Vitamin B3 or Niacin is one of the essential nutrients required by the human body. Like other Vitamins of B group it is essential for metabolism and energy production. It is a strong anti oxidant and offers protection against heart diseases by reducing bad cholesterol and increasing the levels of good cholesterol.
It is used to treat high cholesterol levels and is very effective. There is some evidence that it can prevent cataracts, diabetes and dementia.
It is essential to get proper amount of B3 or niacin for optimum health. The recommended daily allowance of B3 or Niacin for adults is 30-35 mg per day. Larger doses are recommended for treatment of high cholesterol.
Good sources of B3 or Niacin are:
- Green Leafy vegetables,
- Sweet potato,
- Nuts and seeds,
Severe deficiency of niacin can cause a disease pellagra which is characterized by diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. Darkness and thickness of skin, irritability, cold intolerance, anxiety, lack of appetite, lethargy and depression are also symptoms of Niacin deficiency.
B3 or Niacin is safe and is associated with very few side effects. It can cause diarrhea in some patients, especially if taken in large doses, so the best thing is to take it with meals. Taking it with meals also leads to increased absorption.