Thursday, January 26, 2012

This site is in no way affiliated with the organization Alcoholics Anonymous.

This blog is about Bill Wilson., (co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous) and the last ten years of his life.  In 1960 Bill found that by taking niacin (vitamin B-3) his life long battle with depression was relieved.  This blog is here to pass on and carry the message which Bill so passionately devoted him-self to from 1960 to 1971.  But more importantly is to here help other alcoholics recover from severe depression that happens to some of us before and after sobriety.  Remember, this was then and still is now an outside issue, please remember our 6th and 10th traditions when discussing this.

Tradition Six—An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Tradition Ten—Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

A little known obscure fact is that Bill W., The co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote three papers about the biochemical aspects of Alcoholism in the last ten years of his life.
Bill, had suffered horribly from depression most of his life, both before and after sobriety.   He found some substantial relief from this misery in 1960 after meeting two doctors in New York; Abram Hoffer and Humphrey Osmond.  These MD's were researching alcoholism and mental health disorders in Canada.

After meeting Hoffer and Osmond Bill began taking vitamin B-3 (Niacin).  Bill found such a great release from his depression that he set out to advance this second vocation for the remaining years of his life. 

Bill Wilson gave his all to promote, finance and help this area of research into the field of alcoholism.  He wrote, edited and distributed three pamphlets which he sent to doctors and many friends both in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous. 
The first paper was published in 1965, the second in 1968 and the last one published posthumously in 1971 with a forward written by Lois Wilson his wife.  These three papers represent the majority of his time and effort during the last decade of his life

Shorty before his death, Bill was asked what one thing he would like to be most remembered for in the history books; He said that it would be for his promotion of the B-3 Therapy, not the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.
(Ernest Kurtz, Not-God: A history of Alcoholics Anonymous (Hazeldon Press 1979) P. 137-38.

Below, in three different communications, Bill W. presents "The Vitamin B-3 Therapy;"



Dr. Abram Hoffer on Bill W. 

Niacin and niacinamide are forms of Vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is found in many foods including yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains. Niacin and niacinamide are also found in many vitamin B complex supplements with other B vitamins.

Niacin is used for high cholesterol. It is also used along with other treatments for circulation problems, migraine headache, dizziness, and to reduce the diarrhea associated with cholera.

Niacinamide is used for treating diabetes and two skin conditions called bullous pemphigoid and granuloma annulare.

Niacin or niacinamide is used for preventing vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. Each of these forms of vitamin B3 is used for schizophrenia, hallucinations due to drugs, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related loss of thinking skills, chronic brain syndrome, depression, motion sickness, alcohol dependence, and fluid collection (edema).

Some people use niacin or niacinamide for acne, leprosy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), memory loss, arthritis, preventing premenstrual headache, improving digestion, protecting against toxins and pollutants, reducing the effects of aging, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, promoting relaxation, improving orgasm, and preventing cataracts.

Niacinamide is applied to the skin for treating a skin condition called inflammatory acne vulgaris.


How does it work?

Niacinamide can be made from niacin in the body. Niacin is converted to niacinamide when it is taken in amounts greater than what is needed by the body. Niacin and niacinamide are easily dissolved in water and are well-absorbed when taken by mouth.

Niacin and niacinamide are required for the proper function of fats and sugars in the body and to maintain healthy cells. At high doses, niacin and niacinamide can have different effects. Niacin might help people with heart disease because of its beneficial effects on clotting. It may also improve levels of a certain type of fat called triglycerides in the blood. Niacinamide has no beneficial effects on fats and should not be used for treating high cholesterol or high fat levels in the blood.

Niacin deficiency can cause a condition called pellagra, which causes skin irritation, diarrhea, and dementia. Pellagra was common in the early twentieth century, but is less common now, since foods are now fortified with niacin. Pellagra has been virtually eliminated in western culture.

People with poor diet, alcoholism, and some types of slow-growing tumors called carcinoid tumors might be at risk for niacin deficiency.

