Niacin: Why Take B3?
Why Take Vitamin B3?
Vitamin B3 (niacin), like all the recognized vitamins, is essential for optimal functioning of your body. Vitamin B3 is one of the eight water soluble B vitamins, known collectively as Vitamin B Complex. Some of the components of the B Vitamin Complex assist your body in converting carbohydrates into glucose or sugar, which is burned up producing your energy. Using your energy in activity then helps your body to break down protein and fat.
Some other B vitamins have an important role in maintaining muscle tone, particularly in your digestive tract, together with ensuring the health of your skin, nervous system, eyes, hair, and mouth. In addition they assist in the prevention of a variety of diseases.
B3 niacin has a particularly important role in that it assists in ridding the body of harmful or toxic chemicals. It also helps the body produce, within the adrenal glands, several different sex and stress related hormones. B3 niacin also has very beneficial effects on improving circulation, as it can assist in the reduction of high cholesterol levels.
Because of this latter ability, injections of relatively high doses of B3 niacin are sometimes given under medical supervision as treatment for high cholesterol problems. This is because vitamin B3 is capable of reducing high levels of LDL in the blood.
A more recent development has seen the use of niacin in skin care products - providing treatment for acne and also some protection from skin cancers. A wider use of niacin in this role is also being seen in the extensive production of anti-aging skin care products.
Because they are water soluble, the B vitamins are excreted regularly from your body through urine. This means that you need to replenish your B vitamins daily. Although all the B vitamins occur in our food, the regular diet of many people does not provide them with the amount of these vitamins necessary for their body to function properly.
The most common natural dietary sources of vitamin B3 niacin are found in most meats, including chicken and in fish, particularly salmon and tuna. By consuming sufficient amounts of those foods, most people will meet their average daily requirements.
If your diet is unable to provide adequate levels of B3 niacin, it is possible to supplement your intake by taking tablet supplements, under supervision from your health care professional.
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Related Reading: Vitamin B and Your Health. Also see NMN Surge, Niatain, NADH, and Niagen - a form of B3 shown to help maintain levels of NAD.