Vitamin B3 (Niacin) can be found in a range of skincare products or sport supplements. You’ve likely seen it on product labels, but do you really know how vitamin B3 works and what it can really do for your skin? If this is something that you’ve wondered, then keep on reading to find your answers.
How Does Vitamin B3 Work?
There are two forms of vitamin B3, niacin and niacinamide. Both of these forms are water-soluble, meaning they dissolve in water. As such, both niacin and niacinamide are easily absorbed by the body when taken orally such as through supplements.
The body is able to take niacin and convert it into niacinamide if niacin levels are too high.
Niacin and niacinamide help the body to make use of fats and sugars properly. The nutrients are also needed to keep cells in the body healthy.
A high dose of niacin can be beneficial to people suffering from – or at risk of – heart disease. This is because it is known to dissolve blood clots. It’s not all good however, as niacin can also increase levels of triglycerides in the blood. Triglyceride is a kind of fat, meaning that niacin can also cause arteries to become clogged.
If you have a niacin deficiency and don’t have enough of it in your blood, it can cause some health issues related to the skin including skin irritation.
Benefits of Vitamin B3
There are numerous food sources of vitamin B3 niacin and niacinamide. They can be found in meat, fish, milk and milk products, beans, cereals, egg, and green vegetables. Niacin and niacinamide are also contained in B-complex containing vitamin B6, B9, and B12.
Vitamin B3 is a nutrient that benefits the skin by keeping it healthy and looking great. It can also be used as a natural acne treatment by hiding pimples and removing them. Niacinamide is also a popular treatment for inflammatory acne vulgaris.
Many anti-aging products contain vitamin B3, as do moisturisers.
Niacin can be used to tackle high levels of cholesterol. Combining niacin with other treatments can make them more popular. In particular niacin benefits people suffering from cholera, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, high blood pressure, arthritis, leprosy, and memory loss.
Niacinamide is useful for people suffering from certain skin conditions such as granuloma annulare and bulbous pemphigoid.
Niacin and niacinamide alike are needed to properly produce and release energy to keep you going throughout the day. They work with the body to absorb carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and then convert them into energy and amino acids.
If your body doesn’t have enough vitamin B3 to handle this job, then your body is basically running on fumes because it can’t generate the energy it needs. If you have problems with fatigue, then the solution might be niacin.
Vitamin B3 increases the production of red blood cells and improves blood flow. As such, the maximum possible amount of nutrients and oxygen is delivered to muscles and organs, increasing energy levels, reducing fatigue, and giving you the power to perform at your physical peak for longer.
Niacin is a common natural supplement for bodybuilders and athletes alike to keep them going for longer.
Vitamin B3 Side Effects
Niacin is a prime example of too much of something being a bad thing. You run the risk of suffering from side effects if you take over 50mg of niacin in a day.
The most common niacin side effect is flushing, which can cause redness, burning, and tinging sensations in the arms, chest, and face.
There are additional minor side effects including pain in the mouth, dizziness, and feeling sick in your stomach.
There are more potential side effects if you increase the dose to over 3 grams of niacin in a day. These are potentially more serious side effects including damage to your liver, high blood sugar, gout, and an abnormal heartbeat.
The best way to assess liver damage is to have blood tests performed. Be sure to have your liver checked if you take too much niacin and are worried about potential damage.
Tips for Using Niacin
You can reduce the flushing side effects of niacin by taking 30mg of aspirin before taking any niacin. It’s recommended that you stop taking niacin two weeks before having any surgery.
Niacin is safe to use for pregnant and breastfeeding women, but they must never exceed the recommended dose. This recommended dose is 35mg per day for people over 18 years old, and 30mg per for people under 18.
Niacin should be avoided if you have liver disease, kidney disease, low blood pressure, or a personal history of gout. Don’t forget to regularly check your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes and take niacin.
It’s possible for vitamin B3 to interact with other medications and foods including diabetes medication and alcohol. Always consult with your doctor before taking niacin to see how it will interact.
Vitamin B3 can be taken orally or it can be applied topically to treat skin problems such as acne. However, vitamin B3 should only be taken under supervision and with the consideration of a healthcare provider, given the potential side effects.