Niacin, also known as niacinamide (Vitamin B3
). Niacin is a water soluble vitamin partly supplied by the tryptophan in the diet, which in turn is converted into niacin. It functions as part of two enzymes, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), and with an additional phosphate, (NADP). They work in the glycogen energy cycle, the oxidation of fatty acids for energy, and in tissue respiration.
Niacin is essential for the production and manufacture of all the sex hormones, thyroxine and insulin. Niacin is essential for proper functioning of the nervous syste,.
Best food sources of niacin are meats and fish. During cooking and processing niacin normally remains fairly well intact as it is resiliant to any form of damage in this way.
A person whose body is deficient in B1, B2, and B6 will not be able to produce niacin from tryptophan. Lack of niacin can bring about a negative personality change.
Athletes seem to require higher amounts of niacin, due to the use of niacin-linked energy processes in energy production, as appossed to regular sedentary folk. The RDA for Niacin for an average coach potato is 19mg. One should be aware that niacin supplementation above the 30mg dose can cause vascular dilation with flushing, burning and itching - the niacin flush
or rash as it is known. This flushing effect is short lived, only about twenty minutes, an only happens with the nicotinic acid form of niacin. It is entirely harmless. Some believe that this vascular dilation can bring about much greater vascularity for the competing bodybuilder
. Toxicity, however, is very low - upto 1000mg per day.
High doses of Niacin (in the 3 - 10 gram range - which is phenomenally huge) have been shown to increase the use of glycogen and the speed of glycogen use. But this dose also blocks the use of fatty acids for fuel.
Niacin can aid in promotinga healthy digestive system, alleviate gastrointestinal disturbances, give you healthier looking skin. It can help prevent and ease severity of migraine headaches. Increase circulation and reduce high blood pressure. Ease some attacks of diarrhoea. Reduce the unpleasant symptoms of vertigo in Meniere's syndrome. Help eliminate canker sores and, often, bad breath.It has even been shown to lower cholesterol.
Niacin should be used cautiously by anyone with severe diabetes, glaucoma, peptic ulcers or impaired liver function