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Health benefits of vitamin b3 niacin



Vitamin B3 also called niacin or nicotinic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. It is also called vitamin PP (for Pellagra Preventive), or nicotinamide because a deficiency can cause pellagra. The body partly synthesizes it from an essential amino acid, tryptophan, contained in proteins (especially animal proteins), but in small quantities. In addition, the human body can store less amount of Vitamin b3 niacin, which means that food intake is essential to meet needs.

Sources of vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is found mainly in animal proteins, which are rich in tryptophan. Vitamin B3 is found in products of animal origin, liver, white meat, fish, milk, eggs, as well as in other products such as brewer’s yeast, peanuts, sesame, and sunflower seeds, wheat bran, avocado, mushrooms, peas, and whole grains.

Health Benefits:

Treat pellagra 

Rare in developed countries, this potentially fatal disease causes dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. Niacin supplementation puts an end to these disorders.

Fight against hypercholesterolemia 

Taking a high dose of niacin in the form of nicotinic acid (500 mg to 3000 mg per day) is an effective treatment to significantly increase (up to 30%) the level of HDL – good cholesterol – decrease LDL – bad cholesterol – reduce triglyceride levels.

Curb atherosclerosis 

Atherosclerosis is the main cause of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Niacin, combined with statins, can have beneficial impacts on the thickness and elasticity of the arteries. Its beneficial effect could explain the observation of a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular mortality in individuals who consume it.

Improve blood circulation 

Niacin plays an important role in regulating fat and the production of proteins and promotes the transport of oxygen to the tissues. 

 It also has a role in regulating cholesterol, as well as in the formation of red blood cells and the functioning of the nervous system.

Decrease skin irritations 

Vitamin B3, through its functions of oxygenating cells and detoxifying, affects all small vessels, particularly those that irrigate the skin and the scalp. It participates in maintaining the good condition of the skin.

Other benefits:

  • High doses lower the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL = low density) by acting on its transport agents in the body.
  • It plays a preventive role in cardiovascular diseases by increasing the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL = high density).
  • It is used to fight against mental disorders: emotional instability, persecution complex, and feeling of insecurity.
  • It is involved in the digestion process and prevents certain gastrointestinal disorders.
  • It participates in the synthesis of several hormones, in particular the sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, as well as the hormones regulating thyroid and insulin.
  • It functions as a hydrogen carrier in certain redox reactions and carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism.
  • It has a vasodilator action on the arterioles.
  • Like all B vitamins, vitamin B3 plays an important role in energy production.
  • It serves as a precursor to NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate), two coenzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates (during glycolysis), lipids and proteins.

Bottom Line:

A vitamin B3 supplement is recommended for people whose skin is particularly sensitive to sunlight. A cure is recommended before any exposure to the sun. Vitamin B3 is an important nutritional contribution during cardiovascular disorders and / or memory disorders. 


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