The Niacin Sauna detoxification program was developed by Scientologist L. Ron Hubbard to mobilize and eliminate fat-stored toxins and xenobiotics from the body. The system is believed to be so effective that it was even used to help treat emergency workers after 9/11 who were exposed to countless chemicals during their rescue and clean up missions.
If you are long time reader of our blog, then you know we are huge sauna advocates. In the last 10 years science has shown sauna use to have incredible health benefits including reducing cardiovascular disease, improving weight loss, slowing aging, as well as reducing the risk of all cause mortality.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Thomas DeLauer, and other health influencers frequently discuss the benefits of regular sauna use on their channels, along with the research supporting the health benefits stated above.
However, long before sauna use became the latest social media biohack to get attention, L. Ron Hubbard was actively studying and promoting sauna use combined with high dose niacin to help purify the body. You could say, he was the original sauna biohacker.
Toxicity and the Rationale for Detoxification
L. Ron Hubbard observed that our environment was slowly becoming more and more polluted with industrialization and the growth of urban population centers. His research identified that chronic disease and cancer were rising consistently over time as our air, water, and food were becoming more and more contaminated by chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drug residues entering the system.
L. Ron Hubbard believed toxic build up in the body was the primary cause of many illnesses, so in 1978 he developed his detoxification program with the goal being to mobilize and excrete the pollutants being accumulated in the body's lymph system and stored fat cells.
While some might dismiss the program simply because it was developed by the founder of Scientology, a mountain of scientific research actually exists to support his theories and the use of sauna, niacin, and targeted supplementation to optimize the body's detoxification pathways.
It is not a conspiracy that our bodies are exposed to endless toxins daily. Just turn on your TV and within 5 minutes you are likely to see commercials for ambulance chasing lawyers suing chemical companies for the harm their products have caused humanity.
Elements of the Niacin Sauna Detox Developed by L. Ron Hubbard
Element #1: Niacin
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) directly affects adipocytes and increases the rate of lipolysis (fat break down) for up to an hour after administration. Additionally, high dose niacin (above 100 mg) has been shown to cause vasodilation of the cardiovascular system near the surface of the skin, resulting in the release toxins stored in the capillaries near the surface of the skin.
This reaction is responsible for the itchy, red, flushed feeling associated with high dose niacin.
Because of these effects on the body, niacin believed to increase the body's ability to mobilize and detoxify toxins chemicals, and heavy metals stored within the body's fat cells and blood stream, so that they can be easily be eliminated through urine, feces, breathing, and sweat.
Niacin is also a necessary nutrient for the formation of glutathione and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), both of which are central to the metabolism and elimination of toxins buried deep within the body.
Hubbard's program requires patients start with 100 mg of niacin each day during the program, increasing by 200 mg a day until reaching a several thousand mg daily. Note: very high doses of niacin can cause liver damage, so it is not recommended that people take more than 1000 mg a day for any prolonged period of time.
Hubbard's program is not designed to be a daily regimen, but rather a periodic cleansing protocol. That said, higher levels of niacin may be safe if done on a short term basis, but this should be done under the care and direction of a physician and not by personal experimentation.
Element #2: Exercise
L. Ron Hubbard's detoxification protocol prescribes 20-30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise to further increase the rate of lipolysis prior to sauna use. Workouts are to be performed immediately after taking niacin, but before sauna. Studies have shown that increased fat breakdown can continue for 1-3 hours post workout, helping the body to detoxify throughout the day.
Element #3: Sauna and Deep Sweating
Sweating has long been accepted as an extremely effective way to detoxify the body. L. Ron Hubbard's program suggests each person do 2.5-4.5 hours of sauna therapy a day for up to 33 days. Though sauna sessions are long, frequent breaks to replenish with water and electrolytes are recommended.
Important safety note: sitting in the sauna for more than 60 minutes is generally discouraged, as it can lead to heat stroke, hypothermia, and death.
However, that said, sauna use beyond 30 mins and up to an 1 hour has been shown to dramatically increase the circulation of blood, plasma, and sweat in order to keep the body from over heating. This helps to push out newly mobilized toxins through the skin. Maximal sweating begins to occur within 15 minutes and can help the body release as much as 2 liters of sweat per hour.
Two key studies demonstrating the detoxification of toxins through sweat are often cited as proof of the effectiveness of regular sauna use. Once specifically measured the release of mercury, and another measured the presence of other toxins and found sweat to contain a wide range of pollutants and heavy metals including lead, recreational drugs, and many others.
Important Note: The body loses a lot of sodium and other nutrients through sweating. Because of this, L. Ron Hubbard's detoxification system recommends the program be combined with electrolyte supplementation immediately following each sauna session, along with a good supplement containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals (see our Pine Pollen and Liver products to upgrade your multivitamin).
So....Does the Niacin Sauna Detox Work?
Multiple studies have confirmed the efficacy of the Niacin Sauna Detox, as a natural way to lower levels of toxins both within fat tissue, as well within serum blood levels.
The following studies examined the effectiveness of the Niacin Sauna Detox combination:
Conclusion: The Niacin Sauna detox can be an effective way to rid of the body of accumulated toxicity. As our world and food supply become more polluted, it is incredibly important to actively attempt to rid our bodies of these chemicals and metals, as increased levels are know to contribute to cancer and various diseases.
In addition to the Niacin Sauna Detox, it is best to implement a lifestyle that helps reduce exposure to chemicals and toxins in the first place. Eating natural whole foods, drinking purified water, and purifying your air at home can go along way to reducing the chemical burden placed on your body. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying lean can also help keep toxins from being stored in body fat.
Source and research referenced can be found here: https://fasenet.org/scientific-foundation-of-the-detoxification-method-developed-by-hubbard/