Feeling energized is a fundamental part of our daily lives, as it is the main component we need to carry out our daily activities.
Niacin is one of the essential vitamins that, among its multiple functions, is dedicated to giving us energy.
You are probably wondering, but what exactly is niacin? What are its other benefits? Where can I get it? In this article we solve your doubts.
Table of Contents
What is niacin?
Niacin is also known as vitamin B3 and the reason why it is essential for the body is that it is responsible for converting food into energy. In addition to this, the need for the nervous and digestive system; It helps us with cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and headaches such as migraines.
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Now, let’s have a look at the 6 Proven Benefits of Niacin for your Health, your Brain, your Skin and more:
1 – Prevention of birth defects
The consumption of niacin supplements during pregnancy is something that has yet to be approved. However, different investigations, including one carried out by The New England in 2017, show that niacin is one of the main vitamins that can prevent malformations in pregnancy.
Despite this, when a woman is breastfeeding, the situation is very different, since adverse effects can occur.
For these reasons, the most important thing is that if you are pregnant or lactating, consult your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
2 – Improves joints health
Niacin is an excellent ally to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints, for these reasons it is very common for doctors to assign it as a treatment for people with arthritis.
3 – It is good for the skin
It is very common that over time, our skin presents some damage caused by sun exposure. Niacin is the vitamin that is used as a topical treatment against redness and inflammation. In addition to this, it helps us to eliminate acne.
4 – Blood pressure
According to different clinical trials, niacin can work as a treatment, on the other hand, there are other studies that show that there are no great changes in patients with hypertension thanks to the consumption of niacin.
Thanks to this information we can conclude that more studies are still needed to verify the efficacy of niacin as a treatment that works, however, the future results are very promising.
5 – Helps fight migraines
Because niacin works as a vitamin that widens intracranial vessels, it can help prevent headaches and migraines. It should be noted that it is still unknown how niacin achieves its therapeutic effects.
6 – May prevent Alzheimer’s
The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry conducted a study showing that dietary niacin may function as a possible protector against Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline caused by aging.
7 – Good for digestion
Because vitamin B3 helps transform carbohydrates and fats into energy, it is considered an excellent option for digestion.
People who suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin may experience digestive problems.
8 – Helps in mental health
Mental health is also related to good nutrition. It is proven that eating habits can help improve the way we feel emotionally.
Niacin deficiency has been shown to be related to certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety and bipolarity.
Several studies show that there may be a reduction in cerebral blood flow in patients with depression.
9 – Helps improve erectile dysfunction
The Journal of Sexual Medicine, conducted a study showing that daily consumption of niacin in a dose of 1500 mg helps improve sexual function with men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
10 – Maintains cholesterol
Different studies have shown that niacin helps us maintain cholesterol percentages at a good level.
Niacin is credited with increasing high-density lipoproteins, in short, it increases healthy cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol.
It is recommended for people with heart deficiencies as it also helps reduce triglycerides between 20 and 50 percent.
Foods that are sources of niacin
- Red meat
- cereals and bread
- Nuts and seeds
The amounts of niacin allowed vary depending on gender and age. For example, the allowed daily dose in men over 19 years of age is 16 mg, in the case of women of this age, it is 14 mg.
For pregnant women it is 18 mg and for those who are lactating it is 17 mg. The maximum level allowed is 35 mg.
Signs of niacin deficiency
It is not common for a person to be deficient in niacin, however when this happens, the body can show different symptoms such as: dark colored rash, depression, headache, fatigue, poor memory and hallucinations.
People who are most at risk of niacin deficiency are generally those who live under a restrictive diet, people from lower social strata and who live in poverty.
In developing countries where maize is usually consumed as the main source of food, there is a risk of developing pellagra. The reason is that these foods have low concentration of niacin.