Top 5 Health Benefits of Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is one of the eight vitamins in group B and it is more commonly known as niacin or nicotinic acid. All the B group vitamins most commonly known as B complex vitamins, are water-soluble and help to convert the carbohydrates consumed into glucose and which the body utilizes as an energy source. Niacin is known to lower cholesterol levels and treat vascular and respiratory disorders. It is also water-soluble and hence our body does not store it but excretes the excess amount of the vitamin, when required.
We usually get the required niacin through food and our body makes the same from amino acid tryptophan. So how much niacin do we need? Well, each and everyone needs a certain amount of niacin, depending on one’s age and gender. Men require around 16mg/day and women need about 14 mg/day. There are numerous health benefits of niacin and a few of them are mentioned below:
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Niacin is known to reduce cholesterol levels since ancient days. However, due to side effects, niacin is used for lowering cholesterol only in patients who cannot tolerate statins.
Improves Brain Function
Research shows that certain kinds of schizophrenia can be treated with niacin, as it helps to treat the damage caused to the brain cells due to niacin deficiency.
Improves Skin Conditions
Niacin is known to protect skin from sun damage. Recent studies have also suggested that niacin might be helpful in preventing certain kinds of skin cancers.
Niacin or vitamin B3 is known to assist in normal functioning of the digestive system.
Combats Cardiovascular Diseases
As this vitamin helps to reduce cholesterol levels, it helps manage and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is also known to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which are also causes of cardiovascular diseases.
Rich Foods There are numerous foods that have a good amount of niacin and which should be included in our diet. A few of these foods include, meat, chicken, fish, legumes, cereals, and bread.
Niacin supplements can be utilised when required. However, as they are associated with some side effects (one of the most common ones being niacin flush), it is always better to take them only in certain health conditions under the guidance of a healthcare professional.