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Should You Take Niacin to Beat a Drug Test?

There’s no shortage of tips and tricks found online to help you pass a urine test if you have THC in your system. However, you really do have to use a discerning eye when you come across some of these remedies.

There are multiple claims that niacin supplements can be an easy lifeline for flushing THC out of the body, and getting the clear test results you need. You can actually find and buy niacin supplements over the counter, and they’re not expensive, which makes this an appealing option for many.

Unfortunately, there are many conflicting theories about this process on the web: both in how niacin detox should be done, and in the remedy’s effectiveness.

If you’re in a tight spot and expecting a drug test, you may be tempted to try a niacin detox yourself. But first, you need the facts. Here’s what you really need to know about using niacin to pass a urine test.

What is Niacin?

Niacin is vitamin B-3, which is one of the vitamin-B complex vitamins. It’s also one of the few that is water soluble. For most people, getting the recommended daily amount of niacin is no big deal, because it’s commonly found in foods, such as cereal, meat, and green vegetables. However, some people do have a niacin deficiency, which is why supplements are readily available.

In the body, niacin has a wide range of different advantages, including:

  • Breaking down fats and proteins into usable energy
  • Helping to produce certain hormones that cleanse the liver
  • Supporting healthy skin by helping with healthy circulation
  • Aiding in healthy digestion

In some cases, doctors will actually recommend patients take a dose of niacin daily to help with certain conditions, such as migraine headaches and even dizziness. However, taking niacin, especially in higher than normal doses, can also have negative effects on the body.

According to WebMD, some of the side effects of taking niacin supplements include:

  • Flushing, or facial redness and feeling hot
  • Nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea
  • Changes to glucose levels
  • Changes in blood pressure

There are risks associated with taking niacin, especially if you have other health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Niacin can increase your risk of developing kidney disease, having stomach ulcers, and sustaining muscle tissue damage.

Additionally, niacin interacts negatively with several different types of medications, including blood thinners, anticoagulants, and diabetes medications, as well as some herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba.

Does Niacin Help Pass a Drug Test?

Because niacin has the ability to detox the liver of toxins, it is often touted online as being a safe way to detox to pass a drug test. However, these claims are not scientific. In fact, there have been no scientific studies performed to test the effectiveness of using niacin to detox. Therefore, the claims proposed are risky because they have no real scientific merit. There are primarily two ways people claim niacin can help you pass a drug test.

First, there is a claim that taking niacin speeds the breakdown of fat in the body, thus eliminating drugs from your system faster. Because THC and other metabolites from different types of drugs are stored in your body’s fat cells, this is an easy assumption to make. However, niacin doesn’t actually break down existing fat cells. Instead, it breaks down fat from the foods you take in. Eliminating fat and even fatty foods from your diet may be a good way to help you also eliminate THC, but this is not something you will be able to do by taking an obscene amount of niacin supplements.

The second common claim regarding niacin and passing a drug test is that vasodilation, or flushing, helps open up the blood vessels in your body so THC metabolites can be pushed out easier. Flushing or elevated blood pressure does not occur when someone who is healthy takes niacin supplements in most cases, so even if this did work, it would only be a plausible solution for a select few. Furthermore, there’s no evidence to support the idea that the vasodilation is occurring in the fat cells in the same way as it occurs in the skin.

What’s the Truth with Niacin?

In truth, taking niacin to pass a drug test is not just a bad idea, it can also be a dangerous thing to try, specifically for people who already have certain health conditions. While there are claims that niacin is the ideal way to detox the body before a drug test, there are so many risks involved that doing so could be damaging to your health.

While there have been no studies to prove the effectiveness of niacin for detoxing, there have actually been a few studies on people who ingested large amounts of niacin in an effort to detox before a drug screening.

One adolescent ingested 13 grams of niacin, only to come away with severe abdominal pain, chest pain, hypoglycemia, and a long list of other problems.

A 17-year-old patient was also admitted to the hospital with acute liver failure after ingesting a large amount of niacin.

And a previously healthy 23-year-old patient overdosed on niacin and was given mechanical ventilation and other life-saving measures to keep him alive. According to PubMed:

Although this patient was fortunate to make a full recovery, the case highlights the potential for multi-system toxicity with niacin overdose, and the potential for harm posed by medical misinformation on the Internet.

With the given examples of how dangerous niacin can be in large doses, as well as the lack of information to support the claims of its effectiveness for detox, it is safe to assume that niacin would not be a healthy way to eliminate THC from the body.

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