WHAT IS NIACIN (B3)?
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3 is a major component of NAD and NAD+, which are two enzymes involved in cellular metabolism. NAD is also required for enzymes that facilitate critical cellular function, such as genome integrity*, control of gene expression and communication between cells. NADP+ plays a key role in maintaining cellular antioxidant function**(1).
*maintaining all genetic elements/functions in a call
**protection against free radicals which lead to chain reactions that may damage cells
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NIACIN (B3)?
Alterations of NAD metabolism are key features of early resemblance of age-related neurodegenerative disorders (including Parkison’s and Alzheimer’s). NAD+ depletion leading to mitochondrial dysfunction has been continually found in aging and the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease; in mice models, increasing NAD+ concentrations has been proven to reverse cognitive decline(1).
It is known that optimal levels of niacin (B3) are needed for reducing oxidative stress and neuroinflammation (two factors implicated in the diagnosis of Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders as they serve as “aggravators”) (1). All of these preliminary findings being considered, there is early evidence that supplementation with dietary precursors of NAD+ (niacin) may be able to counteract the impact of many age-related and neurological diseases including those that apply to cognitive decline as well as psychiatric conditions and migraines. These niacin benefits alone may be enough for some people to consider niacin supplementation.
Niacin (B3) is recognized to help fight internal and external stressors, which if left unmanaged, can lead to the breakdown of our skin and can indicate premature signs of aging. Niacin deficiency has been shown to result in cases of defective DNA repair after sun exposure, suggesting that suboptimal niacin supplementation or consumption can increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer; data suggests that niacin uses can include preventing UV-induced skin damage and providing novel protection against UV radiation from sunlight (1).
Supplemental doses of niacin (B3) (between 1-3g daily) have been clinically proven to reduce serum LDL (bad) and increase serum HDL (good) cholesterol, which suggest potential benefits for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases (1). Niacin intake in a clinical study was found to correct the HDL: LDL cholesterol ratio in patients with dyslipidemia (having blood lipids levels that are too high/low) and to improve markers for atherosclerosis*.
*characterized as the deposition of fatty plaques on the walls of arteries
Our Niacin (B3) is obtained from quinoa sprouts germinated with b-complex. During the germination process of the quinoa, the b-vitamins are incorporated into the quinoa seeds and available in their free form; they are also available in their biologically active form, allowing for proper absorption. Research conducted at the University of Scranton (Pennsylvania) USA has demonstrated that natural vitamins, as a result of their bioavailability, are superior to synthetic vitamins; the absorption of natural niacin was found to be 3.94 times higher than its synthetic counterpart.
What are symptoms of niacin (vitamin b3) deficiency?
Niacin (B3) deficiency presents itself as the “3 D’s”: dermatis (various skin problems, such as rash or discoloration), dementia (memory loss and mental confusion), and diarrhea (1). Individuals who are already deficient in other B vitamins, specifically B2 (riboflavin) and B6, as well as iron, tend to be at a higher risk of niacin deficiency since the enzymes needed for proper conversion of niacin depend on these other essentials. While niacin deficiency in the Western world is very rare, supplementation has been noted alongside some niacin health benefits.
- “Office of Dietary Supplements - NIACIN.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 6 Mar. 2020, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Niacin-HealthProfessional/
- Gasperi V, Sibilano M, Savini I, Catani MV. Niacin in the Central Nervous System: An Update of Biological Aspects and Clinical Applications. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(4):974. Published 2019 Feb 23. doi:10.3390/ijms20040974 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30813414/
- Lin F, Xu W, Guan C, et al. Niacin protects against UVB radiation-induced apoptosis in cultured human skin keratinocytes. Int J Mol Med. 2012;29(4):593‐600. doi:10.3892/ijmm.2012.886 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3577345/