The 12 Proven Health Benefits of Niacin

Attaining health benefits from essential vitamins is simple and a crucial part of healthy bodily functions. This superfood is an essential vitamin that provides the body with nourishment and care. They often help reduce health conditions and improve overall health. 

Niacin is an essential B vitamin that promotes improved heart, skin, eye, and brain health. To find out more on its proven health benefits, the dosages to respect, and potential risks, see below:

What is Niacin?

There are eight essential B vitamins, and Niacin is one of them. Niacin is a B3 vitamin, which is a water-soluble vitamin.

The body can obtain a small dosage of niacin through food. Familiar food sources that contain niacin include meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. To increase daily intake, a person can take niacin in the supplement form. 

Within niacin, there are two chemical formations, nicotinic acid, and niacinamide. Both are in food or supplements that contain niacin, but both have diverse effects and health benefits.

Lowering cholesterol is possible with nicotinic acid. Whereas niacinamide cannot lower cholesterol but help treat skin conditions like psoriasis. Find out more on the health benefits of niacin below:

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The 12 Proven Health Benefits of Niacin

The consumption of niacin has many proven health benefits. From reducing medical conditions to helping with symptoms, the vitamin can improve your health in 12 efficient ways:

1 – Improves cholesterol 

Niacin has been a useful ingredient to lower LDL and triglycerides for decades. Although it is not a source to entirely rely on, it has shown impressive results. A clinical study for effect niacin has on cholesterol levels show a decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 20%. 

Simultaneously, as decreasing LDL, niacin increases good cholesterol (HDL) by up to 35%. 

2 – Reduces the risk of heart disease

Due to the positive effect niacin has on cholesterol levels, the B vitamin may also reduce heart disease risk. Strokes, heart attacks, and infections are all issues that may be preventable with regular use of niacin. Evidence suggests that increasing your intake through the supplement form or foods that contain niacin can show efficacy for heart health. 

Niacin also decreases oxidative stress and inflammation, a common cause of artery conditions such as atherosclerosis.

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3 – Decreases the risk of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is common for all ages. This autoimmune disorder attacks cells and causes insulin levels to drop very low. Niacin works to protect these cells and stabilize insulin levels. 

Nicotinamide can sometimes cause a spike in blood sugar levels, justifying why it may not be a useful treatment for type 2 diabetes. 

4 – Increases cognitive function

Science suggests that niacin deficiency can cause psychiatric conditions. The brain requires the coenzymes of niacin to function well. Hence, niacin is effective at regulating the brain’s function and the release of neurotransmitters.

Due to its efficacy on the brain and the energy it requires, niacin may also improve symptoms of cognitive disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

5 – Improves skin health 

Niacin can be taken orally or used as a cream. The risk of non-melanoma skin cancers has proven in a study to reduce with regular daily consumption of niacin. Niacin therapy works to protect the cells in the skin and blocks harmful rays, which can cause cancer.

6 – May improve arthritic symptoms

Niacin contains natural anti-inflammation properties, which can help release arthritis symptoms. Or may reduce the risk of developing the joint disorder. 

Using niacin can lessen the need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Using niacin offers a more natural way of reducing arthritic symptoms.

7 – Helps to treat pellagra

Pellagra is a common disease known due to the lack of niacin in the diet. The condition causes sores, inflammation, dementia, and diarrhea. Studies show that pellagra often affects developing countries due to the lack of resources and access to niacin foods and supplements. 

Niacin supplements and nad therapy are the most effective option for treating pellagra.

8 – Improves circulation

Vitamin B3 is useful for reducing inflammation in blood vessels and increases their function. Hence, niacin is useful for blood vessel health. The health of blood vessels excels circulation. 

Consuming niacin as a daily treatment is the most effective way to attain its circulation benefits. 

9 – Reduces signs of ADHD

Although vitamins cannot effectively prevent or cure attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), evidence shows it can help reduce the high signs and symptoms. Vitamin therapy, using vitamin B3, is a common way to help patients induce calamity and peace. 

The attention disorder commonly causes hyperactivity, which specific vitamins, like niacin, can reduce. 

10 – Prevents premenstrual syndrome

Period symptoms and premenstrual syndrome in women are often associated with vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B3 is known for regulating sex and stress hormones, which evidence links with menstruation. 

PMS syndrome causes headaches, swelling of the breasts, pain, anxiety, and dizziness. Niacin therapy can help reduce most symptoms due to its hormones balancing properties.

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11 – Improves digestion 

Digestive tract functioning can improve with sufficient vitamin consumption. Niacin, in particular, can help break down carbohydrates, fats, lipid forms, and sugars, which lead to a healthy digestive cycle. Their efficiency of converting food into energy may also increase metabolism. 