There are 3 types of Niacin:

1)  Niacin, (also known as vitamin B3, nicotinic acid and vitamin PP)  A common minor side effect of niacin is a flushing reaction. This might cause burning, tingling, itching, and redness of the face, arms, and chest, as well as headaches. Starting with small doses of niacin and taking 325 mg of aspirin before each dose of niacin will help reduce the flushing reaction. Usually, this reaction goes away as the body gets used to the medication.

2)  Nicotinamide, (also known as niacinamide and nicotinic acid amide) does not have the flushing reaction.  But, nicotinamide does not have the cholesterol lowering properties of niacin.

3) Inositol Hexanicotinate, (also called "flush-free" or "no-flush" niacin) is a different form of niacin.  This type of niacin can have have adverse effects on the liver.

Medical Disclaimer:  The information available from this website has been prepared and/or obtained for general information, education, reference, and/or entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice. The owner of this website is not a licensed doctor and is not providing medical advice, or diagnosing or treating any condition you may have. We are not your doctor.

You agree that you will not act upon anything contained in this website without first seeking professional medical advice.


  1. Hi Tom K.

    You have done the world and especially the recovery community a great service by publishing
    Bill Wilson's Three Studies on Niacin (B-3). I believe it was 'The Whale' who made the observation that it was "criminal" to drug
    people in early recovery when working protocols
    for Vitamin Tx. and most especially Niacin (B-3), the "smart" are known and available.

    The simple fact of the matter is that this information has been hidden from recovering
    persons for the last 50 years. Contempt prior
    to investigation has kept this information from comming to the forefront. Oh Ya, there was the defiance too, on the part of the non-recovering medical folks on the board at the time. It reminds me of the scientists who refused to perform experiments lest their bet theories be proven wrong.

    When this information hits the main stream and folks figure out just how workable it is, recovery and Emotional Sobriety will reach new heights.

    Pass It On,

    Bill L.
    Clearwater, FL

  2. Hello Bill L.

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I too believe you are right on the mark.

    I got sober in 1988 and after the first three years became depressed as hell. Thinking I had not worked the steps right I suffered until 1997. That is when I discovered Niacin by and the grace of God.

    I had many conversations with Abram Hoffer over the years and have been working on a book which he encouraged me to do. The big thing with this book is that I found the answer as to why Niacin worked/works so well, and I can back it up with the scientific research they have done over the years. You might say I can beat the skeptics over their heads with their own research.

    I'm not trying to make money, just to pass it on like we do in Alcoholics Anonymous. "For fun and for free" as Chuck C. use to say.

    Thanks again for your kind words. I hope we can continue this conversation, I can use all the help I can get.

    Tom K.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Again it is a great service to folks in AA to have these materials available after all these years. I am happy to hear that you were in touch with Abram Hoffer!

      I sent copies of Bill W's 3 Vit. B-3 studies to Andrew Saul Phd. and to Genita Petrilli about 8 months ago. They were happy to get the copies and I sent them the link to your site as well.

      Charlie Bishop (The Bishop Of Books) who published the 3 studies contacted Andrew Saul saying that he no longer had any copies of the studies he published years back. Andrew Saul told him to email me and I had
      the priviledge of mailing him a complete working copy of his booklet! Cool HUH! :)

      Ray G. who runs the Dr. Bob Museum lent me a Copy No. 038 of Charlie Bishop's June 1993 Limited Edition of 200 Copies. I had CD's in PDF format made and I will email this document free to anyone who contacts me at:

      I got sober in 1978. In the early 1990's I started doing research on B-3 to help a firend of mine that had prostrate cancer. I found Abram Hoffers research and the references to Bill W's research. It took me seven years to find the 3 Studies he did. At the time I was working with a friend John B. By the time he got sober he had 2/3rds of his liver removed. He figured out that he could compensate for this with high does B-3 and sweat the toxins out of his body.

      As far as I know Bill had thousands of people taking B-3 in the 1960's. One guy told me that whenever he went to an AA Mtg. in the Seattle area everyone had a Niacin Flush!

