Vitamin B3 Niacin
B complex vitamin benefits are considerable. So it is important to not ignore vitamin B complex benefits.
Tryptophan is converted by the body to Vitamin B3 Niacin so many sources suggest that it is not an essential nutrient if you get enough tryptophan. Organ meats, eggs fish and peanuts are good sources for both.
But B3 is so important in the production of energy, regulating blood sugar, regulating and reducing cholesterol, aiding antioxidants and detoxifying that taking it as part of a general supplement can be very useful.
Niacin in doses over 50 mg can cause skin flushing so niacinamide is often used in its place. Each is a different form of B3.
• water-soluble vitamin
• like B1 and B2 important for food metabolism and release of energy in cell Alt Med
• regulates blood sugar – but diabetics should only use under medical supervision
• vital for oxygen transport in the blood Alt Med
• vital for fatty acid and nucleic acid formation Alt Med
• major constituent of several major coenzymes Alt Med
• aids in detoxification
• deficiency of B3 and tryptophan cause pellagra
• lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides better than drugs Arch Intern Med 1994
• raises HDL (good) cholesterol better than drugs Arch Intern Med 1994
Slow release forms of niacin, that reduce or eliminate flushing of the skin, can cause liver damage. For many niacinamide is a better option.
My Own Experience
Well I sure did find that Niacin caused a lot flushing that brought on lots of "funny" comments during lunch.
But the good news is that when I got away from taking Niacin alone and changed to a much better formulated B3 (niacin and niacinamide mixed form) in a top quality multivitamin, along with Omega 3 supplements my triglycerides were reduced 68.5%. Vitamin B3 and other nutrients in my multivitamins and multi-minerals reduced my LDL (bad) cholesterol by 12% and increased my HDL (good) cholesterol by 33%. Given my personal genetics bequeathed to me my parents and grandparents these are excellent and important results.
As Niacin alone:
• Adults Males 16 mg/day; Females 14 mg/day
• Teens Males 16 mg/day; Females 14 mg/day
• Children 1-4 years 6 mg/day; 4+ years 8 mg/day
Dosage by Supplements
As mixed Niacin and Niacinamide:
• Adults 40 mg/day
• Teens 15 mg/day
• Children as Niacinamide alone: 1-4 years 10 mg/day; 4+ years 20 mg/day
• If you have ulcers, liver disease, gout, or heart rhythm problems take only under direction of an MD
• Slow release forms can cause liver damage
• Doses of 100 mg and higher can cause side effects.
You will find lots more information, including full citations and summaries of studies from medical journals in my book It’s About Health. But you can also continue to surf the 200 free pages of this website for lots of valuable, evidence-based information.
It's About Health
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