So what is Niacin and what are the Benefits of Niacin?
There are many benefits associated with niacin due to the function of niacin with the body. Fortunately, for those that may be deficient in niacin, liquid niacin supplements are readily available in most countries.
Niacin is one of the B Vitamins we’re always hearing about, B3 to be exact. It is water-soluble and comes in the forms niacin, niacinamide and inositol hexanicotinate. The function of niacin is different for various forms of B3 and serve different purposes. Being deficient in Niacin is very rare for people living in developed countries. Most people in the United States receive adequate amounts of Niacin through diet alone. Niacin is found in a variety of foods, including chicken, eggs, avocados, sweet potatoes, legumes, and mushrooms.
One of the main functions of liquid Niacin is to help your body convert food into energy. B complex vitamins, of which Niacin is a part, are also used in a variety of other ways in your body. Some of the benefits of niacin and from B vitamins are your hair, skin, digestive and nervous systems. Niacin is also helpful in combating the symptoms of pellagra, which someone generally develops when they are deficient in Niacin. While it is rare for someone to have niacin deficiency, alcoholism is the chief reason someone in the United States would have this deficiency, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
One of the benefits of niacin can be found regarding a person's HDL levels. Doctors have used higher than normal amounts of liquid niacin in the treatment of a few different conditions, including high cholesterol. Niacin, and not its other forms, has proven effective in helping to raise a person’s HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels. This “good” cholesterol helps your body get rid of the LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad” cholesterol, in your bloodstream. While it would be easy to assume lowering your LDL levels would be more important, studies have shown that it’s equally as important for you to raise your HDL levels.
According to Mayoclinic.com, having low levels of HDL “is a risk factor for developing heart disease. That means even if your LDL and other risk factors are normal, having a low HDL level still increases your risk of heart disease.” Also according to Mayoclinic.com, Niacin has been shown to increase a person’s HDL levels by 15 to 35%, which makes it “the most effective drug available for raising HDL cholesterol.”
Something you should be aware of when taking additional liquid Niacin and weighing the benefits of niacin, is the possibility of developing a niacin flush. This is when your skin can become warm and itchy, mostly in the face and chest area. Your skin can also become red and splotchy with a niacin flush. While this reaction may be scary if you don’t know what it is, it is not dangerous. A few other side effects of taking too much Niacin, according to Mayoclinic.com are: abdominal paid, upset stomach, diarrhea and a rapid heartbeat. Taking too much niacin over an extended period of time can even cause severe liver damage. Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about any vitamins or supplements you may be taking.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Niacin
(As found on the US National Library of Medicine website):
0 - 6 months: 2* milligrams per day (mg/day)
7 - 12 months: 4* mg/day
*Adequate Intake (AI)
1 - 3 years: 6 mg/day
4 - 8 years: 8 mg/day
9 - 13 years: 12 mg/day
Adolescents and Adults
Males age 14 and older: 16 mg/day
Females age 14 and older: 14 mg/day
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