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What is the best time of day to take niacin?

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Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a crucial nutrient that plays a significant role in our body’s function. It aids in converting food into energy, helps the nervous system function properly, and is essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and eyes. But when is the best time to take niacin?

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The timing of niacin intake can depend on the form of niacin you’re taking and the reason for taking it. For instance, extended-release niacin is often recommended to be taken at bedtime after a low-fat snack. This is because it’s released slowly over time, so taking it before sleep allows it to work throughout the night. Additionally, taking aspirin or ibuprofen 30 minutes before taking extended-release niacin can help decrease flushing or redness of your face, a common side effect of niacin.

Niacin/ Image Credits: NBC News

However, immediate-release niacin, which is released into the body all at once, can be taken at different times. Some sources suggest that the best time to take immediate-release niacin is during or just after a meal. This is because niacin can cause cellular metabolism to switch from primarily using glucose as a fuel to primarily using fats.

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This switch takes place postprandially, that is, right after you eat, which is when you experience the highest level of blood fats. Therefore, taking niacin during or just after a meal can maximize its benefits, especially for reducing triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL and increasing HDL.

It’s also worth noting that niacin can cause some side effects, such as flushing, itching, and stomach upset. These side effects can often be reduced by taking niacin with food. Therefore, regardless of the type of niacin you’re taking, it may be beneficial to take it with a meal to minimize potential side effects.

In conclusion, the best time to take niacin can depend on the type of niacin you’re taking and your individual health needs. As always, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the manufacturer of the supplement. They can provide the most accurate and personalized advice based on your health history and current needs.





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