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Niacin: A Favorite B Vitamin

Friday, March 10, 2017

Niacin, also referred to as vitamin B3, was the third B vitamin to be discovered. In the 1940s, medical doctors started reporting the niacin health benefits for muscle and joint flexibility, since inflexibility is associated with structure / function health issues experienced by older people.

Niacin can cause a “flush” for some people when they first start ingesting supplemental niacin, but nutrition-educated biochemist and physician researchers suggest the flush is caused by harmless dilation of blood vessels near the skin. Nevertheless, most nutritional supplements include the niacinamide form of niacin, since there is no lush associated with this form.

Drug companies seem to have little interest in the health benefits of niacin or niacinamide, since they have never been able to patent either form of this vitamin to assure profitability.


Niacin contribution to normal physiological functions

Regulatory (FDA and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)) structure / function and health claims associated with niacin vitamin include the following:

Niacin contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism

Niacin is necessary for the utilization of energy from food, and it is necessary to maintain energy and general vitality. It helps reduce fatigue, particularly in situations of inadequate micronutrient status due to its role in macronutrient metabolism.

Niacin contribution to normal mental function and performance


Niacin, as with other water-soluble vitamins,is considered essential for mental function and performance. In situations of inadequate micronutrient status, supplementation with water-soluble vitamins and minerals can help sustain mental performance, help maintain memory and perception of the environment, particularly in the elderly.


Niacin contrition of normal skin and mucous membrane health

A claim of niacin and maintenance of normal skin and mucous membrane health has been assessed with favorable results by the EFSA. 


Niacin and malnutrition

Unfortunately, niacin deficiency is prevalent in our ever-growing homeless population, as well as in those suffering from nutrient-deficient diets high in corn products and low in animal proteins.

Food sources of niacin include chicken, eggs, tuna, turkey, salmon, beef, fortified cereal, nuts, enriched pasta, lentils and beans.

Consumption of niacin above the amount currently considered the safe upper limit (UL) of 30 mg per day for adults is a concern to the FDA and other governing bodies. The established RDA for niacin is 16 mg per day for adult men and 14 mg per day for adult women to maintain life, which does not always mean to maintain health.

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff



The prestigious Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center suggests that dietary surveys indicate 15 to 25 percent of older adults do not consume enough niacin in their diets to meet the RDAs and metabolic structure / function needs of this group of people. They advise older adults to supplement their dietary intake with a multivitamin / mineral that provides at least 20 mg of niacin daily.

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