Niacin, vitamin B3… One of the most essential nutrients for heart health.

What is niacin?

Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods. It is also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3. Niacin is important for many functions in the body, including the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Niacin can also be made in the body from tryptophan. It is an amino acid found in foods that contain protein.

Although niacin is found in many foods, it is also available as a dietary supplement. Some people take niacin supplements to treat or prevent a deficiency, but taking high doses of niacin supplements can cause serious side effects. Therefore, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement. So what is niacin used for, what are the effects of niacin on the body, and how can it affect your health? In this article, you will learn more about this vitamin with huge benefits.

What is the role of niacin?

  1. Improves cholesterol levels:

Niacin has been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. It can help lower high cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease. Several studies have shown that niacin can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). It can also lower triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat that can clog arteries and cause heart disease.

  1. May reduce the risk of heart disease:

In addition to helping to balance cholesterol and triglycerides, vitamin B3 has other benefits for heart health. In particular, the ability to reduce atherosclerosis, which is a dangerous hardening of the arteries that can lead to coronary heart disease.

In people who have ever had any type of heart disease, vitamin B3 can help reduce the risk of recurrence by reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein in the blood. It is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. In a 24-week study, men with high lipoprotein levels had lower lipoprotein(a) levels when treated with high-dose extended-release niacin.

  1. Regulates blood sugar levels:

One of the biggest benefits of niacin is its ability to balance blood sugar levels and help control diabetes symptoms. In fact, vitamin B3 in the form of niacinamide is thought to be beneficial for diabetes. It improves the function of beta cells, which are responsible for insulin production.

Not only can diabetics use vitamin B3 effectively to control their blood sugar levels, but niacin can also reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. Two phenomena often observed in people with diabetes.

  1. Supports brain function:

Studies have shown that vitamin B3 has a positive effect on brain health and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related brain disorders and cognitive decline.

Niacin or niacinamide is also used to treat and prevent schizophrenia and hallucinations. In addition, some studies and case reports have revealed therapeutic effects of niacin on depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric disorders.

Supplements and Dosage.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin B3, niacin, is as follows:

  • Children: 2 to 16 milligrams per day, depending on age.
  • Men: 16 milligrams per day.
  • Women: 14 milligrams per day.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 17-18 milligrams per day.

It should be noted that the ideal dose of niacin depends on the type of use, age, weight, gender and specific needs. For example, when niacin is prescribed for cholesterol control, high doses of two to three grams or more are often used. Although people who simply want to improve their health need lower doses.

When using a niacin supplement, it is usually recommended to take them in the middle of a meal, so food can help slow its absorption and prevent niacin side effects such as stomach problems.

What causes vitamin B3 deficiency?

Vitamin B3 deficiency is quite rare, but it can occur if a person does not eat enough food. Including meat, fish, nuts and seeds. Or if his body is unable to absorb niacin properly. Symptoms of vitamin B3 deficiency include fatigue, indigestion and skin problems.

In severe cases, vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to pellagra, a condition characterized by inflammation and skin lesions. Treatment for vitamin B3 deficiency includes taking supplements or eating foods rich in niacin. With treatment, most people can improve their symptoms and avoid complications.

* Presse Santé aims to communicate health information in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT SHOULD THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

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