Niacin for Depression

Researchers are studying the use of Niacin for depression, alcohol dependence, migraines, dizziness, ADHD and motion sickness. But there is to date insufficient scientific research on the effectiveness of Niacin for depression on any of these conditions.

The use of Niacin for depression was much publicized by Bill Wilson, the founder of AA. Bill battled with chronic depression most of his life. After being introduced to the method of mega vitamin therapy by Dr. Abram Hoffer in the late fifties, he started taking part in research involving the use of Niacin for depression. Hoffer promoted niacin as a treatment for schizophrenia, although this method wasn’t recognized by popular medical science. Subsequent studies have indicated that Hoffer’s theory had value.

Bill Wilson started to take niacin for depression, 3 g daily. In just a few weeks fatigue and also the depression that had bothered him for some time disappeared, and he believed that it could be beneficial to alcoholics. He offered it to 30 of his associates in AA and asked them to give it a try. From the thirty, ten were free from depression, tension and anxiety in a single month. An additional ten were better within two months.

Bill believed in Niacin for depression so passionately that he tried to introduce its use to the AA, but the notion was totally refused by the AA. Since then, various practitioners have prescribed high doses of Niacin for depression.

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3 and is one of 8 B vitamins. The top food sources of vitamin B3 are brewer’s yeast, beets, beef liver, tuna, swordfish, salmon, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Cereals and bread are often fortified with niacin. Also, foods that have the amino acid tryptophan, which the body changes into Niacin include eggs, red meat, poultry as well as dairy products.

Depression Facts Infographic

Infographic by: Military Pathways