Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin of vitamin B complex. It is important for our metabolism.

The important functions of niacin include:

• Important in the release of energy from carbohydrates
• Needed to maintain the integrity of all body cells
• Supports antioxidants and detoxification functions
• Assists the production of sex and adrenal hormones
• Lowers LDL-cholesterol and increases HDL-cholesterol
• Helps fat metabolism
• Useful to skin health
• Important tot he health of myelin sheath, the protective covering oft he spinal nerves
• Helps digestion and vital fort he production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach
• Useful for pancreas health
• Relaxes blood vessels
• Increases joint mobility and muscle strength

Niacin is found in animal and plant foods. It is rich in beets, brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds, nuts, liver, poultry and fish.
18 to 20 mg Niacin is the recommended dietary intake for adults.
Chronic alcoholism or malnutrition can cause niacin deficiency and the disease caused is pellagra. Pellagra causes skin problems, mouth sores, digestive problems, dementia and diarrhoea. The nervous system may also be affected.

Excess Niacin intake can cause skin rashes, liver damage and peptic ulcers. The symptoms of overdose of Niacin include:

• Skin flushing
• Skin itching
• Low blood pressure
• Headaches
• Lightheadedness
It is important to consult your doctor before you take food supplements which contain high amount of Niacin.