Explaining Niacin’s Properties and Its Many Benefits

Niacin plays a key role in over 100 functions necessary for health and is especially important for energy production and, as a vasodilator, blood circulation. It's also needed for red blood cell formation, the health of skin and the digestive tract, healthy nervous system functioning and brain activity, and for the synthesis of the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

The Niacin Sex Flush

Niacin is important for the manufacture of the sex and adrenal hormones; however, along with its primary prosexual effects, shortly after ingestion, niacin can produce sensations of intense warmth accompanied by a tingly itch throughout the body lasting up to 20 minutes. It may also produce a reddish cast to the skin, which is especially pronounced in the extremities. This response is called the “Niacin Flush.”

This red, itching warmth caused by niacin use is well known and is harmless. The flush is healthy and indicates that niacin is helping improve blood flow and circulation. Reaction from the Niacin Flush actually mimics an individual’s natural sexual response. This natural sex flush, which has been documented by Masters and Johnson, is caused by a large histamine release; in fact, a niacin flush is caused by the same histamine release as the natural sex flush, with one important difference: Because niacin instigates a larger-than-normal histamine release, the results of using niacin are often more dramatic.

Another benefit of niacin supplementation is that its associated flush is often accompanied by increased mucus secretion in the mouth and sexual organs, which can further enrich the sexual experience. While the large organs of the body all have blood supplied from large arteries, a great deal of the human body, particularly the parts near the skin, get their only supply of blood from small capillaries. Niacin causes these small capillaries to expand, allowing them the ability to possibly carry 2 or 3 blood cells at the same time. This is a tremendous increase in blood flow.

Some men find the Niacin Flush uncomfortable. But others, particularly when ingesting niacin for sexual enhancement, experience heightened sensations and sensitivities throughout the entire body—not just in the genital area. Overall skin-to-skin contact during such a flush can be extraordinary.

Niacin’s Orgasmic Benefits

Niacin may also be helpful for individuals experiencing difficulty achieving orgasm. The ability to experience an orgasm is related to adequate histamine release, which is an essential factor in the male orgasmic experience. Researchers Pearson and Shaw give a fascinating account of a thoroughbred stallion that was unable to reach orgasm. When the animal was given niacin, the stallion was quickly restored to full form.

Niacin’s Recognition with “Physique” Athletes

While niacin, most often taken as part of a B-complex, is essential for energy production and blood circulation, it's probably gained the most recognition from physique athletes because it helps increase vascularity, which makes the veins stand out and helps the body appear leaner.

Additional Benefits of Using Niacin Regularly

The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of niacin is 20mg. By supplementing your diet with this measured amount of niacin, the following benefits can be achieved:

  • Normal function of the skin, nerves and digestive system
  • Protection against and detoxification of pollutants, alcohol and narcotics
  • Relief of migraine headache
  • Lower cholesterol and protection against cardiovascular disease
Lastly, niacin may also help prevent or treat mental disorders, may be of benefit in controlling diabetes, and may reduce high blood pressure.