Vitamin B3 “ also known as niacin “ is another water-soluble, B-complex vitamin important to unlocking the energy in carbohydrates. In fact, niacin participates in more than 50 individual metabolic functions each of them involved in one way or another with processing energy.
It is not an exaggeration to say that niacin helps maintain the integrity of almost every cell in the body.
Niacin comes in two basic forms niacin (also called nicotinic acid), and niacinamide (or nicotinamide). The absorption of niacin takes place in the intestines, but niacin is stored in the liver until needed for processes like digestion and activation of enzymes which nourish the body. Niacin needs are partially met by eating foods with protein since the body can convert tryptophan, an amino acid, into niacin.
How did niacin get chosen as the name for this powerful vitamin? Vitamin B3 was first described in 1873 by scientists studying nicotine, so the name nicotinic acid was an obvious possibility. But even back then, prudence dictated a name which wouldn't be confused with nicotine. Scientists didn't want to imply that smoking provided vitamins or that wholesome food contained a poison.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) is an important nutrient which helps support cell growth.
- Niacin helps maintain proper metabolic functioning.
- Niacin helps maintain healthy functions of the digestive system.
- Niacin supports carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
- Niacin supports carbohydrate and protein metabolism once it is converted in the body to NAD.
- Niacin is a key B-vitamin which performs a role in energy metabolism in the body.
- Niacin promotes nervous system health.
- Niacin helps maintain healthy skin and hair.
- Niacin supports cardiovascular health.
- Niacin supports circulatory health.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) works closely with Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and biotin to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. Niacin is essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates to produce energy.
- Niacin aids in the production of hydrochloric acid which is needed for proper digestion. Additionally, it facilitates the body's ability to eliminate unwanted compounds.
- Niacin is essential for the activity of many enzymes (special substances which speed up chemical reactions in the body). Some of the enzymes revved up by Niacin are responsible for the production of energy, the breakdown of dietary fats, the production of hormones, the processing of genetic materials DNA and RNA, and the growth of cells in the body.
- Niacin allows blood vessels to relax, thereby encouraging better blood flow to all regions of the body, including hands and feet. Inositol hexaniacinate is one form of niacin which can have this effect on the circulatory system.
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