awful but I'm not sure that's why.

I've never had my methylation or krebs cycle tested. So I don't know how well (or unwell;)) they are working.

I couldn't tolerate niacinamide AT ALL. The half dozen times I've tried it, but can tolerate niacin better. I do wonder though if it's tanking my methyl groups. Weird how Sarah Myhill recommends both methylation/methylb12 and 500 mgs of niacinamide 3x/day for her patients!
That really is strange that Myhill recomends such a high dose of niacinamide. 1,500 mg a day would just about kill me!:lol:
 

Wishful

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Wow, that's a tiny amount (relatively speaking).
Even a serving of Cheerios (~30 mg niacin) made me feel worse, so I avoided cereals and other fortified foods after that.

And your methylation and krebs cycle are doing fine, right?
I have no idea. My body didn't come with a built in monitor. :)

Since dietary niacin made me feel worse, I assumed that my body was producing enough enough from tryptophan, even when on a low-TRP diet.