Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is a vitamin naturally found in a number of whole and processed foods and is often added to dietary supplements. Niacin plays an important role in maintaining the health of the nervous, skin and digestive systems. It has the chemical formula C6H5NO2 and a molecular weight of 123.11 g/mol.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) Benefits and Uses
Chemically, Niacin is easily converted by the body tissues into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADP), enzymes which catalyze hundreds of important reactions in the body. Among these are the ability to convert food into usable energy and to repair DNA damage.
Anecdotally, Niacin B3 has perceived health benefits on cardiovascular health, circulation and may improve cognition.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) supplements are also known by a few different names, including:
- 3-Pyridine Carboxamide
- 3-Pyridinecarboxylic Acid
- B Complex Vitamin
- Vitamin B3
Niacin supplements are generally considered safe for use by most adults. Niacin supplements may cause mild side effects such as upset stomach, allergies, skin flushing and dizziness. However, much larger servings may cause serious adverse effects and caution should be observed.
Warning: Currently, there isn’t enough information regarding the safety of this supplement for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or if it can be used by children.
The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA. The products on this page are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.