12 – Improves immunity

A study shows that niacin can effectively reduce inflammation and fight harmful bacterias. Niacin treatment helps to lessen the risk of developing immune conditions such as asthma and infections. 

To attain the health benefits niacin can provide, it is best to maximize your intake through daily supplements. If a person is vegetarian or vegan, they may find it challenging to obtain niacin through natural food sources. Most food sources include meat and dairy produce. Thus, supplements can help increase daily intake. 

For further information on the pros and cons of niacin, see below:

Pros and Cons of Niacin

Available in food sourcesPotential side effects
Proven health benefitsNiacin flushing is a common problem
Easily available in supplement formMay cause a high spike in blood sugar
AffordablePossible contraindications
Generally safe for regular consumptionNot suitable for those under 16 years of age
A natural source of vitamin B3

If you are unsure of the potential health risks niacin may cause for your health, see below more on the side effects and hazards:

Side Effects, Risks, and Hazards of Niacin

Although niacin is a natural vitamin, it can pose certain health risks and cause side effects when taken as a supplement. Typically, side effects occur if a person consumes too much niacin. 

Consuming niacin through food sources does not pose any harmful side effects or risks. The concentration of niacin in food is too small to affect the body. 

Supplement overdosing can cause possible side effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Liver damage
  • Niacin flushing
  • Stomach irritation
  • Blood sugar impairment
  • Blurred vision
  • Gout

Niacin supplements can interact with medical conditions and drugs. This could lead to poor health and worsen conditions. Anyone with the following issues should take extra precaution before taking niacin:

  • Allergies 
  • Heart disease
  • Chron’s disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Taking the following contraindicative medications: zinc, aspirin, blood pressure drugs, alcohol, chromium, statins, and diabetes drugs

Premedical care and a view from your doctor are critical for those at risk. Taking niacin can worsen certain conditions. Thus, ensuring it is safe for you to take niacin before consuming the supplements is essential.

If it is safe for you to take niacin, ensure you follow the safe dosage requirements to combat potential side effects. 

More on how to take niacin and dosages to respect:

How To Take Niacin

Low doses of niacin are safe for most people to take. Everyone needs niacin for their bodies to function properly. 

Dosages to respect

To obtain more niacin, the following doses are the general daily amounts to respect:

  • Children: 250mg daily, for those over 16 years of age
  • Adults: 250mg daily, which can be increased

The maximum daily intake of niacin for any person is 250 mg per day. The daily dosage may increase over time to up to 1000mg per day. It is possible to overdose.

Overdose advice

It can be difficult to overdose on niacin containing foods. Yet, it is possible to exceed the daily dosage requirements when taking the supplement form. The maximum dosage limit is 1000mg unless your doctor instructs you to increase your intake.

If you believe you have taken too much niacin, it is crucial to seek medical help immediately. An overdose cannot cause any immediate risk. Yet, it could cause strokes, and kidney and liver issues.

For further information on niacin, see below our FAQs:


Is it safe to take 500mg of niacin a day?

The average daily dosage requirement is 250mg per day for anyone over the age of 16. Yet, this dosage can increase with advice from a doctor. It is safe to double the dosage of niacin to 500mg, with confirmation from your doctor.

Does niacin help you sleep?

Niacin can reduce stress in the adrenal glands. Stress reduction can lead to an improvement in sleep. Niacin deficiency may cause lack of, or poor, sleep. But, do not rely on niacin to help you fall to sleep. 

Does niacin give you energy?

Niacin works to convert food into energy. Thus, niacin can provide you energy with food consumption.

When should you not take niacin?

Anyone with the following medical concerns should avoid taking niacin: liver conditions, kidney or heart issues, those taking certain medications (see the list above), type 2 diabetes, stomach ulcers, thyroid patients, people with allergies, and drug and alcohol addiction.

Does niacin remove plaque from the arteries?

Niacin effectively increases HDL, which improves cholesterol. An increase in HDL is effective in removing bad cholesterol and plaque from the arteries. In time, this can reduce heart conditions.

Is niacin flush safe?

Niacin flush is common and typically causes the skin to flush red. It is harmless unless it occurs after an overdose. To prevent harm, ensure to take the daily dosage recommendations.

For our roundup thoughts on niacin:

Niacin is a B3 vitamin, which is an essential vitamin for healthy bodily functioning. Without vitamin B3, the body can be at risk of heart conditions, poor cholesterol levels, bad skin health, and cognitive function. A niacin deficiency can lead to medical conditions, such as pellagra. 

Niacin intake is essential for your health. Not only does it promote many health benefits, but it can also lower the risk of developing many medical conditions. 

Increase your intake with daily supplements to maximize the benefits.

More questions or feedback on niacin and its benefits are welcome. 

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