What Does Niacin Do?

November 12, 2012

What Does Niacin Do?

Does Niacin which is also known as nicotinic acid and its more common title of vitamin B3 aid a healthy body? The answer is yes, it is crucial in the diets of people.

This vitamin is recognized for its use in prevention of pellagra (a deficiency disease). Pellagra symptoms include diseases of the skin and psychological problems. It is mainly found in undernourished and under-developed areas of the world.

Niacin assists the nervous and digestive systems as well as the skin. Its function is necessary in helping the body to convert particular foods into energy. It can also be used to reduce cholesterol levels. Many doctors have suggested using niacin as a natural remedy in helping to reduce cholesterol levels.

Does niacin have to be taken as a supplement?

No, because niacin is in a variety of foods so people tend to get their recommended daily levels every day. Niacin can be found in beef, dairy, poultry and many vegetables. It is also present in nuts and seeds and particular fungi. It can be bought as a supplement and a slow release version is appearing to be very popular. Before taking any supplements it is best to speak with a doctor to find out if it is suitable. It is recommended when you begin taking niacin it is a very low dose and slowly increased as flushing can occur if excessive doses are taken.

Does niacin have any side effects?

Research recommends that the daily allowance in male adults and adolescent males should be 16mgs of niacin. For females, adolescent females and children under 14 the recommendation is slightly lower. If the body only receives this much niacin then there are no side effects. Otherwise if someone who is healthy took niacin then they would experience redness of the skin all over the body, particularly the face and ears. Itchiness and a feeling of having a hot flush may accompany other symptoms.

There have been reports of people taking high doses of niacin at the one time. If a reaction is experienced Sudafed can be taken to help reduce the symptoms. Before taking niacin people who have diabetes should contact their doctor as it is known that niacin increases the blood sugar levels. Read all instructions before taking niacin and contact the doctor if there are any concerns. Any mineral or vitamin taken in extremely high levels has the power to cause toxic shock and be fatal, as does niacin.

Pellagra does not exist in areas where the food which is bought has the recommended level of niacin in it. People who may be affected tend to suffer from mental illness or are homeless.

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