Health Benefits Of Vitamin B3 And Nutrition Sources

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Vitamin B3 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that your body needs to function optimally. It is also known as vitamin B3 complex to denote its three forms – niacin (nicotinic acid), nicotinamide (niacinamide), and nicotinamide riboside. All these forms of vitamin B3 are synthesised within the body to Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which is a coenzyme. NAD has several important roles in metabolism, and it also benefits the body in several other ways, including improving healthcognitive function, etc.

Vitamin B3

The two most common forms of vitamin B3 present in food are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. There are plenty of food sources to turn to for this essential nutrient, and you can also get your daily dose from taking supplements. Read on to get a better understanding of vitamin B3 benefits, dosage, side effects and more.

Nutrition Source Of Vitamin B3
Benefits Of Vitamin B3
Signs Of Deficiency Of Vitamin B3
How Much Of Vitamin B3 Is Enough?
Side Effects Of Vitamin B3
FAQs:

Nutrition Source Of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

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Here are the top seven vegetarian food sources that are packed with vitamin B3:

  • Peanuts
  • Avocado
  • Whole wheat foods
  • brown rice
  • Green peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes

The below infographic lists other sources of vitamin B3, category-wise:

Vitamin B3

Tip: Interestingly, the body can convert tryptophan, an amino acid, to nicotinamide. So adding tryptophan-rich foods like leafy greens, broccoli, peas, soybeans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, etc. to your diet can also help provide ample vitamin B3.

Benefits Of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

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Vitamin B3 has several essential roles to play in the body, as listed below.

  • Metabolism: As mentioned, all three forms of vitamin B3 are synthesized within the body to NAD, which has an important role in metabolismprocessing complex food molecules to simpler substances, aiding oxidative respiration of cells, hormone regulation, and DNA formation.
  • Lowering cholesterol: Vitamin B3 lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increases good cholesterol.
  • Protecting Heart Health: Vitamin B3 has lipid-altering properties, which help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, prevent cardiac problems and boost heart health. It is also effective in treating atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries, by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

Vitamin B3

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  • Managing Diabetes: Eating foods rich in vitamin B3 controls the release of insulin in the body, thus reducing blood sugar levels and keeping diabetes at check.
  • Improving Digestion: Vitamin B3 is important for the functioning of the gastrointestinal system. It boosts digestion, prevents constipation, and Reduces flatulence.
  • Functioning Of Hormones: This vitamin is crucial for hormone synthesis and functioning.
  • Improving Cognitive Function: Vitamin B3 helps repair brain cells and is used for treating symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, hallucinations, and such psychotic conditions. It is also useful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B3

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  • Preventing Free Radical Damage: As a natural antioxidant, vitamin B3 stops free radical damage in the body. It reduces the risk of skin cancer and has a significant role in treating skin conditions. Vitamin B3 is used topically too to reduce signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, etc.
  • Treating Other Health Issues: Vitamin B3 can help in treating various infections. It is helpful in the treatment of vision problems, migraine, dizziness, anxiety, liver disorders, extreme fluid loss health conditions like diarrhea, sickle cell anemia, hypothyroidism, etc. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin B3 reduce pain and inflammation and provide relief in arthritic conditions.

Tip: Include a variety of foods rich in vitamin B3 and tryptophan to get the full range of benefits of this essential nutrient.

Signs Of Deficiency Of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

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A niacin deficiency or vitamin B3 deficiency is rare because this nutrient is well-absorbed from most foods. However, severe deficiency of vitamin B3 leads to a condition called pellagra, which primarily causes a dark, scaly rash on skin exposed to sunlight, redness of the tongue, and constipation or diarrhea.

Other symptoms of severe deficiency of niacin are headache, depression, memory loss, fatigue, and hallucinations.

Individuals at risk for deficiency of vitamin B3 are those who:

  • Eat limited diets due to poverty or illness.
  • Intake of excessive alcohol, as this decreases the absorption of several nutrients, especially water-soluble vitamins.
  • Have carcinoid syndrome, a disease of slow-growing cancer cells in the gut, which causes tryptophan in the diet to convert to serotonin instead of niacin, which increases the risk of vitamin B3 deficiency.

Tip: Eating a well-balanced diet every day is enough to give you your daily dose of vitamin B3.

How Much Of Vitamin B3 Is Enough?

Vitamin B3

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The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B3 depends on age and gender as follows:

  • 14 mg per day for adult women
  • 17 mg per day for breastfeeding women
  • 16 mg per day for adult men
  • 2-16 mg per day for kids, depending on age

Tip: Maximum daily intake of vitamin B3 for adults of all ages is 35 mg.

Side Effects Of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

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Excess intake of vitamin B3 can lead to:

  • Dizziness
  • Severe skin flushing, itching
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

Tip: If you’re thinking of taking vitamin B3 supplements, speak to your doctor first to learn about dosage, contraindications, and more.

Vitamin B3

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FAQs:

Q. What is vitamin B3 good for?

A. Vitamin B3 is important for several roles in the body. This essential nutrient aids in metabolism, helps lower cholesterol and boosts heart health, manages diabetes, improves digestion, is crucial for hormone synthesis and functioning, prevents free radical damage, and helps in the treatment of various infections and health issues.

Q. Is it good to have vitamin B3 every day?

A. Yes, intake of vitamin B3 every day can help in the overall healthy functioning of the body. Adults of all ages must not exceed a daily intake of 35 mg.

Vitamin B3

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Q. What foods have high vitamin B3?

A. The best food sources of vitamin B3 are peanuts, whole grains and food products, brown rice, avocados, potatoes, mushrooms, and green peas.

Q. What is the best time to take vitamin B3?

A. You can take vitamin B3 supplements at any time of the day. However, be sure to take the supplement at the same time every day. It is preferable to take dietary supplements with your meals. Also, drink a glass of water along with.

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