Vitamin B3 (Niacin) The Feel-Good Vitamin

Introduction

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in energy metabolism and the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is also important for maintaining healthy skin and digestive health. Niacin can be found in a variety of foods and is available as a supplement.

Benefits

Vitamin B3 offers numerous health benefits, including:

Supporting energy production by helping convert food into energy.

Promoting healthy skin and reducing the risk of skin conditions.

Improving cholesterol levels by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Supporting brain function and potentially reducing the risk of neurological diseases.

Aiding in digestion and maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

Recommended Daily Allowance

Men:                17 mg

Women:          13 mg

 

Food Sources

Vitamin B3 is found in a variety of foods including:

Meat (chicken, turkey, beef)

Fish (tuna, salmon)

Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread)

Legumes (beans, lentils)

Nuts and seeds

Symptoms of Deficiency

Vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to a condition known as pellagra, characterized by:

Dermatitis (skin inflammation)

Diarrhoea

Dementia

Fatigue and weakness

Digestive issues

Symptoms of Excess

Excessive intake of Vitamin B3, usually from supplements, can cause side effects, such as:

Flushing (redness and warmth in the face and neck)

Nausea and vomiting

Liver damage (with very high doses)

Increased blood sugar levels