I Bet You Will Never Guess How Vitamins Are Made…..


Image courtesy of sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I heard that Niacin was a derivative of Nicotine, I decided to investigate. My research led me to a book in which the author travelled the country to examine Twinkies ingredients. Do you have any idea what petroleum gas and beer have to do with your vitamin supplements?

You might know a little about the petroleum, if you read my August 2013 post, How Vitamins Significantly Increase Your Risk For Cancer and Other Diseases . I believe this is a worthy topic to revisit after reading, TWINKIE DECONSTRUCTED, by Steve Ettinger.

According to Ettinger, “because the Western world has intensified its pollution laws (vitamin manufacturing can take a heavy environmental toll) the industry is moving quickly to countries such as India and especially China…..The B vitamins in enriched flour come from elemental ores, petroleum, bacteria or fungi made in ways you would never allow in your house. Some are a total chemical synthesis and some are fermented.”


Crude oil is burned into sulfur and used to “pickle” iron ore after it is baked into steel. The pickled steel is crystallized into ferrous sulfate (“digestible” Iron). The process is a bit more complex and not what one would expect for a “nutritional supplement.”


Thiamine fabricators are a bit more secretive about its production. Ettinger thinks the majority is an amalgamation of basic petrochemicals originating from coal tar. “Thiamine chemicals are finished with about fifteen steps that include, depending on the company, such appetizing processes as oxidation with corrosive strength hydrogen peroxide and active carbon; reactions with ammonium nitrate, ammonium carbonate, and nitric acid (to form a salt); and washing with alcohol….Some is further reacted with methanol hydrochloric acid, and ethanol to make thiamine hydrochloride, another popular version of thiamine found in packaged foods.”


Most riboflavin is fermented from some form of microorganism. “Candida Yeasts are common; Ashbya gossypii fungus is used to make 30 percent of the world’s supply of B2; and some of the biggest producers favor a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis. Some make it from spent beer grain, recycled by the beer companies.” – Steve Ettinger

Folic Acid

Folic Acid is either fermented or another mix including petro goodies, “amino acid (glutamic acid, the one that turns into MSG when mixed with sodium…a foul smelling, flammable form of acetone (also found in nail polish remover), and pteroic acid, otherwise known by the catchy nickname, 2-amino-4oxopteridin-5yl, or sometimes 4-([2-amino-4hydroxy-6-pteridylmethyl]amino)benzoic acid, a blend of paraffin and butyric acid, both petro chemicals.” – Steve Ettinger

Is Niacin Really Derived From Nicotine?

Ettinger writes that Niacin is also made from petroleum yet he fails to connect it to Nicotine. I found various web sources linking Nicotine to Niacin. The first is rather weak but it describes the creation of Niacin, “Nicotinic acid or Niacin was first oxidized from Nicotine by a German chemist in 1867, and this fact is clear in the literature on Nicotinic acid, Nicotinamide, Niacin, and the Vitamin B complex.” -Frove

While searching for more info on the German chemist, I learned, Niacin was first described by Hugo Weidel in 1873 in his studies of nicotine. The original preparation remains useful: The oxidation of nicotine using nitric acid.” – News Medical

According to News Medical and a few other sources, “When the properties of nicotinic acid were discovered, it was thought prudent to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine and to avoid the idea that either smoking provided vitamins or that wholesome food contained a poison. The resulting name ‘niacin’ was derived from nicotinic acid + in.”

My final source compares the molecular structure of  Nicotine and Niacin. “The niacin or vitamin B3 source, nicotinamide (below left), has a close structural analogue in nicotine, i.e., the addictive substance found in tobacco products. (The methyl group on the alicyclic nitrogen of nicotine, below right, is not shown for a fair comparison with the vitamin; in its biologically-active coenzyme forms, nicotinamide is attached through its heterocyclic nitrogen to the oxy-methylene group of a sugar residue)” The authors conclude with the theory that a lack of Niacin in the body may be partially responsible for Nicotine addiction.

While there is no hard evidence that today’s Niacin is derived from Nicotine, it is clearly a chemical. I had to dig deep on WebMD to find the side effects of Niacin. The list is too long for this post but you should be able to find it here


and here http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-6142-nicotinic+acid+oral.aspx?drugid=6142&drugname=nicotinic+acid+oral&source=0&pagenumber=6

. If not, feel free to contact me mc@divinewiz.com, for more information.

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NIACIN, Wikipedia






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