Alternative names: Inositol Nicotinate or Hexanicit.
When six niacin molecules are bound to a large molecule of inositol, inositol hexaniacinate is the result. Inositol hexaniacinate delivers niacin in a natural slow-release manner, allowing for all the cholesterol-modulating benefits of niacin with little potential for side-effects such as flushing (itching, heat and redness in the skin) or liver damage. Preliminary research has shown that inositol hexaniacinate has similar actions to niacin.
Inositol hexaniacinate is used primarily as flush-free niacin, having the same cholesterol-lowering abilities as niacin without the flushing common to high-dose niacin therapy. Inositol hexaniacinate is safely substituted for niacin in conditions such as hypercholesterolemia and intermittent claudication.
Effective inositol hexanicotinate doses are similar to those of niacin, about 600 to 3,000mg daily. However, the amount of research studying the safety of inositol hexaniacinate remains limited. Therefore, if you are considering taking this supplement in amounts over several grams per day you should be under a doctor's care.
Inositol hexaniacinate, a special form of vitamin B3, has been used successfully to treat intermittent claudication. A double-blind trial explored the effect of 2gm bid for 3 months. In non-smokers and in people with unchanged smoking habits, the increase in walking distance was significantly greater than in the placebo group. [Br J Clin Pract 1988;42: pp.141-5, 377-83]
Inositol hexaniacinate might play a role in both the reduction of achlorhydria-related symptoms and in augmenting gastric acid secretion. It may enhance the production of hydrochloric acid in a manner that cannot be explained by it simply being an acid. Its benefits may be due, in part, to its stress-moderating properties upon the central nervous system.
There is evidence that niacin may be beneficial for the treatment of dysmenorrhea. Hudgins reported on a group of 80 women suffering from painful menstrual cramps who were supplemented with 100mg niacin twice daily, beginning 7 to 10 days before the onset of menses and then every 2 to 3 hours during heavy cramps. 90% of participants experienced significant relief. It should be noted that the dosage required during heavy cramping is high enough to cause unpleasant side effects and that it would seem that the use of flush-free niacin (inositol hexaniacinate) might be indicated. In addition, the inositol would provide lipotropic effects. Lipotropic agents help in the metabolism of hormones by the liver, important for the prevention of PMS.