What is Niacin? Niacin or Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in many animals and plants. It is also added as a vitamin supplement to many foods. Niacin is vital to the human diet, as it is water soluble excess is excreted thru our urine, therefor it needs to be consumed frequently. Along with vitamin supplements foods high in niacin are fish, meats, diary products, and grains.
Niacin supplements are commonly used to prevent deficiencies in natural niacin within your body, as well as lower cholesterol and triglycerides inside the bloodstream. Additionally it is used to lessen the chance of cardiac arrest in people who have high cholesterol levels and who already have had a heart attack.
In a number of controlled studies Niacin has been found to increase the good cholesterol or HDL levels in the blood as well as decrease the risk of cardiac incidents. In a recent trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health the extended-release form of niacin along with statins did not reduce the incidence of heart attack. Therefore the debate continues over niacin’s role in treating cholesterol and cardiovascular risks.
Niacin is also an essential vitamin that helps digestion, the central nervous system, and also the skin. A shortage of niacin in your daily diet can lead to pellagra, a terrible disease which may result in skin complications and dementia. In comparison an overabundance of niacin may also bring about medical problems, so extra supplemental niacin must only be used under medical guidance.
Per the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board the RDA of Niacin / Vitamin B3 is as follows:
Ages 0 – 6 months – 2 mg daily
Ages 7 – 12 months – 4 mg daily
Ages 1 – 3 years – 6 mg daily
Ages 4 – 8 years – 8 mg daily
Ages 9 – 13 years – 12 mg daily
Boys and men aged at least 14 years – 16 mg daily
Girls and women aged at least 14 years – 14 mg daily
Pregnant or breast-feeding females should check with their doctor as they may require more. If you consume a well balanced diet you will most likely take in enough niacin according to nutrition experts and dieticians.
Bear in mind the fact that active ingredients, side effects and formulations of niacin vary therefore talk with your physician if you’re planning on using any medications including niacin to protect yourself from any sort of dangerous side effects.
At benefitsofniacin.net we look to many sources for further information about niacin and other vitamins. Below are some other websites you may want to visit to further your knowledge of the benefits and other effects of niacin:
American Medical Association Topics Page - USATODAY.com
BBC Scotland - Island Blogging - NiconColl
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