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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vitamin B3 : The niacin flush (caused by increased blood flow and histamine release)

Sufferers of metabolic/systemic/bloodborne body odor are likely to experiment with vitamins and minerals. Most will likely at some point have experienced the 'niacin flush' after taking 10mg+ of niacin (vitamin B3), which is a tingling reaction and red blotches on the skin (as histamine is locally released). Niacin is Vitamin B3.

This post is written for those with metabolic/systemic/bloodborne (they all mean the same, in terms of end result) body odor and/or halitosis in case they ever try niacin and don't know what is happening. It's also a chance to think about niacin and what role it could have in metabolic body odor and/or halitosis.

Co-enzyme in phase1 biotransformation reactions
Niacin is the precursor for NAD/NADP/NADPH (
Nicotinamide adenine, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate). Judging by the graphs of drug-metabolism enzyme reactions, NADPH seems to play an important role in being the hydrogen donor for phase1 biotransformation reactions. This seems to include FMO3.

Introduction
The flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO, EC 1.14.13.8) is an NADPH-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the oxygenation of a wide variety of compounds containing nitrogen, sulfur or other heteroatoms (Cashman and Zhang, 2006; Krueger and Williams, 2005). FMO3 is considered a prominent form expressed in adult human liver (Lomri, et al., 1992) and plays a role in processing nucleophilic drugs such as the anticancer drug tamoxifen, the pain medication codeine, the antifungal drug ketoconazole, the addictive chemical nicotine found in tobacco, and the diet-derived chemical trimethylamine (Cashman, et al., 2000; Ziegler, 2002).
http://dmd.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/35/3/328
In theory, someone with a vitamin/mineral deficiency could end up with a 'metabolic disorder' the same way that someone with a flawed enzyme has, because the enzyme depends on co-enzymes/co-factors to function (i.e. what is the weakest link). At this point, we don't know if this is a factor in the typical metabolic body odor profile. hopefully someday we will. B Vitamins seem to be produced by friendly bacteria, but at this time the medical system does not seem to take this into account how important (if at all) this source is to humans.

Open up the capillaries. The histamine released causes the blotching
Niacin is also 'touted' by some as having a certain 'detox' property. It is known to open the blood vessels including the capillaries (this causes the histamine surge which causes the blotching ). Ron Hubbard (the scientologist) looked into how to help drug addicts detoxify in the 1970's and came up with a detox plan that centred around niacin, saunas, and fatty acids. The niacin was to supply blood as far as possible around the body, so that fatty tissue would then deposit it's 'toxins' into the bloodstream for removal. The idea of toxins staying in fatty tissue (and even bone) seems accepted by natural medicine, and seems common sense. If the blood is toxic and overloaded, the idea is that it dumps the excess toxins into solid tissue to keep the blood as 'clean' as possible, and probably leaves it there as the onslaught never stops. This is why people are expected to feel bad at first with detox, although it could be more than that for metabolic body odor sufferers (such as dysbiosis die-off). Hubbards detox program seems to be a niche 'detox program' so it can't be recommended. Also, unfortunately for metabolic body odor sufferers, it's possible there is a metabolic weakness, and so you can never tell how such a person will react to things that are good for 'normal' people. At this point we don't understand the syndrome, so no advice or recommendation can be given. B vitamins are usually methyl compounds.

Perhaps someday we will have a general idea of the metabolic body odor sufferer B vitamin profile.

Niacin - causes the 'niacin flush' at high levels. The blotching is due to histamine. Opens up the capillaries and supplies blood to peripheral areas.
A precursor for NAD/NADP/NADPH, which is a co-enzyme in many phase 1 drug-metabolizing reactions

related links:
http://www.detoxacademy.org/detox_basics.htm
Ron Hubbard (scientologist) famous book on his 'niacin flush' detox program for drug addicts : clearbodyclearmind.com
Healthy.net : Elson Haas article on niacin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotinamide_adenine_dinucleotide_phosphate

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