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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Originally AA was nutrional as well as spiritual and the steps... it was part of the program... Bill Wilson reported that about 70 percent of alcoholics who took niacin (vitamin B3) found that they felt much better
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Originally AA was nutrional as well as spiritual and the steps... it was part of the program... In his second communication to AA physicia...
Originally AA was nutrional as well as spiritual and the steps... it was part of the program...
In his second communication to AA physicians, Bill Wilson reported that about 70 percent of alcoholics who took niacin (vitamin B3) found that they felt much better: "Evidence has mounted that many of this group reporting recoveries from depression, anxiety, tension, etc., are actually hypoglycemics, people in whom B3 is, to a considerable degree, preventing the abnormal drop of blood sugar which is characteristic of that malady."

Wilson quotes several physicians who were treating alcoholics with niacin. One of these doctors, Jack Ward, M.D., a psychiatrist in Trenton, New Jersey, speculated that "the good response of the 'unhappy sobriety types' to niacin... is due at least in part to the effect of the B3 on the blood-sugar levels."

Wilson also reported on the work of Russell Smith, M.D., nephew of AA cofounder Dr. Bob Smith. Russell Smith treated 507 hard-core alcoholics with six grams of niacin a day for six months. He found that 340 did very well indeed. They remained sober and their memories improved, as did their learning abilities, problem-solving skills, coping abilities, sleep, appetites, interpersonal relationships, and job performance. Another 98 reported improvements in well-being and energy. Their moods were also more stable. Of the 507, only 66 did not respond positively to the niacin therapy.

Niacin is remarkably safe even when taken without medical supervision. There has never been a reported overdose death. However, bear in mind the following precautions:

Since high doses can affect the liver, do not take niacin if your lab tests reveal any abnormalities of liver function. You can begin after you correct your liver problems.
Niacin may cause flushing due to the sudden release of histamine it triggers. You don't have to give up taking niacin. The redness and itching is not harmful and will eventually disappear.
A dose that is too high for you can cause nausea and vomiting after a few days. This gastric distress disappears twenty-four to forty-eight hours after discontinuing niacin.
Niacin may elevate blood sugar in some diabetics. If so, substitute niacinamide, another form of Vitamin B3; it will have no effect on insulin requirements.
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