Get food with niacin!
What is Niacin?
Vitamin B3 is also called Niacin. Niacin is also called nicotinic acid, niacinamide, or nicotinic acid. It is a vitamin that can be manufactured by the body and is derived from the two mentioned compounds. It is required for many bodily functions including the following:
- Cell respiration
- Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- Healthy skin
- Release of energy
- Normal secretion of bile
What happens when you have a Niacin deficiency? What are the side effects of niacin?
- It could cause pellagra (dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia).
- You could experience depression, dizziness, headaches, or insomnia.
- You may experience indigestion.
- Loss of appetite could constitute a Niacin deficiency.
- People deficient in Niacin can experience inflammation of the skin.
- Niacin deficiency can cause low blood sugar
- People with low Niacin intake may experience limb pains.
To avoid this, the average person needs 13-18 mg of niacin a day. However, when taking a niacin supplement, 100 mg is the standard dosage. If you consume a lot of alcohol or do not incorporate much protein into your diet, you might benefit from supplementation.
Is there a toxicity risk with Niacin?
Yes and no. Nicotinic acid (not nicotinamide) can become problematic in doses of more than 200 mg. It can cause your blood pressure to drop because it actually dilates your blood vessels. The good news is that these are usually harmless episodes. However, excessively large doses can cause itching, elevated blood sugar, ulcers, and liver damage.
People with diabetes or liver problems should avoid taking niacin supplements without first consulting their doctors. The effects could be damaging.
How can I reap the benefits of Niacin?
- Incorporate Niacin into your daily diet when possible.
- Food such as liver, lean meat, nuts, cereals, seeds, and green leafy vegetables are all good sources of Niacin.
- Even your daily cup of coffee has 3 mg of niacin.
- Add a multi-vitamin to your daily diet, fulfilling the RDA for niacin.
- If you aren't sure if you are incorporating enough food with niacin into your diet, don't be afraid to ask your doctor.
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