If you are troubled by high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, you need to get your vitamin B3 levels checked. You may have a question in your mind regarding vitamin B3 functioning. Read to know the importance of Vitamin B3 and its best food sources.
Vitamin B3 is available in three forms- nicotinic acid, niacinamide and inositol hexaniacinate. Niacinamide, also known as niacin is an enzyme that is essential for the conversion of dietary protein, carbohydrates and fats into energy. It is also used to synthesize starch so that it can be stored in the muscles and liver for using energy. It also protects our body from tissue damage
Vitamin B3 Importance and its Functions:
Vitamin B3 or niacin is one of the most important B-vitamins needed by the body for several functions that it performs for your health.
Reverses Risk of Heart Diseases: Significant levels of niacin in the body can help lower triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein in the blood. It also improves the levels of high-density lipoprotein significantly. This, in turn, can reverse the risk of heart diseases. It also prevents the buildup of plaque in the arteries Prevents the Onset of Diabetes: Niacin is required to prevent the onset of type two diabetes. Diabetes in most of the times, caused because of autoimmune response. The body attacks the insulin making cells in the pancreases, preventing the body from producing insulin. Niacin blocks the immune factors from destroying the insulin releasing cells. It also improves insulin sensitivity and production.
Improves Joint Mobility: Niacin can help people suffering from arthritis and osteoarthritis greatly. Taking 200 milligrams of niacin daily can show marked improvement in your joint mobility.
Treats Migraine: Sufficient levels of niacin in the body can also prevent migraine. The dilating effects of this nutrient stabilize the over-constricting cycle of cerebral blood vessels, treating migraine.
Reduces Cancer Risks: Proper niacin levels can also reduce the risk of cancer. It ensures the integrity and maintenance of DNA by regulating tumor suppressor gene p53.
Slows Down AIDS Progression: Niacin also slows the progression of AIDS and increases the chances of survival.
Vitamin B3 Deficiency:
People who eat high amounts of refined foods like white bread and rice, corn syrup and other refined foods are most likely to be deficient in vitamin B3. In addition, people with a weak immune system are also susceptible to be deficient in niacin. A deficiency in niacin can lead to:
Indigestion and stomach disorder
Loss of appetite
Rough and scaly skin
Depression and anxiety
Thus, there is a need to overcome the deficiency of vitamin B3 and get adequate requirement by incorporating niacin rich foods in your diet.
Vitamin B3 Overdose:
Since niacin is a water-soluble vitamin, the chances of taking it in overdoses is rare. An overdose of niacin occurs only when taken in the form of supplements. Vitamin B3 or niacin supplements should not be consumed without consulting your physician. Also, avoid taking supplements in large doses as it can lead to significant side effects in the body. Taking more than 75 milligrams of niacin supplements can cause blood-vessels dilation, leading to tingling, itching and flushing of the face and neck. This condition is known as niacin flush. Increase the doses gradually to minimize this problem. You can also take aspirin to reduce the flushing.
A long-term overdose can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, type 2 diabetes and increased risk of birth defects. Excess levels of niacin can lead to side effects like liver damage, diabetes, gastritis and elevated blood urea levels in the body.
Recommended Daily Allowance:
The recommended daily allowance of niacin is as follows:
6 milligrams for kids aged 1 to 3 years
12 milligrams for kids aged 9 to 13 years
16 milligrams for men
14 milligrams for women
18 milligrams for pregnant women
16 milligrams for lactating women
Mother’s milk contains around 7 milligrams of niacin, which is enough for the infants.
Top 20 Vitamin B3 Food Sources:
Some of the best sources of niacin include: