Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin or nicotinic acid is one of eight (8) B vitamins and is also referred to as B complex vitamins.
Vitamin B3 is a water soluble vitamin which means that the body doesn’t store it, all B vitamins are like that. Consuming it can prevent or treat a number of illnesses although deficiency is rare, it can mostly be found in countries where poverty is more rampant and malnutrition but it is claimed that in the United States the main cause of vitamin B3 deficiency is alcoholism.
Vitamin B3 can be found in foods like fish, salmon, tuna, peanuts, beef liver, sunflower seeds, chicken, cerealn legumes, milk, eggs, avocados, dates, broccoli, carrots, and asparagus.
Vitamin B3 or Niacin as many people may know plays a vital role in the body’s energy as well as the proper function of the nervous and digestive systems.
Niacin came about during the 18th century when a disease characterized by red, rough skin, dementia and diarrhea appeared in Europe. Years later the disease still was a big problem especially in the Southern United States, it was called pellagra. A doctor linked the disease to diets through an experiment done with some children who were suffering from the disease and later concluded that when the children consumed eggs, yeast and lean meat their symptoms disappeared.
Niacin has been known to treat and prevent a number of health conditions like high cholesterol, arthritis, migraines and improve circulation.
There are many symptoms that can indicate that the body lacks niacin, this includes, fatigue, depression, vomiting, burning in the mouth and swollen bright red tongue or even death if left untreated.
Today, pellagra disease is still a concern for doctor’s especially places that can be classified as being poor where people have insufficient intake of the vitamin, consuming sufficient amounts of niacin in the body is a way to better health.
With the correct dosage niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of heart disease as researchers have proven that is good for cholesterol but this vitamin must be taken under the supervision of a health care provider because high doses can cause serious health problems like gastrointestinal issues.
It has also been proven by researchers that the vitamin reduces the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and lowers the risk of heart attack, alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis and diabetes especially type 1.
Niacin is normally taken with food because it decreases the chance of upset stomach one of its main side effects and is available in supplements or the foods mentioned above.