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Niacin vitamin B3 for alcoholism.

September 28, 2015

When he co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to offer a support group for those addicted to alcohol, Bill Wilson made the first major advance in addressing alcoholism.

A fact which is less well-known is that Bill Wilson also made the second major advance when he became aware of, and later promoted the use of niacin vitamin B3 as a treatment for chronic drinkers.

Orthomolecular Medicine and alcoholism.

Even as Alcoholics Anonymous slowly expanded, many of Bill Wilson's personal and financial problems lingered, especially his depression.

Canadian biochemist Dr. Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist and physician, writes: "I met Bill in New York in 1960. Humphry Osmond and I introduced him to the concept of megavitamin therapy. Bill was very curious about it and began to take niacin, 3,000 mg daily. Within a few weeks fatigue and depression which had plagued him for years were gone.

Dr. Hoffer, in his foreword to the book "Alcoholism: The Cause and The Cure", describes how he and Bill Wilson investigated together the effect of Niacin vitamin B3 on alcoholics.

 

 

 

 

Dr Hoffer writes: “Bill understood it first hand, for even though he had been abstinent for many years, he was still unwell. He suffered from immense anxiety, tension, and fatigue, but was able to function in spite of what might have been disabling. After taking 3 grams of niacin daily for two weeks, his symptoms vanished and he remained free of addiction. This was a peak experience that he never forgot. He became determined to give as many AA members as possible the benefit of the same healing vitamin,”.

 

Dr. Hoffer further writes: “Without telling me that he was doing so, Bill conducted a trial of niacin on 30 friends and colleagues in New York. Most of them were very productive and sober members of AA, but they all suffered from the common mind and mood afflictions that people formerly addicted to alcohol experience, even when they are not drinking. After three months he showed me his data. After one month, ten of the subjects were well. After the second month another ten had recovered, and the remaining one-third had shown no improvement after the third month. By this time I had also treated a number of people addicted to alcohol and had seen similar recoveries.”

Beyond AA meetings.

Between 1960 and his death in 1971, Bill Wilson shared this information with physician members of AA in a series of 3 brochures, Communications to Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill’s findings were unfortunately dismissed by the AA’s International Board, because he was not an "M.D." and the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous is a social support structure, not a medical treatment provider.

Alcoholism - It's all about brain chemicals.

If my brain is producing feel-good neurotransmitters naturally at the correct time and in the correct amounts, I will feel good naturally, with or without an alcoholic drink. There is no craving for alcohol, no desire to drink.

If I were to have a drink, it would not provide critically-needed relief from psychological or nagging physical symptoms because the root cause of the symptoms - the brain’s inability to produce sufficient amounts of feel-good neurotransmitters - has been corrected.

Dr. Abram Hoffer and AA co-founder Bill Wilson recommend 3,000 mgs of niacin daily to arrest the disease of alcoholism. There are other nutrients, vitamins, minerals and amino acids which can be useful in helping the brain produce those all-important happy-brain chemicals and help one conquer alcoholism nutritionally:

-VITAMIN C may be taken to the point of daily saturation, which is just below the amount causing diarrhea. Vitamin C improves the metabolism of the toxic by-products of alcohol and, in large quantities, it is a powerful antitoxin. Vitamin C has also been shown to be effective against hepatitis. (1)

- B-COMPLEX (50 milligrams, 6 times daily). Beverage alcohol (ethanol, C2 H5 OH) is like liquid sugar, it is a simple carbohydrate supplying lots of energy and no nutrition. Alcohol depletes the body of B vitamins, especially vitamin B1. It is safest and easiest to take the whole B-vitamin team together.

- L-GLUTAMINE (2 to 3 grams daily). This amino acid has been shown to improve brain function in alcoholics, resulting in improved sleep, decreased anxiety and a reduced craving for alcohol. Many whey protein brands include L-Glutamine in their preparation.

- LECITHIN (2 to 5 tablespoons daily). Lecithin provides choline, which your body can make into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Lecithin is reported to play a role in helping to prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and multiple sclerosis. Lecithin is an emulsifier of fat. The fatty liver condition so prevalent with alcoholics is likely to improve with lecithin supplementation.

- Juicing and juice fasting have been successfully used to clear out fatty livers, too.

 

In the 9-minute video below, Dr. Abram Hoffer explains how AA co-founder Bill W. was relieved of his depression by taking niacin vitamin B3 for the last 11 years of his life.

 


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References

1- Smith, L. H., ed. Clinical Guide To The Use of Vitamin C, Life Sciences Press, Tacoma, WA, 1988

 

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2015 Healing Daily