Niacin is also known as Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid. It has been used historically for pain relief in the case of arthritis. However, it has a long list of other health benefits that are now recognized. Although since it is a vitamin and cannot be patented by drug companies, it has not been marketed very well and is not so well known. However, you should not overlook its potential and lose out on the benefits it offers, ranging from lowering cholesterol, curing insomnia and lowering blood pressure to reversing heart disease. Here are the top health benefits of Niacin.
This is the oldest and most well-known application for Niacin. A dose of 1000 to 1500 mg per day helps greatly reduce pain and relieves stiffness in arthritis patients, although a dose of 3000 to 4000 mg may be recommended in severe cases. Niacinamide helps open up the body’s deep blood vessels such as the ones around your joints. However, it should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor to ensure that it goes along well with other medications. According to research, niacin intake in the form of niacinamide enhances joint mobility by reducing joint pain, enhancing muscle strength and helping to clear the symptoms associated with joint and muscle fatigue.
Niacin is one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to control Cholesterol and other blood lipids including triglycerides. People on an incremental dose of 1,000 mg on day one, 2,000 mg on day two and 3,000 mg on day three have reported up to 25% reduction in their blood cholesterol level and also a 50% drop in triglyceride levels. It is also used to lower the risk of a heart attack in people with high cholesterol levels and have ever had a heart attack. Niacin can also be to treat atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease).
Niacin has been clinically proven to be effective in helping heart patients. Patients on a regular dose of Niacin will have lower illness levels and a lower average death rate after prolonged usage over five years when compared to patients, not on a niacin dose. One study has demonstrated amazing results, by revealing that treatment with Niacin actually reversed heart disease signs in patients with genetic cholesterol problems.
Niacin helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. It helps reduce fats in the blood known as low-density lipoproteins which are known to be responsible for heart diseases and even cancer. It also helps improve problems resulting from blood sugar levels such as arterial wall damage. Niacin has the property of dilating blood vessels, which means that its usage results in improved blood circulation to areas receiving less oxygen and nutrients.
If you suffer from any sort of heart problems, especially genetic ones, you should definitely discuss the possible inclusion of Niacin in your treatment as it will not only help you save a ton of money but also improve your health and probably even save your life.
Memory Loss & Related Diseases
Dr. Abram Hoffer was the first person to effectively use Niacin for the treatment of diseases such as schizophrenia and depression. It has been proven that a dose of 1,000 mg taken 3 times each day can help improve your memory as well as help with problems of senility.
Besides these incredible benefits, Niacin also helps with Insomnia, sensitivity to sunlight, motion sickness and a host of other problems. Therefore Niacin is not only a much-needed Vitamin but a great supplement as well as an effective medicine for the treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions.
Studies indicate that niacin can protect one against Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders that results in cognitive decline, especially in old age. Also, niacin is connected to a decreased risk of problems that involve poor brain function such as memory loss, chronic brain syndrome, migraine headaches, motion sickness, depression, alcohol dependence, and insomnia.
Niacin can also be used to prevent as well as treat hallucinations and schizophrenia as well as lower the risk of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Because of its role in balancing blood sugar, niacin is helpful in treating diabetes. Studies suggest that when in the form of niacinamide, niacin helps to improve the efficiency of oral drugs used to control diabetes.
As a result, diabetic patients are able to effectively control blood sugar levels. It also helps lowers the risks of heart diseases and high blood cholesterol which is common in patients with diabetes
Maintains skin health
Niacin can also be used to treat severe acne known as inflammatory acne vulgaris. It is prescribed in the form of niacinamide which is applied to the affected areas to clear acne and promote healthy skin.
Since niacin reduces skin irritation, flare-ups, inflammation, and redness, it can also be used to treat certain skin conditions such as granuloma annulare and bullous pemphigoid. They are very painful skin diseases that involve blistering and can cause infection.
Vitamin B3 niacin deficiency causes a disease known as pellagra which is characterized by skin irritation and inflammation, digestive problems weak muscles and it is linked to overdependence on corn. Besides niacin deficiency, other causes of pellagra include the inability to convert amino acids and problems with protein metabolism.
