If losing weight was as easy as popping back a supplement, we’d all be Netflix and Chilling like no tomorrow while the supplements do all the work. But unfortunately, weight loss isn’t as easy as sitting back and having it magically happen.

But if there’s one thing that we know does contribute to weight loss, it’s diet. Although macronutrients—protein, carbs, and fat—are all critical for providing energy, the micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—are equally essential to support the processes that convert those macronutrients into usable energy.

If you scan any weight loss product, some specific vitamins and minerals come up more often—vitamin B12, magnesium, and calcium. They’re all purported to support weight loss, but are the claims valid?

Although it may not be the most popular nutrient, we’re breaking down the ins and outs of vitamin B3, more commonly known as niacin, and if it can help you lose weight.

What Is Niacin?

Niacin, also called vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin best known for its role in treating lipid disorders and cardiovascular disease 1; it’s been shown to elicit favorable effects on VLDL and LDL and increases levels of HDL (good cholesterol).

But it also appears to play a role in reducing vascular inflammation and interacts with adipocytes and immune cells.

There are two main forms of niacin:

  • Nicotinic acid
  • Niacinamide (sometimes also called nicotinamide)

One of the critical roles of niacin is as a component of the coenzymes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), both of which are involved in more than 400 biochemical reactions, most of which are related to energy metabolism 2.

On top of those roles, niacin also plays a critical role in the brain via regulating neural development and survival.

As such, it may play a key role in developing and preventing cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases, along with other neuropathological conditions like ischemic and traumatic injuries, headaches, and more.

But because niacin is water-soluble, it’s not stored in the body and must be replaced daily.

For anyone taking large doses of niacin, you’ve probably noticed your face looking like a beet—that’s called the niacin flush. When someone takes a hefty dose of niacin, it can result in a red, warm, and tingling or burning sensation, usually in the face or chest.

This happens because niacin dilates the tiny capillaries to increase blood flow to the skin’s surface. The niacin flush is a common side effect of niacin supplementation and looks like a sunburn but typically disappears within an hour of supplementation.

What Are The Benefits Of Niacin?

  1. Reduces cholesterol and triglycerides: Niacin has been widely used for decades to regulate abnormalities in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and treat atherosclerosis and high cholesterol 3. The beneficial effects of niacin are to reduce triglycerides and apolipoprotein-B containing lipoproteins (VLDL and LDL) and increase HDL cholesterol. One study found that niacin supplementation in 17 patients with hypercholesterolemia led to decreased oxidative stress and triglycerides levels, along with significant increases in HDL levels 4.
  2. Increases good cholesterol: If you reduce bad cholesterol, you also want to raise good cholesterol, known as HDL. An article published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice states that niacin is highly effective for increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, and supplementation with niacin can increase HDL levels by up to 40% 5.
  3. Prevents atherosclerosis: Research shows that niacin could prevent the hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis. It may selectively increase plasma levels of Lp-AI, a component of HDL that offers cardioprotective properties for people with low HDL 6. On top of that, niacin’s ability to reduce oxidative stress—oxidative stress is linked to the progression of atherosclerosis—may also improve outcomes 7. A 2015 study showed that niacin could prevent vascular inflammation and apoptosis (programmed cell death) of vascular smooth muscle cells and inhibit the progression of the disease 8.
  4. Supports detoxification: Although research hasn’t confirmed the effects of niacin in detoxification, some experts believe it can help detoxify the body by increasing the rate of fat breakdown, where toxins and drug metabolites are usually deposited 9.
  5. Prevents pellagra: Although rare, pellagra is a condition that develops from a severe niacin deficiency. It’s characterized by the 4 D’s: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death 10.

Niacin And Weight Loss: Is There A Connection?

Finally, we get to the question you’ve been waiting for: Can niacin support weight loss? In short, niacin is not a vitamin that directly influences weight.

However, as we mentioned with detoxication, some believe niacin may help break down fat cells and rid the body of toxins, which could theoretically support weight loss. However, there’s little scientific evidence supporting this claim.

One rodent study of mice on a high-fat diet or a control diet given niacin or a placebo for five weeks found that niacin attenuated obesity-induced adipose tissue inflammation by increasing adiponectin and anti-inflammatory cytokine expression and reducing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines 11.

Moreover, a 2002 pilot study found that niacin may help reduce abdominal fat. Participants received an average dose of 3000 mg of niacin per day; after one year, 81% of participants had reductions in intra-abdominal fat 12.

The average reduction was 27%, with the degree of fat loss correlated to the increase in HDL cholesterol and reduced total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio. Although higher doses may have shown benefits in this study, mega-dosing of niacin should not be done unless in a controlled setting.

