3 Benefits of Niacin
I’m sure you have heard of Niacin, but what is it?
Niacin, vitamin B3, is one of the 8 water soluble B vitamins. It’s a very important vitamin, as every part of our body needs it to function efficiently. Being water soluble means that our body can’t store it, it uses what it needs and excretes the rest.
Cholesterol and Heart Disease
Niacin has been used to correct cholesterol levels since 1955. It was found that niacin not only lowered LDL cholesterol, which is known as the bad cholesterol, it also increased HDL levels. HDL cholesterol is thought to pick up excess LDL cholesterol and deliver it to the liver where it is disposed of. Too much LDL cholesterol can cling to the walls of your arteries, narrowing them and preventing blood from reaching vital organs such as the heart or brain.
Brain Function and Mental Health
Studies have shown that people with brain fog, depression and mental health issues such as bipolar are often deficient in B vitamins, particularly niacin, B3. Low levels of serotonin often lead to mental health problems – this is where niacin comes in. Serotonin needs tryptophan (an amino acid) and tryptophan is produced with the help of niacin. Niacin has also been lauded as a way to protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Our body needs niacin to help promote and maintain healthy cells. For healthy skin, we need to ensure our body’s largest organ receives essential nutrition and that waste products are successfully removed. Niacin has an important role to play here as it increases capillary dilation. This allows a good flow of nutrients into the cells and a good flow of toxins out.
Research is showing that niacin can help people who are prone to certain types of skin cancer, particularly, those people with squamous and basal cell carcinoma. An Australian study showed that results were seen after three months and were maintained as long as the patient continued taking niacin.