The eight B vitamins are essential to leading a healthy lifestyle. Of those eight, vitamin B3, otherwise known as niacin, is a main factor in the metabolization of carbohydrates into glucose, which is then burned as energy. It is a complex vitamin that works to keep your eyes, hair, and skin healthy. Niacin also helps to control your cholesterol levels in your blood, and is beneficial in improving your circulation. It is essential to replenish on a daily basis as this vitamin is water soluble and will be removed from the body in the form of waste.
What are the benefits of vitamin B3? Nutritionists have been recommending that those who are suffering from fatigue or depression look to increase their daily intake of niacin. An increase in niacin will metabolize more carbohydrates, giving you more energy. This is believed to help you boost your desire to be more productive, thus improving your overall outlook on life and curing your depression.
Niacin has also been found to help control your cholesterol levels. This vitamin lowers the levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood, reducing your risk of heart disease.
Diabetes and How it Relates to Niacin
People who suffer from diabetes have a metabolic disease where they have high blood sugar. High levels of sugar in the blood can cause frequent urination, thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, or weight loss. People will have high blood sugar for one of two reasons. First, their body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin causes cells in the muscle, liver, and fat tissues to suck glucose from the blood and store it as glycogen. The second reason is that although the body is able to produce enough insulin, the cells in the muscle, liver, and fat tissues don’t respond to it.
There are 3 types of diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes fail to produce their own insulin, so they are required to give themselves insulin injections. Those with Type 2 diabetes suffer from a resistance to insulin, where cells refuse to work with insulin properly. The third type is Gestational diabetes in which pregnant women who don’t have diabetes experience high blood sugar levels while pregnant.
Individuals with Type 2 diabetes usually have high levels of fats and cholesterol in their blood. Because of its effectiveness in controlling cholesterol, niacin can be an effective solution to lowering the risk of heart disease in these individuals. However, one needs to be careful. Niacin can raise blood sugar levels, leading to hyperglycemia. Anyone with Type 2 diabetes needs to be particularly careful when increasing their levels of vitamin B3, monitoring their blood sugar levels frequently.
Other Niacin Side Effects
Aside from the possibility of increased blood sugar levels, an increased intake of niacin can cause flushing of the skin which can last for varied lengths of time depending on the individual. People have also been found to develop a rash from taking large amounts of niacin. Itching and dry skin, sweating, chills and tingling have also been reported with 30-60 minutes of taking a niacin treatment.
Sam Ken writes about various health topics but especially focus on nutritional supplements, and provides tips on how to benefit most from vitamins, minerals or other health supplements. Visit his website to learn more about niacin side effects or vitamin B3 in general.