      This research done by Bill W. is profoundly important. Resently Hoffer and Bill W. have been noted as the first to do research on The Redox Signaling Molecules.

      Alchoholics are "bedeviled" by skitzophrenic temdencies. Bill clearly makes this link. [cf for eg. the 8 bedevilments BB p. 52.] the DELUSION is this 'skitzoid tendency! They are continualy blindsided by this untill they can put the Spirit back in charge of the Body and the Mind, 24 hrs a day, day by day, minuite by minuite, as the case may be, God willing. In the interum B-3 gives them a leg up by reducing the schizophrenic toxin(s).

      The real problem here is that folks in early recovery are give powerful psycho-active drugs. It is getting rare to find newcommers who are not on some kind of perscription drugs. It is very clear that these problems could be and should be addressed with Vitamins. At this time, this is the MINORITY view but surely we do know of the importance of the minority view and have seen it carry the day, time and again, in the group conscious vote.

      In my opinion the way to proceed is get Bill W's research widely known and understood. This is a good start! B-3 is part of the solution to the skitzoid tendency developed during long term alchol addiction.

      Email me and I can send proof.


      Bill L.

    2. Dear Bill this book explains it all..."Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior" by David E. Comings

  3. I've been sober since May of `86, and this is the first I've heard of any of this! And being a diligent all or nothing alcoholic, I intend to thoroughly check this out. Now, gentlemen, if you`ll kindly excuse me, I have to go to the drug store! Thanks fellas I'm really glad I found this...

  4. Very well written blog that you put together here. Lots of great information all in one place. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Hi , Brilliant that you have created this blog and made available
    the 3 communications, i found out about Niacin a couple of years ago and gave it a try the flushing really put me off so i didn't really give it a proper chance , i did however really try and get a hold of the 3 communications from bill with no success. lately my research and has drawn me back to niacin and have now proceeded to use the non flushing version , im convinced that there is a bit of cover up going on with this vital information that could help so many us within the fellowship. Another vitamin/mineral that is worth looking into is Lithium Orotate (not to be confused with the pharmaceutical drug Lithium its a mineral not a drug. available from health food shops i have personally tried and has really helped me .

    Phil T

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  7. Thank you for another great post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing?

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  8. Great detailed information, I ll be visiting you more frequently, here is very interesting information.

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  9. Thanks for the data and for providing access to the 3 pamphlets. God Bless and I can't wait to share this with my Home Group.

  10. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that I've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

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    1. Kevin, buy this book on ebay.. If you want to understand.. this explains the biochemical basis of why niacin worked with treating alcoholism and depression!

  11. Awesome, seriously awesome.Great bog.Thanks for sharing.It is very useful.

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  12. Thanks for sharing the information. That’s a awesome article you posted. I found the post very useful as well as interesting. I will come back to read some more.
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  13. Common Granuloma Annulare Herbal Remedies contain apple cider vinegar applied topically and taken orally, DMSO, tannic acid, milk of lysine and magnesia. Moreover, tea tree oil, vitamin E, and green tea also aid in recovery and serve as a medicine for granuloma annulare.

  14. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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    1. hello Mary, its quite simple. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid makes Serotonin google/read this: Best, Tom K.

  15. Ask me a question Mary and ill try to help

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  17. There are indeed many, many ways to get and stay sober, if you are an alcoholic. This is a very common assertion in discussions about how to stay sober long does alcohol stays in your system

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  19. More on niacin, and disease...I feel low niacin causes low serotonin therefore depression. Google Pellagra.

    Niacin For Depression: Does Vitamin B3 Improve Mood?

  20. Low Niacin = low Tryptophan = low Serotonin...Taking niacin reverses this. Many Antidepressants increase Tryptophan. Google tryptophan and Dr.Abdulla Badawy or get your Doctor to look at this Doctors research. Best, Tom K

  21. alcohol has really strong side effects if you compare it to other substances and when i think there is it doesn't end well followin..Addiction rehab centers