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Niacin(Vitamin B3) is a water-soluble vitamin and coenzyme our body use to promote effective functions of the body. It is also known as vitamin B3, and has two chemical structure, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.
Not surprisingly, niacin is not only source from foods but almost half of human requirements is obtained from tryptophan, that is converted to niacin.
Niacin or vitamin B3 participate in many chemical reactions in the body, as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), a coenzyme that facilitate different metabolic reactions(1) .
Furthermore, consuming niacin rich foods, can as well impact positively in DNA as they work as antioxidant – that inhibit oxidative damage in the cells.
Deficiency And Symptoms Of Niacin(Vitamin B3)
Loss of Memory
How Much Do We Need Niacin?
The recommended dietary allowance for men is 16mg and women 14mg per day.
Too much consumption of niacin cause liver damage, blurred visions, excessive sweating, painful flush, and impaired glucose tolerance.
Health Benefits include, reduction of LDL cholesterol, maintain HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent heart diseases, helps manage diabetes, boosting energy, treat pellagra, enhance skin functions, improve mental health, combat arthritis, and prevent memory loss.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Niacin
1. Reduce LDL cholesterol
Niacin has been used as one of those foods that lower cholesterol levels. Specifically, consuming plant-based source of niacin helps lower “bad” cholesterol levels. High cholesterol in the blood stream increase risk of developing heart-related disorder. Expert says that niacin can reduce LDL cholesterol by around 5% to 20%.
2. Improve HDL And Reduce Triglycerides Cholesterol
High density cholesterol (HDL) is known as good cholesterol our body requires for optimum functions of the body. Niacin is very helpful at improving good cholesterol level which is very beneficial. Some research has proven that niacin is active at raising good cholesterol, approximately by 16% to 35%. It also decrease total triglycerides, meaning that excess production of cholesterol will be lowered.
3. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Being one of the vitamin with cholesterol lowering capacity enable it to protect the heart against malfunctioning. Niacin achieve this by stopping oxidative damage and inflammation that are harmful to cardiovascular health. Oxidative stress is triggered by free radicals which cause build up and hardening of arteries that impede proper circulation of blood – leading to cardiac problems.
4. Helps Manage Diabetes
Niacin has been associated to regulations of high blood sugar levels and symptoms related to diabetes. Niacin play a crucial role in the treatment of diabetes as it counteract with toxins which affect insulin-creating cells in the pancreas. Moreover, some study concluded that niacin can help treat type 1 diabetes.
5. Boost Energy
Niacin (Vitamin B3) is a part of coenzyme in form of NAD and NADP which participate in several metabolic reactions. They involved in the conversion of carbohydrate, fat and protein into energy.
6. Enhance Skin Functions
Niacin benefit is not limited to energy metabolism, but as well helps protect the skin cells against dangerous effect of ultraviolet rays. However, tryptophan is an amino acids, commonly known for repair and synthesis of new cells, which ensure skin health. You can take niacin orally or applied in your lotions. Researchers have suggested that vitamin B3 (Niacin) can protect against skin cancer.
7. May Combat Symptoms Of Arthritis
Consumption of vitamin B3 may be helpful in terms of combating symptoms linked to arthritis. Several studies conducted have show a promising effect on arthritis treatment, though more research is needed.
8. Treat Pellagra
Pellagra appears when there is deficiency of niacin. Taking niacin packed foods or supplement helps treat pellagra.
9. Improve Mental Health
Depression, and anxiety are symptoms of niacin deficiency. Adequate consumption of diet enriched with niacin or supplement remains alternative to treat depression and mood. Interestingly, niacin is needed in the production of neurotransmitters serotonin that helps alleviate depression and anxiety.
10. May Prevent Loss Of Memory
Meeting up your recommended daily allowance may helps prevent loss of memory. Loss of memory is one of the signs and symptoms of niacin deficiency.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) as a coenzyme, is very necessary for many bodily functions. However, niacin is obtained from legumes, vegetables, fruit and meats. Adequate intake of niacin helps prevent deficiency of niacin such as diarrhoea, fatigue, and loss of memory.