If the levels of vitamin B3 are not restored, a person suffering from pellagra can die within a few years.
Usually, niacin deficiency results from malnutrition as well as chronic alcoholism. Niacin is given to patients who experience malnutrition and poverty especially in third world countries as well as those battling symptoms of alcoholism including irritability, nervousness loss of consciousness and insomnia.
To treat pellagra, high levels of niacin in the form of niacinamide are prescribed.
Prevents Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction)
Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to get and maintain an erection which is caused by poor blood circulation and low blood flow to the penis. It can also be caused by certain illnesses, fatigue, and stress. Supplementing with niacin helps to decrease impotence as it acts as a vasodilator that enhances blood flow to the genital area.
Let’s go deeper
Nearly all of the B vitamin classes will help the body convert carbohydrates into sugar or glucose, which can then be burned to produce energy. Also known as complex B vitamins, B3 niacin is essential in helping the body break down protein and fat.
Complex B vitamins also play an important role in maintaining muscle tone within the digestive tract, along with the health of the skin, nervous system, liver, eyes, hair, and mouth. Even though a lot of people associate creativity with the aspect of muscles and muscle tone, vitamin B3 niacin is as equally important – if not more important.
B3 niacin is also important with getting harmful or toxic chemicals out of the body. It can also help the body produce different sex and stress-related hormones within the adrenal glands, among other parts of the body. The vitamin is also useful for helping with sexual dysfunction as well. This can be great news for those who have problems with pleasing their mate.
Also very effective with improving circulation, B3 niacin can also help to reduce cholesterol levels found in the blood. Even though vitamin B3 niacin is great as a stand-alone supplement, it should also be consumed with foods that contain protein, due to the fact that the body is able to convert the amino acid known as tryptophan into niacin.
The higher doses of B3 niacin, which are available only through prescription, have been proven to prevent and also improve a variety of different symptoms and ailments. Due to the high risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a doctor first, before they decide to start higher doses of B3 niacin.
There are also niacin skincare products that are being developed as well, which contain anti-aging products, helping to treat acne and also aid in the prevention of skin cancer. A lot of dermatologists expect that these products will become really popular over the next several years. Even though they are still in development stages, research has proven them to be very effective when compared to the other types of products.
Where to find?
The best sources for vitamin B3 niacin include beef, pork, turkey, beets, veal, fish, chicken, salmon, tuna, and peanuts. You can also get supplements that contain B3 niacin as well, which can give your body the amounts it needs. This is a very important vitamin, as it does a lot more for the body than most think. By consuming foods that contain it or taking the proper supplements – you’ll get the number of B vitamins that your body needs on a daily basis.
Cons of taking niacin
Niacin should be replenished regularly because it is dispensed by the body quickly through urination. However, high large doses of niacin can lead to certain health complications such as:
- Blurred vision. Vomiting
- Skin rashes
- Peptic ulcers
- Organ damage
Even a normal dose of niacin can cause skin flushing while those who take over 75mg of niacin daily for a long period are prone to liver damage.
Pregnancy and Niacin
According to reports by FDA, niacin is harmful to an unborn baby especially if taken in high doses. Also, it can be excreted in breast milk thereby harming a nursing baby.
Niacin interactions with other Drug
Patients suffering from severe bleeding, stomach ulcers or liver disease should not take niacin. Also, they should avoid taking cholestyramine (prevalite, lochilest, questran) or colestipol (Colestid) when taking niacin or take them at least six hours prior to taking niacin.
Niacin also interferes with urine tests, therefore, inform the tester when taking a drug test.
Niacin is available in different forms including capsules and tablets and it should be taken as prescribed sometimes at bedtime combined with a low-fat diet. Taking medications such as aspirin (Bufferin, Bayer, Anacin) or ibuprofen at least 30 minutes before niacin intake helps to prevent certain side effects such as headaches and flushing.
The recommended niacin dosage depends on the type of tablets or capsules as well as the condition being treated. Take the capsules or tablets with a glass of cold water without breaking them as too much of the drug may be released.
It is advisable that you always consult the doctor before you begin taking niacin supplements.