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What is niacin?

Niacin or B3 vitamin belongs to the family of B vitamins. This group includes eight vitamins. Niacin needs to be taken on regular bases as its deficiency leads to a serious condition called pellagra. The benefits of niacin also known as nicotinic acid are numerous and they include degradation of fats and carbohydrates, production of hormones and red blood cells. B3 also plays significant role in metabolism of proteins. More than fifty processes in human body require niacin as a participant.

How niacin benefits health

This vitamin is excellent for keeping the heart healthy. A proper balance between good and bad cholesterol is essential in prevention of atherosclerosis and consequential illnesses. Niacin makes this happen. This vitamin is highly efficient in maintaining the desirable levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in blood. Still only in form of nicotinic acid niacin can perform this function. Vitamin B3 is also in charge with limitation of levels of triglycerides.

Due to niacin the blood flows normally through the entire body and the blood pressure is kept under control. One more advantage regarding health of blood vessels and prevention of heart diseases lies in huge power of this vitamin to reduce plaque formation onto the surface of blood vessels. As this was proved with combination of niacin and cholesterol medications it has not been established yet whether niacin can lead to this effect on its own. And last but not least vitamin B3 is amazing in prevention of secondary heart attacks.

One more benefit of niacin is connected to skin supply with blood. This vitamin leads to expansion of blood vessels. This means that even capillaries are dilatated and the circulation is therefore improved. The skin is better fed and it looks better. This effect also reflects on better quality of hair.

Positive effect on pancreas reflects in better production of insulin. The additional advantage is that niacin increases cells sensitivity to insulin making it easier for glucose to enter cells. This effect can improve conditions such as type 1 diabetes and help patients suffering from this disease to maintain normal levels of sugar in blood.

Even central nervous system may benefit from B3 vitamin. It is good for certain conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. Prevention of migraines is remarkable. It is even efficient in treatment of motion sickness.

The risk of certain diseases may be reduced by regular and appropriate consumption of food rich in niacin. Cataract is only one of them. Alzheimer's disease is another.

All in all, for all those who are on appropriate diet the daily intake of niacin is appropriate. There is a variety of foods rich in niacin. If one eats meat, poultry, fish, fresh vegetables and dairy products he or she will not definitely face the deficiency of this precious vitamin.

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