Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vitamin B3 Niacin: Mental Clarity and Tranquility

Niacin is important for many reasons, but especially for its striking effect upon the circulatory and nervous systems.  Niacin is very important for brain metabolism.  Studies done with Niacin show that it is instrumental in relieving symptoms of schizophrenia such as paranoia and hallucinations; it has helped elderly patients regain mental clarity; because it dilates blood vessels, it brings more oxygen to the brain; and it has helped insomniacs because of its sleep-inducing qualities.  Because it dilates the blood vessels, it helps remove lipids from arterial walls.  It has been used to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and legs cramps of the elderly.   It is a digestive aid, helps stabilize blood sugar, and has been used to treat acne.  It has also been extremely beneficial to arthritis sufferers.

The National Research Council recommends 6.6 milligrams of niacin for every 1000 calories in the diet (1).  Niacin is one vitamin that can be synthesized by the body if there is enough Tryptophan, an amino acid.  60 milligrams of Tryptophan can be converted to 1 milligram of Niacin.  No real toxic effects are known; however, if intake reaches 100 milligrams, there may be some tingling, itching sensations, and intense flushing of the skin because of the dilation of blood vessels.  This is called the Niacin flush, and usually passes in about 15 minutes.  It is temporary, and is not dangerous (2).

There are three synthetic forms of this vitamin:  niacinamide, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide.  Taking a synthetic form of the vitamin can help one avoid the "niacin flush"; however, niacinamide can cause depression in some people, and has also been known to cause liver damage in doses of over 2 grams per day (1).  It's best to stay with a natural form of the vitamin.  The flush is temporary and only associated with large doses.  However, pure niacin is found in relatively small amounts in most foods.  

Turkey meat is rich in Tryptophan, and so is a good source for Niacin.

Other Sources For Niacin:

Beef liver, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, carrots, cheese, corn flour, dandelion greens, dates, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, wheat germ, and whole wheat products, alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, licorice, mullein, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, slippery elm, and yellow dock (3).

The best source of B Vitamins is nutritional yeast.  Purchase Here. 

Ailments which should benefit from Niacin:

Arterioschlerosis Atherosclerosis High Cholesterol Diabetes Hemophilia Hypertension Hypoglycemia Phlebitis Diarrhea Dizziness Epilepsy Headache Insomnia Mental illness Multiple sclerosis Neuritis Partkinson's disease Meniere's syndrome Conjunctivitis Night blindness Baldness Constipation Arthritis Tuberculosis Halitosis Acne Bedsores Dermatitis Indigestion Pyorrhea Alcoholism Cancer Stress (1).

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Copyright 2015  Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

(1)  Dunne, Lavon J.  (1990).  Nutrition Almanac. New York:  McGraw-Hill, p. 25.
(2)  Personal Health Lifestyles.  (2000).  "Vitamin B3: Niacin."  Available Online:  [].
(3)  Inner Self Publications.  (2000).  "Vitamin B3:  Niacin."  Available Online:  [].

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