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Dr. William Kaufman, B-3 and  Arthritis

Arthritis Notes


Reprinted with permission from Saul AW. William Kaufman, B-3, and arthritis. J Orthomolecular Med, 2001. Vol. 16, No. 3, Third Quarter, 2001, p 189.

The world was still deep in the Great Depression when William Kaufman, MD, PhD, had already begun treating osteoarthritis with two to four grams of niacinamide daily. Now, over 60 years later, his pioneering work in orthomolecular medicine is receiving the recognition it so well deserves.

In a 1978 radio interview with Carlton Fredericks, Dr Kaufman told of how "I had one patient who was so severely arthritic that I could not bend his elbows enough to measure his blood pressure.  He was one of my first patients. I gave him niacinamide for a week in divided doses, and then he could bend his arm.  I took him off it and gave him a look-alike medicine (placebo). In a week he was back where he was before: his joints were stiff again.

"I arrived at my (megavitamin B-3 dosage) schedule by actually seeing the response of patients with varying degrees of arthritis. One cannot give a single large dose and get any really favorable results in arthritis... It is necessary to divide the doses so that the blood levels of niacinamide would be fairly uniform throughout the waking day."

Kaufman's findings were both plain and elegant. The greater the stiffness, the more frequent the doses. Severely crippled arthritic patients needed up to a total of 4,000 mg/day.  Divided into 10 doses per day, in one to three months, patients could now get out of their chair, or bed.  "If continued, they would be able comb their hair and be able to walk upstairs, so they would no longer be prisoners of the house. By the end of about three years’ treatment, they would be fully ambulatory, and this was even in the older age groups."

For Further Reading:

Niacinamide therapy for joint mobility. Conn. State Med. J. 17:584-589, 1953

Niacinamide, a most neglected vitamin. 1978 Tom Spies Memorial Lecture. J. Int. Acad. of Preventive Med. 8:5-25,1983

Niacinamide improves mobility in degenerative joint disease. Abstract published in Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for its meeting in Philadelphia, May 24-30, 1986

Dr. Kaufman's complete bibliography is posted at


Andrew W. Saul


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