By: Adam L.
Everyone knows taking extra B vitamins (like B-12 and B-6) is a surefire way to boost your health.
That’s why B vitamins are added to all kinds of health foods.
And while the main B vitamins are essential for feeling good, there are 5 ways this little-known B vitamin could drastically improve your health.
This vitamin is called niacin, or niacinamide, but most people know it by the common name of vitamin B-3.
Vitamin B-3 is an essential nutrient for the maintenance of good health. However, it doesn’t receive the same kind of attention of other vitamins because there are some risks associated with supplementing with it. We’ll talk about those risks in a moment.
Before we do, let’s go over what makes vitamin B-3, or niacin, a great tool to add inside of a supplement chest.
1 – Niacin Is Essential For Maintaining Heart Health:
The health of your heart is inextricably tied to the rest of your health.
When the ability of your cardiovascular system is compromised, it can lead to a myriad of issues. Mainly because when your blood isn’t being transported through the body efficiently, it causes nutrient delivery to fall behind.
Niacin supplementation at above the recommended daily value has been shown to improve heart health in a host of ways.
- Boosts HDL (healthy cholesterol) by as much as 30%, which is typically only achieved with dangerous drugs.
- Helps lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) so that these kinds of molecules don’t clog up the cardiovascular system. Niacin may lower LDL by 5-25%
- Helps to decrease triglyceride levels up to 30%. Triglycerides are fat found in the blood and by removing them from the blood, it allows for better blood flow.
Niacin even prevents fatty acids shed from your fat cells from entering the bloodstream in the first place, which helps to prevent future cardiovascular issues.
2 – Helps Banish Pain From Swollen Joints:
Niacin acts as an antioxidant and can help relieve inflammation, which is a common cause behind swollen and painful joints.
If you want to restore full motion to joints, then taking a form of B-3 called niacinamide may help. A few studies are showing that by resolving inflammation in the body, a person can find relief from joint-related conditions like osteoarthritis. A study published by the journal Inflammation Research lowered the amount of pain experienced by people with this condition.
Not only does it help with pain reduction, but it also helps to protect and restore damaged cartilage that is responsible for joint pain.
3 – It May Help Boost Blood Sugar Regulation:
To avoid developing type 2 diabetes, or to help keep insulin levels balanced and maintain healthy blood sugar levels are a must.
Research indicates that niacin can help to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes in several ways. A study by the journal Diabetes Care reported that niacin helped improve beta-cell function. Beta cells are the cells that produce insulin. The better beta cells operate, the more control over insulin a person has.
There are some indications that niacin could also elevate blood sugar, too, so it’s important to talk with a physician before incorporating vitamin B-3 into a supplement routine.
4 – Helps to Give Your Brain More Power
Enhanced brain function, as well as neuroprotective benefits, are also associated with niacin supplementation.
Dr. Josh Axe said the following:
“Studies have shown that vitamin B3 benefits brain health and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related brain disorders linked to cognitive decline.
Niacin or niacinamide is also used for treating and preventing schizophrenia and hallucinations. Plus, some studies and case reports have found therapeutic effects of niacin for depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric disorders as well.”
5 – Helps To Improve Sexual Function
Men who have erectile dysfunction are unable to achieve erections because of limitations in blood flow.
Niacin has the ability to increase the volume of blood that flows to the genitals, thus helping reverse erectile dysfunction. Niacin is a vasodilator, which means it helps the veins and capillaries become more relaxed and allows for an increase in blood flow.
A few studies indicate taking 1,000- 1,500 milligrams of niacin daily is enough to help men with ED reverse their impotence.
A Word of Warning on Niacin
While niacin is found in various foods and is generally deemed safe, supplementing with it in high doses does present some risk.
Taking niacin could produce some of the following side effects.
- Elevated blood sugar
- Lowered blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Allergic reactions
- Decreased gallbladder function
If you plan to take niacin, it’s a good idea to consult your physician and actively monitor how you feel while niacin is part of your supplement regimen.