Focus On: Wax Matrix Niacin

WHAT IT IS: Niacin—also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid—plays a role in numerous metabolic pathways and boasts impressive lipid-improving abilities. Niacin comes in an extended-release supplement form known as wax matrix niacin or extended-release nicotinic acid. Bound in a wax matrix, it softens as it travels through your system, releasing gradually to allow superior absorption in a uniform dose. This method of dosing greatly reduces flushing and stomach irritation found in other common niacin products.

[ Benefits ]

Wax matrix niacin tablets have been shown to effectively support healthy blood lipid levels, while minimizing the flushing side effect traditionally associated with niacin supplementation. It can reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.

[ Sources ]

Vitamin B3 is made up of niacin and its amide, niacinamide, and can be found in many foods including poultry, fish, mushrooms, asparagus, and grass-fed beef. It is found to a lesser extent in peanuts, shrimp, corn, sweet potato, and many other vegetables. To put this in context, a four-ounce serving of chicken (the richest natural source) has 15 mg, and a cup of crimini mushrooms has 3.3 mg. Endur-acin, the only available wax matrix niacin supplement, comes in 500 mg tablets.

[ Warnings ]

Be sure to only take the supplemental form under medical supervision. Recent research suggests that a 1,000 mg per day dose is safe, while a 2,000 – 3,000 mg per day dose has produced liver toxicity in some patients. Don’t take wax matrix niacin with hot foods or beverages or after heavy exercise, since either can raise the core body temperature and accelerate free niacin release.

[ Recommended Dosage ]

When used in the therapy of hyperlipidemia, doses of wax matrix niacin are far higher than the daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of B3. The RDAs run from two mg per day for infants to 35 mg per day for adults. Essentially this means that you get your RDA through your diet, as the only wax matrix niacin supplement available only comes in a 500 mg dose. The biggest increases in HDL and decreases in triglycerides occur at 1,200 – 1,500 mg per day. Niacin’s greatest effects on LDL occur at 2,000 – 3,000 mg per day.