Vitamin B3 comes with impressive health benefits. These benefits includes reducing risk of heart diseases, improving mental health, treating diabetes, alleviating symptoms of arthritis, lowering levels of triglycerides, improving skin function and treating impotency. Other benefits includes lowering bad cholesterol and regulating digestion.
Our bodies need to function optimally if we are to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle. Vitamin B3 is also referred to as Niacin, which is a key nutrient that supports numerous bodily functions and ensures optimum health.
What is Vitamin B3?
Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin that doesn’t stay in our bodies for long since it is discharged through urine. This also means that your body can secrete surplus amounts of niacin if it is not required. Our body’s key source of niacin is through foods, but it also derives the vitamin from tryptophan, an amino acid. As will all B vitamins, vitamin B3 helps converts food into fuel by helping enzymes properly do their work. Particularly, vitamin B3 is a key component of NADP and NAD, two coenzymes that are involved in cellular metabolism.
Moreover, this vitamin plays a key role in making, signaling, and restoring DNA, besides acting as a powerful antioxidant.
What Does a Niacin Deficiency Look Like?
A good way to tell if your body is deficient in niacin level is by looking out for the following symptoms:
Key Food Sources of Vitamin B3
There’s a wide variety of foods available when it comes to getting your daily dose of vitamin B3. These include:
- Tuna fish
- Brown rice
- Wheat flakes
- Brewer’s yeast
- Lean red meat
- Dried Grains
- Whole grains
- Dried beans
- Enriched refined grains
11 Impressive Health Benefits of Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 has a number of health benefits, which the human race has discovered slowly over the course of a long time. Here we will be looking at 11 ways incorporating niacin into your daily routine can help you improve your health.
1. Treats Pellagra
People with digestive issues, weak muscles, skin irritability or pellagra may have a serious niacin deficiency. Such people need to incorporate a high dose of niacin supplements into their diet in order to alleviate the symptoms of the condition.
2. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Niacin helps with cholesterol management in your body, which then minimizes the risk of getting a heart disease. Plus, it curbs inflammation and oxidative stress that can prove to be dangerous for the cardiovascular health as they work to harden the arteries and block blood flow. Vitamin B3 is known to expand the blood vessels, thus improving the blood circulation and enhancing the overall functionality of the cardiovascular system.
3. Improves Mental Health
Vitamin B3 supplements are normally used to treat mood disorders, depression, and anxiety. With suffering from depression are normally found to be lacking in niacin. Furthermore, low levels of neurotransmitter serotonin typically lead to depression, and serotonin needs amino acid tryptophan, which is actually produced with the help of niacin.
4. Treats Diabetes
Vitamin B3 is well-known for its capabilities to treat high blood sugar levels and symptoms of diabetes. A majority of diabetics are able to effectively regulate HBA1C levels with the assistance of vitamin B3.
5. May Alleviate Symptoms of Arthritis
One initial study concluded that vitamin B3 helped minimize some symptoms of osteoarthritis, thereby improving the mobility of joints and also reducing the need for NSAIDs. Another study performed on lab rats found that an injection comprising on vitamin B3 minimized inflammation associated with arthritis. Further research is required to make any solid conclusion, but as of yet, there is substantial evidence present.
6. Lowers Levels of Triglycerides
Vitamin B3 is very beneficial for blood fats since it has the ability to lower triglycerides by around 20% to 50%. It does this by halting the action of an enzyme that is involved in the process of triglyceride synthesis. Ultimately, this lowers the production of LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein). Therapeutic doses are required to attain these on triglycerides and cholesterol level.
7. Provides Energy
8. Improves the Function of Skin
Vitamin B3 helps protect skin cells against sun damage, whether it is used orally or applied topically to the skin in the form of lotions. According to the latest research, niacin may also help prevent certain kinds of skin cancer.
9. Helps Treat Impotency
Vitamin B3 helps create sex hormones for people experiencing sexual disorders, such as erectile dysfunction and impotence.
10. Lowers LDL and Increases HDL Cholesterol
Ever since the 1950s, niacin has been used to treat a high level of cholesterol. In fact, the vitamin can decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol by 5% to 20%. However, it is not the primary treatment for a high level of cholesterol owing to its potential side effects. Instead, it is primarily used to regulate cholesterol.
Besides lowering bad cholesterol, vitamin B3 also works to increase “good” HDL cholesterol. It does this by stopping the breakdown of apolipoprotein A1, a protein that assists in the making of HDL. Various studies have shown that vitamin B3 increases levels of HDL cholesterol by 15% to 35%.
11. Regulates Digestion
Niacin helps in the regular functioning of the digestive system, which then leads to a healthy appetite and improved digestion.
Every one of us requires niacin, but a lot of people fail to get enough from their diets alone. If you are experiencing a condition or have a deficiency then your physician may be able to recommend you a supplement. In particular, vitamin B3 supplements may be recommended for people with a high risk of cholesterol and heart disease, but who cannot take statins.
Supplements are prescribed in quantities that are way higher than the amounts found in food sources. Typically, medication doses are measured in grams, rather than milligrams. Keep in mind high amounts of the vitamin can lead to side effects, so make sure you consult with your doctor first.
Ideally, women should aim for a minimum of 15 to 18 milligrams per day, especially those women who are on different types of meds. Even those who once in a while rely on sleeping pills may develop a niacin deficiency.
For men, it is recommended that they go for at least 15 to 19 milligrams every day, whereas children should have at least 9 to 13 milligrams of niacin each day.