Derived from nicotinic acid and niacinamide, vitamin B3 is of prime importance to cell respiration, nervous system performance, and metabolism of complex foods in the body. Vitamin B3 is also essential in the formation of sex hormones.
Vitamin B3 is helps humans cope with several health problems. Being a water-soluble vitamin, the human body does not store the B3 compound. The basic requirement of vitamin B3 can only be met through a healthy diet. Not many people are naturally deficient in vitamin B3. However, a major cause of vitamin B3 deficiency in the United States is excessive alcoholism.
Symptoms that may indicate vitamin B3 deficiency are fatigue, indigestion, vomiting, and depression. A severe condition, "Pellagra," leads to scaly skin and diarrhea. Deficiency of niacin B3 vitamin also leads to swelling in the mouth and a burning sensation on the tongue.
There are also several other conditions that can be dealt with if an adequate quantity of vitamin B3 is provided to the body, either in the form of vitamin supplements or natural vitamin rich foods.
Niacin B3 has been popularly used to curtail high cholesterol. However, vitamin B3 supplements used for cholesterol control should be taken in dosages recommended by a physician because excess amounts of the supplement can even lead to liver damage.
Since vitamin B3 has the potential to reduce triglycerides in the blood, using niacin can help avoid atherosclerosis – a condition where the arteries tend to harden. One common condition where vitamin B3 comes in handy is diabetes. Researchers say that vitamin B3 helps diabetics delay the time between insulin injections. Some researchers also believe that vitamin B3 helps the brain recover from a stroke. However, this theory has not been conclusively proven yet.
Several other conditions where niacin or vitamin B3 help are Alzheimer’s disease and several skin problems including aging and acne.
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