Niacin, Joe Rogan and Depression (and recovery from exercise)


Niacin is also called vitamin B3.

it is a water soluble vitamin found in foods such milk, beef, liver and legumes.

  • Don’t use niacin or use with caution if you have any liver issues
  • Take niacin with a methyl donor such as MSM, or Trimethylglycine 
  • Some people suggest that you should also take vitaminC with niacin, but I’m struggling to find any scientific documentation.
  • The good folks on reddit suggest taking the same amount of trimethylglycine as niacin with x2 amount of vitamin C.
  • If you take 1g niacin , also take 1g trimethylglycine and 2g vitamin C. I must emphasise that these dosages are from reddit users though and not doctors or Nutritionist- please do your own research before taking niacin and speak to your doctor.

Niacin and Covid 19

Niacin has got lots of attention recently because there are some scientific papers that explore and support the theory that low NAD+ levels make people more susceptible to serious illness when they’ve contracted Covid-19

Niacin, increases levels of NAD in the body (more information in this study)

DISCLAIMER – there are many contraindications for taking niacin, especially with COVID – it can cause hypotension and heart issues in those with pre-existing issues

Vitamin B3 [niacin (nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid)] has an anti-inflammatory impact, and recent studies show that it can help reduce inflammation in patients with COVID-19 and can even be used as an adjunct therapy.

Quote source

Lung damage is a major hurdle to recovery in those severe patients. Through producing various growth factors, MSCs may help repair of the damaged lung tissue. It is important to mention that various studies have shown that in animal models with bleomycin-induced lung injury, vitamin B3 (niacin or nicotinamide) is highly effective in preventing lung tissue damage [7]. It might be a wise approach to supply this food supplement to the COVID-19 patients.

Quote source

Joe Rogan has also created some hype and interest because of use his of IV NAD. NAD was also part of his self prescribed covid treatment.

Joe rogan had covid Cool Guy Club

In case you are wondering – consuming niacin, increases levels of NAD+

It’s a bit of a poor man’s version of NAD either taken via an IV or capsule. Both formats are expensive.

There is no official protocol or dosage for taking niacin to prevent, treat and recover from Covid-19 but below is a proposed regime:

created by Dmitry Kats, pHD –

Niacin and Depression

Some people have had success, using niacin to treat depression. This could be due to its anti inflammatory properties, or its ability to increase energy levels.

People typically build up to a maximum of 1,000mg three times per day.

START SLOW with 25mg!

if you take 1,000mg straight away you will get a horrible niacin flush:

The picture of me above is after 250mg

Day 1 – 25mg with breakfast, lunch and again with an evening meal

Day 2 – take 50mg breakfast, lunch and stick with 25mg in the evening

Day 3 – take 75mg with food twice then 50mg with evening meal

keep building up your dosage until you get to your desired intake and niacin dosage

it’s hard to find evidence for niacin being effective treatment for depression although there are many accounts online.

I did find these studies of niacinamine (derived from niacin) with l tryptophan

As ever, Reddit has some interesting information about niacin and depression:


Benefits of niacin:

  • Anti inflammatory
  • Potent antioxidant
  • Reduces ldl cholesterol
  • Increases hdl cholesterol
  • May help with energy and wellbeing
  • Can help recovery from exercise
  • May help with kidney health*

Side Effects of Niacin

  • Niacin flush – red, blotchy skin and burning (build up dosage slowly to avoid)
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • High doses 2,000mg plus could cause liver damage

You should take a methyl donor like msm or TM glycine with niacin


In conclusion, recent experimental and clinical studies, including that of Kang et al [11], suggest that niacin and its metabolites nicontinamide could be used to treat hyperlipidemia and to lower phosphate levels in patients with CKD. However, further studies are needed to evaluate whether long-term treatment with low-dose niacin is effective, well tolerated, and safe and has a preventive effect on the progression of CKD.

**there is some discussion online that niacin can cause liver damage if the non-flush version is used in high doses, or if you take 2,000mg+ for too long.

Niacin and Exercise Recovery

Niacin is also great for reducing muscle soreness and enhancing recovery.

This is because it is a potent anti-inflammatory, and because it “flushes” the blood and dilates the blood vessels (vasodilation) which in theory, should help to remove lactic acid from tired muscles.

It’s best not to use niacin immediately after a training session or workout, as for muscle strength and hypertrophy gains, you want some inflammation to occur immediately after exercise.

For more information on enhancing recovery, please see my MMA Recovery post.

Please note that if u are a potential employer, I do these posts in my mobile during my daughters swimming lessons. If I work for your my blog posts will be a lot better!

About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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