Taking Note of Niacin - The Importance of Vitamin B3

There are numerous nutrients that the body needs to function properly. In most cases, people acquire their vitamins and minerals through their diet. Multiple nutrients including the B complex of vitamins must be acquired via external sources. Because the B vitamins are not stored in the body, due to their water-soluble nature, one must be vigilant in eating nutrient-rich foods or appropriately supplementing to maintain healthy levels. Although the members of the B vitamin family have general traits, such as influencing metabolism and converting food to energy, the individual vitamins have unique characteristics and provide certain benefits.

Niacin, or vitamin B3, can improve daily health and act as a preventative measure against many impactful ailments such as heart conditions and neurodegenerative disease. Being well acquainted with the powerful nutrient known as niacin may convince one to pursue B3 supplementation.

Niacin Basics

Niacin, like the other B vitamins, influences metabolism and energy production. B3 has an impact on this process because it is a prominent portion of two coenzymes, NAD and NADP, which support cellular metabolism. Depending on the desired effect, doctors may prescribe one of the three different forms of niacin; nicotinic acid, Niacinamide and Inositol Hexanicinate. In addition to metabolic impact, niacin influences other important areas of the body.

Diabetes

Studies have shown that supplementation with niacin can assist in diabetes prevention and treatment. This is possible because vitamin B3 plays an important role in blood sugar regulation and balance. Furthermore, some oral drugs commonly used in treating diabetes have proven to be more effective when taken with niacin (specifically niacinamide). A 2004 study found that niacin promoted better blood glucose control and greater optimization in diabetic patients. Additionally, diabetic participants showed reduced risk of high blood cholesterol and heart disease.

Although there are benefits associated with treating diabetes with niacin, it is important to supplement safely. Improper and excessive use of B3 can increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, if one is at risk of blood sugar imbalance and increased blood glucose levels, it is best to speak with a trusted physician before beginning niacin treatment or supplementation.

Cholesterol and Heart Health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in America and prevention has proven to be one of the most effective methods of combatting it. Increased cholesterol levels are closely associated with increased risk of heart disease. Because niacin plays an important role in cholesterol regulation and balance, proper treatment with this vitamin can improve one’s heart function. Nicotinic acid, one of the three forms of niacin, is most associated with cardiovascular health because it has the most influence on LDL or “bad” cholesterol, HDL also known as “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Research has shown that niacin facilitates significant improvement among patients who are at greater risk of experiencing heart attack, stroke, and other heart related conditions. These issues are frequently the result of unhealthy balance of LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. Niacin is an effective treatment for these associated conditions because it promotes an increase of HDL cholesterol while simultaneously reducing LDL.

Vitamin B3 also supports heart health by combatting other conditions such as dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries that can result in heart disease). Furthermore, this powerful heart health nutrient also reduces inflammation and increases production of histamine, which promotes blood vessel dilation and improved circulation.

Brain Function

The physical impact of niacin can be seen in its impact on diabetes and heart disease. Impressively, B3 also positively influences neurological function and may reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, general memory loss, cataracts, migraines, and conditions that inhibit learning such as ADHD.

Studies have shown that the occurrence of multiple age-related brain diseases may be reduced with the regular intake of niacin. Appropriate supplementation with niacin has been shown to reduce the risk of memory loss, chronic brain syndrome, depression, motion sickness, insomnia, and even alcohol dependency. These conditions usually develop over long periods and niacin can slow its progress even further.

Sexual Performance

Inhibited male performance, erectile dysfunction, or impotence can cause a great deal of frustration and in some cases mood disorders. Impotence can be caused by reduced blood flow and poor circulation. As noted above, niacin can improve blood flow by promoting healthy blood vessel dilation. Additionally, niacin is classified as a vasodilator, which improves blood flow particularly in the genital region. Increasing one’s intake of niacin at a healthy level may improve or restore one’s sexual ability and performance.

Optimizing Niacin

Improving one’s niacin levels or resolving a deficit can improve one’s quality of life and perhaps even increase one’s longevity. High quality supplements provide an effective method to support greater wellness by filling in nutritional gaps and combatting numerous conditions. SR Niacin, produced by HoltraCeuticals, is an exceptional supplement that provides a healthy dose of niacin to support cholesterol regulation, brain health, and other bodily functions. High doses of niacin can cause a “niacin flush” leading to symptoms of general warmth, itching, redness of the skin, and tingly sensations beneath the skin. The slow release design of SR Niacin helps combat this occurrence so it can more effectively support one’s health.

Cautions and Concerns

As with any supplement, it is important to be aware of possible negative interactions or side effects that may accompany it. Having excessive levels of niacin from one’s diet alone is uncommon. However, taking inappropriately high levels of niacin, whether it be from medications or supplements, can result in unwanted side effect. The most common side effects associated with overabundance of niacin include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Poor blood sugar balance
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irregular heartbeat

Niacin should be taken with appropriate precautions and care. It may be beneficial to speak with a physician to gain a better understanding regarding dosage and appropriate intake methods.

Utilizing B3 Benefits

Not only can optimizing niacin levels resolve deficiency but it can also improve bodily function in the areas of blood glucose regulation, heart health, preventing neurodegenerative disease, and improved sexual function. Supplementation with a niacin product such as SR Niacin can be just the health boost needed to improve longevity and everyday wellness.

1. https://draxe.com/niacin-side-effects/

2. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/health-news-and-opinion/niacin-benefits-types

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