Top Tips For Maximizing Weight Loss

1. Stock Up On Nutrients

For your body to utilize the food you’re consuming, it requires the presence of all the essential vitamins and minerals. And while we’d love to tell you that a clean diet can ensure you’re getting the entire spectrum, we can’t. Be it dietary restrictions, poor nutrient quality, excessive stress, or the like, getting the RDI of all essentials is tricky.

That’s why a good multivitamin like NutriGenesis Multi is a must. Providing 100% RDI of 17+ essential vitamins and minerals in gender-specific doses, Multi fills in nutrient gaps to optimize everyday performance. Plus, when your nutrient stops are topped up, those fat-burning and weight loss pathways work more efficiently.

2. Get Enough Sleep

A night or two here and there of poor sleep likely isn’t going to kill you, but chronic sleep deprivation can spell trouble for weight loss. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension and interferes with mechanisms responsible for weight regulation.

Studies find that sleep-deprived people experience altered levels of the hunger hormone leptin and ghrelin, causing them to feel hungrier more often 13. On top of that, salt retention and inflammatory markers increased while levels of leptin and insulin sensitivity decreased.

The result? A mishmash of everything that works against weight loss. Getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep is crucial for losing weight and keeping it off.

3. Invest In A Good Fat Burner

Have difficulty losing weight and keeping it off? Adding a clean fat burner to the mix is a great way to support other diet and lifestyle changes conducive to weight loss. While a fat burner isn’t the be-all for weight loss, it can kickstart your body into fat-burning mode—and we have the perfect one to do it.

Burn Lab Pro is an innovative blend of five potent natural fat-burning ingredients to supercharge your weight loss efforts. Featuring active ingredients like capsaicin, HMB, forskolin, chromium, and black pepper extract, Burn Lab Pro helps you shed unwanted fat mass while maintaining lean muscle.


Adding niacin to your daily stack won’t support weight loss directly, but many weight loss and fat-burning pathways depend on a careful mix of nutrients to maintain optimal function. If they don’t have what they need to perform, weight loss will be a challenge.

And if you want to maximize your results, ensure you’re also eating well, supplementing where needed, and getting sufficient sleep. It’s a sure-fire strategy for long-lasting weight loss.


  1. Kamanna VS, Kashyap ML. Mechanism of action of niacin. Am J Cardiol. 2008;101(8A):20B-26B.
  2. Gasperi V, Sibilano M, Savini I, Catani MV. Niacin in the Central Nervous System: An Update of Biological Aspects and Clinical Applications. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(4):974.
  3. Ganji SH, Kamanna VS, Kashyap ML. Niacin and cholesterol: role in cardiovascular disease (review). J Nutr Biochem. 2003;14(6):298-305.
  4. Hamoud S, Kaplan M, Meilin E, et al. Niacin administration significantly reduces oxidative stress in patients with hypercholesterolemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Am J Med Sci. 2013;345(3):195-199.
  5. Kamanna VS, Ganji SH, Kashyap ML. The mechanism and mitigation of niacin-induced flushing. Int J Clin Pract. 2009;63(9):1369-1377.
  6. Ganji SH, Kamanna VS, Kashyap ML. Niacin and cholesterol: role in cardiovascular disease (review). J Nutr Biochem. 2003;14(6):298-305.
  7. Hamoud S, Kaplan M, Meilin E, et al. Niacin administration significantly reduces oxidative stress in patients with hypercholesterolemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Am J Med Sci. 2013;345(3):195-199.
  8. Su G, Sun G, Liu H, et al. Niacin Suppresses Progression of Atherosclerosis by Inhibiting Vascular Inflammation and Apoptosis of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Med Sci Monit. 2015;21:4081-4089.
  9. Prousky JE. Niacin for detoxification: a little-known therapeutic use. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 2011;26(2):85.
  10. Karthikeyan K, Thappa DM. Pellagra and skin. Int J Dermatol. 2002;41(8):476-481.
  11. Wanders D, Graff EC, White BD, Judd RL. Niacin increases adiponectin and decreases adipose tissue inflammation in high fat diet-fed mice. PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e71285.
  12. Fessel WJ, Follansbee Effects of niacin upon fat expansion in HIV-positive patients who have the fat redistribution syndrome. In Program and abstracts of the 9th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. 2002, Seattle, WA.
  13. Cooper CB, Neufeld EV, Dolezal BA, Martin JL. Sleep deprivation and obesity in adults: a brief narrative review. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2018;4(1):e000392.