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Niacin (Nicotinamide, Vitamin B-3)

Alternative names    

Diet - niacin; Nicotinic acid

Definition   

Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for many aspects of health, growth, and reproduction. It is part of the vitamin B complex.

Niacin is necessary for circulation and healthy skin. Also important to nervous system function, improvements of the digestive system, and stabilizing cholesterol levels. Niacin in large doses lowers serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and triglycerides. High doses increase serum levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Niacin has been tested for its effects on cardiovascular-disease risk factors in a number of major trials. In the largest of these, the effect of niacin on cardiovascular endpoints was studied. The study included 8,341 men who had suffered a heart attack. In this randomized six-year study, niacin, given in 1 gram doses three times a day, lowered cholesterol levels by 10% and triglyceride (fats) levels by 26%. There was a decrease of 27% in recurrent non-fatal heart attacks among the niacin treated subjects. They also experienced 26% fewer cerebrovascular events.

Recommended Dietary Allowances: Men = 19 mg; Women = 15 mg; Pregnant Women = 17 mg

IMPORTANCE:

  • Improves circulation and reduces the cholesterol level in the blood
  • maintains the nervous system
  • helps metabolize protein, sugar & fat
  • reduces high blood pressure
  • increases energy through proper utilization of food
  • prevents pellagra
  • helps maintain a healthy skin, tongue & digestive system

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:

  • pellagra
  • gastrointestinal disturbance
  • nervousness
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • mental depression
  • vague aches & pains
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
  • skin disorders
  • muscular weakness
  • indigestion
  • bad breath
  • canker sores
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Vitamins

Vitamine B complex

Minerals