What Does Niacin Do?
Read Time: 2 minutes Niacin is a B vitamin that boasts many health benefits. The vitamin can control cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, improve skin, and may even help treat symptoms of certain neurological conditions. Here are some facts to know about niacin when considering a niacin supplement.
Meet the B family
The B vitamin family is a group of vitamins that are essential for overall health and well-being. Many people get adequate intake of the B vitamins through diet alone. However, some people may benefit from certain B vitamin supplements.
Benefits of B3
Niacin, or vitamin B3, is essential for keeping the digestive and nervous systems healthy. The nutrient is also vital in maintaining healthy skin. Niacin is typically part of the formula of a daily multivitamin. The vitamin is also available in prescription form and is used commonly to help people control cholesterol levels. Niacin prescriptions can raise good cholesterol, or HDL, by up to 30%.
Foods that contain niacin
Vitamin B3 can be found in poultry, fish, nuts, and legumes. Chicken breast, in particular, is packed with niacin. One serving of chicken breast contains 59% of the recommended daily intake for niacin. Most people get adequate vitamin B3 from food sources. However, a healthcare provider may recommend a niacin supplement to people with high cholesterol, multiple risk factors for heart disease, or other conditions.
Even bigger benefits
Niacin has been linked to improvements in neurological health. In one recent study, researchers found that B3 could help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study showed that niacin could help to prevent people from getting melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Niacin is useful for other skin issues as well. One study showed that niacin in topical form helped to clear up acne.
Learn how supplements may help you
The uses of niacin are still being researched. However, early findings show that the vitamin has a variety of benefits. Patients should speak with a healthcare provider or pharmacist to find out if a B3 supplement is the right treatment option.