Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, seems to be a hot topic of conversation these days. Every time you turn around, someone is talking about its great benefits and recommending a supplement. Well, before you do, it’s important to understand that although niacin offers great benefits, too much of any good thing may have some adverse health effects.
Niacin assists with various metabolic processes, and is essential for nearly every process in the body. A few benefits include:
> Lowers Cholesterol – The vast majority of people taking a niacin supplement are doing so to reduce their cholesterol. It helps the body secrete high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
> Atherosclerosis – Niacin plays a key role in the body’s ability to produce a chemical compound that dilates blood vessels to improve circulation.
> Skin – Many people take niacin to improve the appearance of their skin. It firms skin, prevents acne, increases moisture, and makes your skin glow.
> Cleansing – One of the reasons this particular vitamin has experienced a surge in popularity is because it is associated with cleansing. If you want to detox, a safer solution that doesn’t require a supplement is a juice cleanse, like the Love Deep cleanse at Organic Avenue.
> Brain Health – Consuming a healthy amount of niacin can reduce your risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
> Metabolism – Niacin supports your metabolism by encouraging your system to break down fats and carbohydrates to transform them into energy. It also turns protein into amino acids.
> Muscle and Joint Health – Joint mobility can be improved with healthy levels of niacin, which can reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication. Niacin can reduce fatigue and pain in the joints and muscles.
In healthy doses, niacin is beneficial. However, when taking supplements, there can be unfavorable health effects. Some doctors are warning against taking niacin for high blood pressure because it may increase the risk for diabetes and bleeding. Large doses can trigger a niacin flush, which dilates blood vessels in your skin, causing redness and burning. Too much niacin may also increase your risk for liver toxicity, and it can make you feel nauseated, as well.
Good news—the average diet gets more than enough niacin to reap its benefits without side effects, whether you’re an omnivore or eat an exclusively plant-based diet. Plant-based foods with the highest niacin content include peas, barley, bulgur, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, squash and brown rice.
As always, consult your doctor before taking any supplement to make sure it’s right for you.
Health information: The statements about the products featured herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results with the consumption of these products may vary.