Niacin is a water-soluble B-vitamin. It helps our body convert food into energy and is vital for proper blood circulation and digestive functioning. Niacin is also involved in DNA repair and has been found to increase the production of several hormones within the adrenal gland.
The name “Niacin” was derived from the phrase “nicotinic acid + vitamin.” It actually refers to a family of organic compounds that all possess the same biochemical activity. Other names for Niacin include Vitamin B3, Vitamin PP, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.
Benefits of Niacin:
- Niacin is most commonly used to regulate cholesterol levels and enhance metabolism.
- At certain dosages, Niacin has been proven to reverse atherosclerosis by reducing total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density protein (LDL) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels while increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations within the body.
- Because it stimulates the secretion of insulin, Niacin has also been found to be beneficial in customers with diabetes when prescribed in low doses.
Niacin is found in variety of foods including liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes. It is also synthesized from Tryptophan, an amino acid found in meat, fish, yogurt, nuts and eggs.
Although Niacin deficiency (“pellagra”) is rare in most industrialized nations, it can be very dangerous. Symptoms include dementia, vomiting, severe dermatitis, insomnia, tender gums, inflamed mucous membranes and general apathy or fatigue.