AKA Niacinamide, Nicotinamide or Nicotinic Acid Amide, more commonly known as a form of vitamin B3, is a member of the vitamin B group, water soluble, and has many health and beauty benefits. Another form of Niacinamide is Niacin, which was first noted by Hugo Weidel in 1873 during his study of nicotine. Originally extracted from livers by Conrad Elvehjem who identified this active ingredient, studies show that niacin in its various forms (see: niacin, niacinamide, etc.) hold countless benefits to physical health, medicinal benefits, beauty benefits, and dietary needs for all. Once the biological advantages were realized, many thought to change the name to separate it from nicotine as they did not want it to be confused with or associated with the nicotine in cigarettes, for anyone to think vitamins existed in cigarettes or that vitamins or niacin-containing foods had nicotine in them. The name niacin was formed out of the terms nicotinic acid and vitamin.
Niacin and other forms of Vitamin B3 can assist in a variety of health conditions, illnesses and improve overall general health and well being. Niacin can assist with controlling High Cholesterol, helps Smokers break the habit, Depression, reverse advancement of Atherosclerosis, Nervous System health, Mood Stability, Bipolar and other mental conditions. There is also evidence that shows niacin can prevent the progression of Type I Diabetes by stimulating insulin production and secretion. Niacin has been shown to help sufferers of Insomnia with sleep, prevent or treat Headaches and Migraines, assist with Arthritis, improve Joint Motion, treats High Blood Pressure, raises Metabolism, Balances Cholesterol levels between the good HDL and the bad LDL, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Osteoarthritis, Reduce Cataract Risks, Useful for Burn Treatments, Skin Conditions and Alcoholism. Some studies show that since niacin improves and promotes a healthy metabolism, it may also assist in Weight Loss as it metabolizes fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Although the most beneficial way to get the positive effects of niacin is to consume foods already containing this vitamin, it is also possible to take a complex vitamin B group supplement or simply take a Niacin (Vitamin B3) supplement if you find you are deficient.
Essential for maintaining healthy, youthful and glowing skin and normal blood circulation, niacin shows anti-aging benefits, assists with moisturizing the skin’s outer layer, smoothes skin texture and fine lines. This vitamin is also known to aid those with dermatitis who experience dry, irritated skin and inflammation. Niacin makes for a great ingredient for those with dry, aging and mature skin types. Also known to help lighten skin, niacin can be useful in helping with pigmentation problems on the face and body. Those who suffer from acne, chronic skin inflammation or rosacea may benefit from niacin as it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. As well as anti-inflammatory, niacin may also assist in preventing and treating sun damage caused by UV rays. The vitamin also prevents premature aging, improves the skin’s elasticity and rejuvenates the overall condition of the skin.
The recommended daily dose per person:
- 2-12 Mg/Day for Children
- 14 Mg/Day for Women
- 16 Mg/Day Men
- 18 Mg/Day for Women (Pregnant or Breast-Feeding)
Food Containing Niacin
- Whole Grain Products (All except Maize/Corn)
- Leafy Vegetables
Pellagra: Pellagra most often occurs in under developed countries also known as third world countries where malnutrition and poverty are evident. It has also been seen with chronic alcoholism and has been shown to occur in areas where maize or corn is a staple food. Low niacin levels have proven to slow metabolism and lower immunity levels. Extreme cases of the Pellagra disease shows symptoms such as diarrhea, dermatitis, hyperpigmentation, inflammation of the mouth, dementia, delirium and can even be fatal if not treated. Mental symptoms of this deficiency often include fatigue, appetite loss, skin infections, lack of concentration, anxiety, irritability and depression. Alcoholics who fall ill with this disease show niacin deficiency as an important influence in the initial effects and severity or this condition. Oral niacin is used to treat this condition in increments of 40-200Mg and usually sustain good results if detection and treatment is issued early enough.
Side Effects Due Toxicity & Overdose
Side effects of niacin include itchiness of the skin, peptic ulcers, liver damage, low blood pressure, skin rashes and headaches. Some side effects may be prevented by getting niacin benefits from food sources rather than supplements. Those considering taking a niacin/vitamin B3 supplement should consult their doctor before doing so to ensure that it is the correct health decision for them.