Herbal Supplements
Niacin and its Medical Uses

Niacin (or Vitamin B3) is a medium between the nutrition and the production of body energy. Its major function is transformation of carbohydrates into sugars and thus “fueling” the human body. High doses of niacin are also prescribed in medication forms for a variety of medicinal conditions associated with the vitamin's insufficiency.

Pellagra. This condition is specifically associated with the severe insufficiency of niacin. Pellagra develops as the result of tryptophan (the chemical niacin is derived from) not being received by body in proper amounts. Pellagra is characterized by diarrhea, dementia and damaged skin – dry, cracked, and irritated. Treatment options include the increased consumption of foods high in proteins (like whole grains, fish, beef and dairy) and the prescribed Vitamin B3 medicinal supplements.

High Cholesterol. Niacin affects “bad” cholesterol levels by lowering them, and at the same time increases “good” cholesterol levels in blood. In this way it is efficient in atherosclerosis prevention and the consequent vascular diseases and heart conditions. Some clinical researches prove niacin effectiveness to be similar to those of the most common heart medications. Combined with other cholesterol-decreasing drugs, niacin shows the best results in preventing the related conditions.

Diabetes. Studies on the niacin effects for patients with diabetes are contraversial. On the one hand, it decreases cholesterol levels and hemoglobin levels (in study group with 3000 mg daily intake), and on the other hand, it may raise blood sugar (as observed in some study groups). So the best option here to be well supervised by the health care provider while choosing Vitamin B3 for diabetes treatment.

Arthritis. Vitamin B3 supplements are often prescribed to easen the symptoms associated with arthritis and inflammed joints. They also stimulate cartilage repai, especially in older people and can be safely used with NSAIDS.

Skin conditions. As a part of topical applications, niacin is helpful for rosacea, acne, dry skin, and wrinkles. More studies need to prove these dermatological effects though. Some studies, nevertheless, suggest that Vitamin B3 has a potential to prevent skin cancer. Also, people who have serious burns need to include food rich in Vitamin B3 in their diet. The burnt skin is known to loose a high amount of its micronutriens, so they should be compensated for a proper healing.

The vitamins of B group are also essential for a strong vision (help preventing cataracts), healthy liver and strong hair and nails.

Niacin supplements may affect liver function if used in high doses, so regular checks must be considered.

Average daily dose of niacin is 16-18 mg for adults with the maximum amount of 35 mg, although some treatment for niacin defficiency conditions (i.e. pellagra, macular degeneration) allow up to 500 mg of the supplement per dose. The average daily niacin dose for infants is 2-3 mg, for children to 3 years - 6 mg, 4 to 8 y.o. - 8 mg, and 16 mg for children up to 18 y.o.

The most usual side effect of high dose niacin intake is skin flushing, redness and burning of facial skin. It can be avoided if you take aspirin half an hour prior to niacin. Stomach ulcers, indigestion and liver damage are the consequences of high doses of supplement consumed during the long term. Also, have health care provider supervising niacin medication in case of the history of gallbladder disease and diabetes - elevated shugar is a common side effect of niacin intake. Moreover, to avoid imbalance of B vitamins in the body, niacin should be taken with other vitamins in this group.

Consult you health care provider about possible interactions of Vitamin B3 with aspirin, antibiotics, blood-pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications.

 

Niacin (or Vitamin B3) is a medium between the nutrition and the production of body energy. Its major function is transformation of carbohydrates into sugars and thus “fueling” the human body. High doses of niacin are also prescribed in medication forms for a variety of medicinal conditions associated with the vitamin's insufficiency.

About Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

What it isWhat it is? Third in the B Vitamins group, niacin (Vitamin B3) was discovered in 1873 as a chemical produced from the nicotine oxidation ...

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About Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

What it isWhat it is? Third in the B Vitamins group, niacin (Vitamin B3) was discovered in 1873 as ...

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