Niacin (Vitamin B3) is a water soluble vitamin which has a wide rage of uses in the body. Niacin can:
- Aid functions in the digestive system, skin, and nervous system
- Help the body break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy
- Improve gland and liver function – Niacin has a role in producing certain hormones in the adrenal glands and helps remove harmful chemicals from the liver.
- Be used for treating migraine headaches, circulation problems, and dizziness. It is also used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. The Mayo Clinic reported that the Niacin can raise HDL (good) cholesterol by more than 30%
- Improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risks. Niacin can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides as well or better than some prescription drugs. Niacin also can modestly lower bad LDL cholesterol
- Reduce Atherosclerosis and help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Niacin Flushing – What is it?
Niacin can have a side-effect known as the “Niacin Flush.” The skin becomes red and warm and it is often accompanied by a burning sensation and occasionally some itching. It may feel as though you have a sunburn. Other than maybe some discomfort, the flushing is harmless and usually subsides within 1 – 2 hours. Symptoms are most intense after the first dose and typically diminish over days or weeks of consistent use of Niacin.
A Niacin Flush is experienced by almost everybody and though it might feel like an allergy, it is not a true allergic reaction.
How to Avoid the Flush
To help avoid the flush or lessen the symptoms it is recommended to take it with food and to drink extra water. Your body will eventually grow a tolerance if you take Niacin consistently over time.
Bradford, By Alina. “Niacin (Vitamin B3): Benefits & Side Effects.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 12 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <http://www.livescience.com/51825-niacin-benefits.html>.
Kmiec, M. (2013, August 14). Don’t be Afraid of the Niacin Flush. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.onlineholistichealth.com/the-niacin-flush/
“Niacin (Vitamin B3) Uses, Effects (Niacin Flush), and More.” WebMD. WebMD. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-niacin>.
Niacin and niacinamide (Vitamin B3) : MedlinePlus Supplements. (2015, March 17). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/924.html