Niacin is another name for Vitamin B3. Like other B-vitamins it does some serious work helping your body perform its essential functions. It can also be found as a standalone supplement, or in a multivitamin or B vitamin complex.
Knowing this, is there any reason you might want to supplement with niacin pills? What are the benefits of niacin pills? Let’s take take a look at some research and see if there is a clear answer.
What Are Niacin Pills Used For?
Research into the role of niacin has provided several insights into how it functions within the body. When niacin is found in levels that meet the recommended daily allowance, it is expected that the body will maintain normal blood circulation, optimal brain function, healthy-looking skin, cholesterol levels already within the normal range, normal cognition, and energy production.
When a deficiency is present as a result of not getting enough niacin through a healthy diet, people may choose to use niacin pills. Additionally, internal challenges such as digestive issue and alcohol consumption may affect the normal absorption of niacin and lead to a deficiency despite consuming health amounts of niacin.
Serum Phosphate Levels
Having either too much or too little serum phosphorous can cause a variety of health problems. Phosphorous is a mineral found in a variety of foods; your body then takes this and converts it into phosphate. Serum phosphate is “an important mineral in the body and helps to regulate blood biochemistry, which can impact on the working of the heart. It plays a crucial role in enabling red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues.” It is rare for the level of phosphate in the blood to be too high. However, when it is, it is often linked to deposits of phosphorous in the muscles that can lead to cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis.
High levels of serum phosphate is linked to “severe calcium absorption or kidney problems.” Because of this, clinical trials have looked at the effect of niacin on patients on dialysis. Results show that for patients undergoing dialysis, niacin significantly decreases serum phosphate.”
Supporting Cardiovascular Health
According to PubMedHealth, “Niacin is used alone or with other medicines to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride (fat-like substances) levels in the blood. This may help prevent the development of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and other problems caused by high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Niacin is also used to help lower risk of heart attack in patients with a history of heart attack and hyperlipidemia.”
Research supports the use of niacin to support cardiovascular health. A meta-review of the research of niacin (either by itself or in combination of lipid therapy) on cardiovascular events concluded that “niacin was associated with significantly fewer cardiovascular disease events … and major coronary heart disease events.”
Another study looked at how niacin therapy would affect cardiovascular health in patients who already had coronary artery disease. The results here were also promising. The research concluded that niacin therapy was associated with “statistically significant reduction of coronary events in patients with coronary heart disease ….”
Niacin and Headaches
Other researchers have examined whether niacin is an effective treatment for migraines and tension headache. One study in particular examined intravenous niacin (taken through injection) and oral niacin (niacin pills). While more research is needed on the topic, all of the six case series in the study “reported headache relief for a majority of the participants. This included the use of niacin to stop existing headaches and to prevent chronic headaches.”
Niacin From Pills or Diet?
There are a lot of delicious ways to incorporate niacin in your diet. Some foods that contain ideal levels of niacin include:
- Cottage cheese
- All-bran cereal
- Soy burgers
- Marmite or vegemite
Flush-Free Niacin Pills
If you are considering niacin pills, you might consider that there are potential benefits to taking niacin in a synthetic form. Niacin that is thought to actually be more beneficial as a synthetic supplement. One of the side effects of niacin is flushing; however, synthetic niacin is made from a synthetic supplement called inositol hexanicotinate. Inositol hexanicotinate causes less flushing of the skin than niacin, and so those who experience this side effect may prefer it.
Not all niacin supplements are formulated the same way, with some supplements containing additional vitamins, herbs, and extracts that might alter the effect of vitamins in the body. If taking another supplement while using a niacin supplement, unexpected interactions can occur.
A wide variety of niacin pills and supplements are available in the Natural Healthy Concepts store. What do you take niacin for?