also called vitamin B3, is one of the water-soluble vitamins in
the B complex family of vitamins. Like all B complex vitamins,
niacin helps to convert carbohydrates to glucose, which is
burned for energy. It’s a vital nutrient, essential to the body
in creating adrenal hormones; helping the body to detoxify
itself and maintaining muscle tone in the digestive tract.
complex vitamins also are vital in maintaining healthy skin,
hair, nails, eyes, mouth, liver and nervous system. Not enough
niacin leads to a condition called pellagra, with symptoms that
include dry and cracked skin, diarrhea, cankers sores,
indigestion, vomiting and depression. The treatment for
pellagra is a balanced diet and niacin supplements.
symptoms of insufficient niacin, however, are much more subtle
and pernicious. They include frequent bouts of indigestion,
mild depression and fatigue.
specifically helps the body to rid itself of toxic chemicals.
It works in conjunction with other vitamins and minerals to
increase their effectiveness – for instance, it’s known that
niacin can increase the effectiveness of certain medications
given to lower cholesterol.
is essential to maintain proper blood circulation and digestive
functioning. Without enough niacin, the body cannot properly
metabolize proteins or carbohydrates. It helps maintain skin
health, and dilates the blood capillaries (the reason for the
well-known ‘niacin flush’). Niacin also is necessary for the
body to synthesize estrogen, progesterone, cortisone,
testosterone, thyroxin and insulin.
Health Benefits of Niacin:
addition to the essential functions of niacin noted above,
research has shown that niacin is effective in certain health
conditions. Specifically, niacin:
studies reported by the Linus Pauling Institute support the use
of niacin as a cancer preventative. Specifically:
May protect the body from diabetes
been known since 1955 that nicotinic acid reduces the levels of
HDL and lipoproteins in the blood. More recent research shows
randomized controlled trial found that a combination of
nicotinic acid (2 to 3 grams/day) and a cholesterol-lowering
drug (simvastatin) resulted in greater benefits on serum HDL
levels and cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and
stroke, than placebo in patients with coronary artery disease
and low HDL levels.
Coronary Drug Project (CDP) followed over 8,000 men with a
previous myocardial infarction (heart attack) for 6 years. In
the group that took 3 grams of nicotinic acid daily, total blood
cholesterol decreased by an average of 10%, triglycerides
decreased by 26%, recurrent nonfatal myocardial infarction
decreased by 27%, and cerebrovascular events (stroke + transient
ischemic attacks) decreased by 26% compared to the placebo
May slow the progression of HIV
considerable evidence that HIV/AIDS increases susceptibility to
niacin deficiency, but recent research suggests that
supplementation with a form of niacin may slow the progress of
HIV to AIDS.
Side Effects of Niacin
At high doses that are often used for pharmacologic purposes,
niacin may cause a ‘flush’, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea and
possible liver damage. For that reason, it’s highly suggested
that a doctor be consulted before undertaking a regimen of high
doses of niacin.
doses usually recommended for supplementing the diet, niacin has
no harmful side effects.
supplementing with one member of the B complex family may lead
to an imbalance of the others, most health experts recommend
taking niacin as part of a daily multi-vitamin supplement that
is carefully balanced to provide optimal levels of each
vitamin. We recommend
Total Balance, a complete nutritional and
health supplement from
Xtend-Life Natural Products.
combines over 70 vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients in
just the right proportions to work synergistically for total
health and protection from aging and disease. The original
Total Balance was devised six years ago, and has
been constantly upgraded as research shows better ways to
deliver the nutrients to your system and provide the highest
possible degree of bioavailability of every single one.