B3 in Vitaminfood: B3, Niacin, in the body

Niacin is part of the B vitamins; it is also called Vitamin B3. Just like all the other B vitamins, it is vital for energy metabolism. Niacin exists in two different chemical forms which both have different effects on the body.

  • Nicotinamide –  whose impact includes reducing cholesterol levels. It could also lower the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Nicotinic acid – the effects of this include lowering the risk of getting certain skin cancers: non-melanoma and treating psoriasis.

Niacin (nicotinic acid, nicotinamide) derivatives include nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), which are coenzymes in oxidation-reduction reactions. They are vital in cell metabolism as cofactors, coenzymes and intermediate compounds.

Importance of Vitamin B3 in the diet

1.      Prevents heart diseases

Niacin has the potential to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. These conditions both increase the stress on the heart while damaging its muscles, nerves and vessels. Niacin, however, can keep off atherosclerosis and help maintain a healthy heart.

In ill people, niacin therapy paired up with statins could help treat heart conditions.

2.      Boosts brain function

Niacin plays a role in brain glucose synthesis and breakdown. The NAD and NADP are major enzyme cofactors in the mitochondrial energy breakdown so a healthy amount boosts the activity of brain mitochondria. This could also help in reducing the rate of neural decline and the manifestation of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

3.      Lower cholesterol

Nicotinamide has been proven through clinical studies to reduce the amount of low-density cholesterol in the blood and body while promoting an increase in high-density cholesterol. This is a very desirable state as LDLs are harmful and can lead to hypertension while HDLs are needed by the body and brain for use.

4.      Treat type 1 diabetes

Niacin can be regulated to control the amount of carbs being converted to energy and to increase this amount. This could help in regulating blood glucose in type 1 diabetes especially if detected very early on.

5.      Aid healthy skin development by reducing skin acne and correcting damage from the sun’s rays. It also helps improve the skin condition of skin cancer that has not affected the melanoma. 

6.      Metabolism of carbs

Niacin is an important coenzyme in the energy production processes. The NAD and NADP are both used in the intermediate processes of chemical energy release. These derivatives of Vitamin B3 make it impossible for the metabolism of carbohydrates to proceed in their absence.

7.      Maintain an erection for longer in men with moderate to intense erectile dysfunction.

Because of the impact that niacin has as a coenzyme in various processes on brain function, blood circulation and intake of compounds and elements, it has been observed that supplementation could also help in mildly prolonging the length of an erection.

Vitamin B3 deficiency

Vitamin B3 is soluble in water in very fair amounts. So most of it is in circulation in the blood plasma as a dissolved compound. Excess amounts are therefore excreted through urine when blood passes through the kidneys. Most of the niacin is obtained from food and should therefore be replenished regularly.

Vitaminfood meal replacement shakes for lunch, breakfast or supper (just whatever meal you choose), are an easy way to keep tabs on your micronutrients and to ensure that Niacin is in check. Very little is manufactured in the body from the amino acid- tryptophan so get your complete nutrition subscription to Vitaminfood.

Vitamin B3 deficiency is referred to as Pellagra in most cases. It could be caused by a deficiency in tryptophan amino acid.

Pellagra effects are most pronounced on the skin, brain and gastrointestinal tract. Diets such as maize as a staple increase the risk of developing this disease. Vitaminfood meal replacement powders are designed for the satisfaction of everyone and fortified with enough Vitamin B3. Get Vitaminfood meal shakes to keep you through spring and to the end of summer when you are most vulnerable and to boost your reserves all year round.

Conditions that result in impaired tryptophan conversion or production include carcinoid syndrome and hartnup deficiency. Niacin deficiency could also be caused by alcoholism, diarrhea, cirrhosis and prolonged use of antibiotics.

Its symptoms are:

 Dark red rash on the body especially arms, feet and face. It is a photosensitive rash that gets worse on exposure to sunlight and greatly resembles sunburn but is not one. It forms distinctive patterns like necklaces, boots and gloves on the different parts it appears.

This is a persistent effect which if unresolved results in brown and scaly skin. The interior body is also affected in form of an inflamed gut starting from the tongue, mouth burns and sores. The throat might also have a burning sensation making one feel very uncomfortable. Increased production of saliva, nausea, constipation and diarrhea and abdominal discomfort are also symptoms of a deficiency.

Later and more progressive stages are characterized by confusion, disorientation, memory loss, paranoia, depression, overexcitement and depression, insomnia, fatigue and apathy. Encephalopathy (brain malfunction) is an extreme effect of the deficiency.

Treatment with niacin however resolves these issues unless it is an advanced case like brain malfunction which demands more care and treatment.

Niacin efficacy and toxicity

Unlike most other Vitamins, niacin has some negative health effects if the efficacy is surpassed. It becomes toxic in high amounts making it necessary to stick to the recommended daily intake limits.

Some common side effects for overdoses include:

·         Niacin flush- often from nicotinic supplements, a flush with a tingling pain and burning sensation could occur on the chest, neck and face. This is from vasodilation of the blood vessels in these regions by the overdose.

·         Liver damage – too much of anything and especially for too long is most likely going to be harmful if the product has an upper limit efficacy level. Treatment with niacin supplements could be for cholesterol or brain boost results in slow-release of nicotinic acid which is harmful to the liver and damages over time.

  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches and upsets- elevated liver enzymes and excess nicotinic  acid could both be the reason for irritation in the stomach which causes one to vomit.
  • Blood sugar control – large doses 3-9 g /day overstimulates the body’s metabolism mechanisms impairing them both in the short and long-term.
  • Blurred vision
  • Gout due to an increase of uric acid in the body.


Use Vitaminfood to stay safe from a Vitamin B3 deficiency. We save you from its adverse effects and the great discomfort that comes with pellagra. The itchiness and burning sensation can all be kept away with your Vitaminfood flavored meal replacement shake order. Grab yours now.


1.      https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/niacin-vitamin-b3/

2.      https://ufhealth.org/niacin

3.    https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/vitamin-deficiency-dependency-and-toxicity/niacin-deficiency

4.      https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/disorders-of-nutrition/vitamins/niacin-deficiency