Health Benefits of Vitamin B3 / Niacin
Vitamin B3 niacin offers an important treatment option to reduce dangerously high cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with mixed dyslipidemia. Mixed dyslipidemia refers to an elevation of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, or both.
Studies have shown that supplementing with niacin provides significant benefits to individuals at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or other forms of heart disease. These individuals often have high levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind), low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind), and elevated triglycerides.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that vitamin B3 niacin can effectively increase levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides, comparable to certain prescription drugs when administered in high doses.
Additionally, niacin aids in reducing bad LDL cholesterol and is commonly prescribed in combination with statins like Crestor, Lescol, or Lipitor for cholesterol control.
2. Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Vitamin B3 niacin not only helps balance cholesterol levels and triglycerides but also provides additional benefits for heart health. It has the ability to reduce atherosclerosis, the dangerous hardening of arteries that can lead to heart disease.
Niacin actively contributes to reducing inflammation and promoting the production of histamine, a compound that dilates blood vessels and improves circulation.
For individuals who have previously experienced cardiac arrest or heart disease, including a prior heart attack, vitamin B3 niacin can lower the risk of a recurrence. Moreover, niacin is an FDA-approved treatment for pellagra, a rare condition caused by niacin deficiency.
3. Can Help Treat Diabetes
Vitamin B3 niacin can aid in treating diabetes by balancing blood sugar levels. It is believed that niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, enhances the effectiveness of certain oral drug treatments used to control diabetes.
With the assistance of niacin, most diabetic patients can effectively manage blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of high blood cholesterol and associated heart disease, frequently observed in diabetes patients.
In the treatment of diabetic patients, reducing LDL cholesterol levels, commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is a primary objective, and niacin has proven to be an effective approach.
Niacin or niacinamide effectively treats severe acne, known as inflammatory acne vulgaris, reducing inflammation and pain.
Doctors prescribe niacinamide for topical application to achieve healthy skin and clear acne.
Additionally, some individuals opt for niacin or B vitamin complex supplements to alleviate symptoms.
Moreover, niacin’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce skin inflammation, flare-ups, irritation, and redness.
Furthermore, niacin is used to treat bullous pemphigoid and granuloma annulare, skin conditions characterized by painful blistering caused by inflammation.
5. Supports Proper Brain Function
Vitamin B3 niacin, according to studies, guards against Alzheimer’s Disease and cognitive decline in age-related brain disorders.
Moreover, niacin has been linked to reduced risks of various brain function issues like memory loss, migraines, and depression.
Furthermore, niacin or niacinamide treats and prevents schizophrenia, hallucinations, and even ADHD, as shown by studies.
Additionally, increased niacin intake correlates with lower risks of insomnia, motion sickness, and alcohol dependence.
6. Helps with Joint Mobility and to Treat Arthritis
Some research shows that Vitamin B3 in the form of niacinamide can be effective in increasing joint mobility. Studies correlate niacin intake with lower levels of joint pain, enhanced muscle strength, and fewer symptoms associated with muscle or joint fatigue.
Prescribed high doses of niacinamide has been seen in studies to improve flexibility and reduce swelling, allowing some people who take niacinamide to be able to cut down on standard painkillers or medications for arthritis.
As a treatment for osteoarthritis or bone and joint pain, niacin is normally prescribed in high doses for its anti-inflammatory effects. Reducing inflammation helps to lower the occurrence of symptoms of arthritis and to rebuild the joint cartilage that is crucial to mobility and strength.
7. Treats Pellagra, a Disease Caused by Low B Vitamin Levels
A vitamin B3 niacin deficiency is attributed to causing the disease called pellagra, which is usually seen in poverty stricken areas or in those with alcoholism. Pellagra symptoms include weak muscles, digestive problems, and skin inflammation and irritation.
People who pellagra usually have very low levels of niacin and other B vitamins, which contribute to the disease, but other causes include problems with protein metabolism and the inability to convert certain amino acids. When vitamin B3 levels are not restored, someone with pellagra can die within several years due to the deficiency.
Nicotinic acid deficiency results most often from malnutrition as well as with chronic alcoholism. Niacin is given to patients in third world countries who experience poverty and malnutrition, as well as those who are battling symptoms of alcoholism including nervousness, irritability, insomnia, and loss of consciousness.
The common treatment for pellagra is to prescribe high levels of the type of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide, which has the same vitamin function as niacin but is slightly different in terms of absorption and side effects.
8. Can Help Prevent Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction)
Impotence, also called erectile dysfunction, is the inability for a man to sustain an erection. This can interfere with the ability to have satisfying sexual intercourse and may be partially due to low blood flow and bad circulation, in addition to other factors like stress, fatigue, and illness.
Supplementing with Vitamin B3 niacin can help decrease impotence because niacin acts as a vasodilator that helps improve blood flow to the genital region. As a natural remedy, I recommend supplementing with Vitamin B3 niacin (250 mg) 3 times per day.
9. Can Help Prevent Birth Defects
Vitamin B3 has been shown to assist with preventing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) defects. NAD molecules are crucial for energy storage and DNA synthesis in cells, so increasing B3 levels in pregnant women could lower birth defect rates overall.
A 2017 article published highlighted that the disruption of NAD molecule creation caused malformations in both humans and mice. Additionally, vitamin B3 supplementation during pregnancy prevented malformations in mice.
Despite the findings in the study, more human studies are required before vitamin B3/niacin is prescribed by doctors. “Researchers need to learn more about how pregnancy influences NAD levels in general, and what a healthy level is.”