Niacin (Vitamin B3)
What is it?
Niacin is vitamin B3 found in our body and is necessary for the wellbeing of our health. Niacin can be found in food like greens, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
Niacin has been used for hyper cholesterol treatment as it helps to reduce the bad cholesterol, LDL. By reducing cholesterol levels it helps to reduce risk of atherosclerosis which is a condition whereby the blood vessels are narrowed and leading to increased risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease and heart attack.
Some studies also find that niacin may help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and type 1 diabetes. However more evidence based scientific research should be conducted to prove these potential benefits.
Possible side effects
Niacin is generally safe. The most common side effect is flushing which may be reduced when taken with aspirin, Nsaids or antihistamines. Usually it goes off after few weeks. It may also cause some stomach upset which is why it is best taken with food.
When taken in too high doses it may cause liver damage, gastrointestinal problems, or glucose intolerance.
For lactating and pregnant woman, when taken at recommended doses it is safe.
Please follow the recommended dose for cholesterol control as prescribed by your doctor.
Recommended daily allowance of niacin intake is as follows:
Children: between 2-16 milligrams daily, depending on age
Men: 16 milligrams daily
Women: 14 milligrams daily
Women (pregnant): 18 milligrams daily
Women (breastfeeding): 17 milligrams daily
Maximum daily intake for adults of all ages: 35 milligrams daily