Has anyone tried Niacin as alternative to anti-depressants?

Good morning all- I stayed up late last night watching "Food Matters" on netflix. It's a documentary about how as a society, we no longer look to natural alternatives such as vitamins or just plain ole good nutrition as a cure/treatment for our ailments. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it!

I recently posted about my 20 yr old son, who is clinically depressed. We've tried everything under the sun to help him climb out of the black hole. Well, everything except looking at his diet and nutrition. In this documentary, there was a segment about taking Niacin (B3) for depression and anxiety. There has been great success apparently.

It really opened my eyes about using natural means to heal. Superfoods, fresh raw veggies and fruits, vitamin supplements. I know it would be good just to begin this, just for the health of it. But I was curious if anyone has ever tried and had success using natural alternatives as opposed to prescription medications?

Note: My difficult child has tried lexapro, wellbutrin, prozac, benzos.. He has shown zero improvement in the last 2 years.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I think these are very good things to consider. When difficult child son was totally into his addiction, I too researched the way drugs work, which chemicals within the brain each drug exhausts (serotonin, mostly...which is why so many who abuse drugs or alcohol become depressed, or so they believe at this time), and which supplements might help. This was years ago, now. difficult child son just rolled his eyes and etc.


I do believe supplementing the chemicals our drug or alcohol use depletes is a great idea. Niacin is B6. All the B vitamins are water soluble (so you will not overdose on them) and are excellent for nerves and mood stabilization.

Post back and let us know, okay?

If you post this question on Natural Remedies here on the site, you will receive much interest and many more informed answers.

Wavering? Welcome to the site.


Thank you Scent of Cedar, I am currently researching more about this and other supplements. I do not know how my difficult child will take the notion of another pill either. He's sick of trying new ones and never finding relief. He may turn his nose at this also.

I will repost in Natural Remedies, thanks for the tip!



Well-Known Member
If he is using drugs, nothing will work.

I tried going natural to help my severe depressions. I even tried Niacin because it was recommended in a book I read. The Niacin made me so sick I ended up in ER. Nothing helped except medication and therapy. I think maybe natural stuff works for mild depression, but not for severe. Ditto for the Feingold diet.

Excerise helps keep me grounded, but, even doing the max that I can, depression seeps in sometimes.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
For milder depression there has been much success with good quality Omega 3's along with exercise. My Dr. shared with me that the combination of Omega-3's and exercise has proven to be just as effective in many studies as medication in many instances, however, it takes about 3 months to kick in. The elimination of sugar, alcohol, the bad carbs and making one's diet about mostly veggies, fruit and protein is very helpful. Gluten intolerance can negatively impact mood as well. There are books about diet and depression you can work with. Exercise changes the brain chemistry and is extremely helpful. All if this helps if the person has a commitment to heal and is willing to make the changes necessary. You can't force your son to do any of it unless he wants to.


Well-Known Member
I have posted here before about this. I have had issues with mild depression practically my entire life. I used some tools I learned that helped, but having health problems and a difficult child...wow....slammed it back in place more often than not. I swear a vitamin routine changed my problems with depression for good!

B Complex
Fish Oil
D3 (I take kind of a lot of this)
Extra B12 (methyl. Type)

I also try to exercise regularly, if and when possible.

Things are significantly better for me since using the above vitamins!!!! And yes, eating a good diet can help even more, especially getting rid of sugar!