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Niacin (Vitamin B3) : Advantages, Dosage, Sources, Dangers

Having sufficient niacin, or vitamin B3, within the physique is vital for basic good well being. As a remedy, greater quantities of niacin can enhance levels of cholesterol.

Why do folks take niacin?

As a ldl cholesterol remedy, there are good research displaying that niacin can increase ranges of excellent HDL ldl cholesterol and decrease triglycerides. Niacin additionally modestly lowers dangerous LDL ldl cholesterol. It is generally prescribed together with statins for ldl cholesterol management, corresponding to rosuvastatin (Crestor, Ezallor), simvastatin (Flolipid, Zocor), fluvastatin (Lescol), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and pravastatin (Pravachol).

Nonetheless, niacin is simply efficient as a ldl cholesterol remedy at pretty excessive doses. These doses might pose dangers, corresponding to liver injury, gastrointestinal issues, or glucose intolerance. So do not deal with your self with over-the-counter niacin dietary supplements. As an alternative, get recommendation out of your well being care supplier, who can prescribe FDA-approved doses of niacin as an alternative if advisable.

As well as, niacin is an FDA-approved remedy for pellagra, a uncommon situation that develops from niacin deficiency.

How a lot niacin do you have to take?

Since niacin can be utilized in numerous methods, discuss to your well being care supplier about the most effective dosage for you.

Everybody wants a certain quantity of niacin — from meals or dietary supplements — for the physique to operate usually. This quantity is known as the dietary reference consumption (DRI), a time period that’s changing the older and extra acquainted RDA (advisable each day allowance). For niacin, the DRIs fluctuate with age and different elements and are given in milligrams of niacin equivalents: 

  • Youngsters: between 2-16 milligrams each day, relying on age
  • Males: 16 milligrams each day
  • Ladies: 14 milligrams each day
  • Ladies (pregnant): 18 milligrams each day
  • Ladies (breastfeeding): 17 milligrams each day
  • Most each day consumption for adults of all ages: 35 milligrams each day

Most individuals can get the quantity of niacin they want by consuming a nutritious diet.

In case your physician prescribes niacin, you may wish to take it with meals. This may forestall upset abdomen. To cut back flushing — a innocent however uncomfortable aspect impact of niacin that describes redness and heat within the face and neck — your well being care supplier may suggest taking niacin together with aspirin and avoiding alcohol and spicy meals.

Are you able to get niacin naturally from meals?

Niacin happens naturally in lots of meals, together with greens, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, though in a fraction of the dose proven to realize adjustments in ldl cholesterol. Many merchandise are additionally fortified with niacin throughout manufacturing.

What are the dangers of taking niacin?

  • Negative effects. Niacin may cause flushing, particularly if you first start taking it. Your well being care supplier will most likely recommend growing the dose slowly to cut back this drawback. They may additionally provide a time-release prescription formulation to regulate flushing. Niacin may cause upset abdomen and diarrhea. Nonetheless, all of those unintended effects are likely to fade over time.
  • Dangers. Niacin does have dangers. It may possibly trigger liver issues, abdomen ulcers, adjustments to glucose ranges, muscle injury, low blood stress, coronary heart rhythm adjustments, and different points. Individuals with any well being situation together with liver or kidney illness, diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular issues want to speak to a health care provider earlier than utilizing niacin dietary supplements. Don’t deal with excessive ldl cholesterol by yourself with over-the-counter niacin dietary supplements.
  • Interactions. Should you take any medicines or dietary supplements often, discuss to your physician earlier than you begin utilizing niacin dietary supplements. They might work together with medicines like diabetes medicine, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, blood stress medicines, thyroid hormones, and antibiotics in addition to dietary supplements like ginkgo biloba and a few antioxidants. Alcohol may enhance the chance of liver issues. Although niacin is commonly used together with statins for top ldl cholesterol, this mix could enhance the chance for unintended effects. Get recommendation out of your healthcare supplier.

On the low DRI doses, niacin is secure for everybody. Nonetheless, on the greater quantities used to deal with medical situations, it might have dangers. For that cause, youngsters and ladies who’re pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t take niacin dietary supplements in extra of the DRI except it is advisable by a health care provider. 

Individuals with uncontrolled gout also needs to not take niacin dietary supplements.

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