As a member of the B vitamin family, niacin plays a vital role in body functioning. Being a water soluble vitamin, it is never stored in the human body. Hence our body needs a regular supply of this vitamin. It has various other forms; nicotinamide and nicotinic acid being the most common. Other forms include amides and esters. Like the other B complex vitamins, niacin also helps in the metabolization of nutrients like fats and proteins. B complex vitamins are important for healthy hair, skin and eyes. It has various benefits which include good functioning of the nervous system and brain activity.
It causes vasodialation. It is the opening of small blood vessels and capillaries, thus resulting in increased blood flow. This results in the removal of toxins that are stored in the fatty tissues, which are later processed out of the body. This is possible only with niacin and not with other forms of the vitamin such as niacin amide.
Smooth cardiovascular activity
Niacin plays an important role in reducing the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol and triglycerides in our body. It can also improve the levels of high density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol, thus supporting the body to maintain the normal levels of cholesterol. As already mentioned, it prevents cholesterol from getting accumulated in the arteries.
Niacin plays a key role in the synthesis of sex hormones such as estrogens, progesterone and testosterone and adrenal hormones. This vitamin is known to increase the mucus secretion in the mouth and sexual organs. It also helps people with sex related problems.
Prevention of diabetes
Niacinamide is said to be effective in prevention of diabetes. It is said to delay the need for insulin in type 1 diabetes. This compound is believed to improve the efficiency of certain oral drugs taken for the treatment of diabetes. It benefits people affected with type 2 diabetes by lowering the levels of fats and cholesterol in blood.
It enhances muscle strength. It is also known to reduce muscle and joint fatigue. Niacinamide helps in increasing the mobility of joints. These factors result in the usage of this vitamin for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The anti inflammatory effects of niacin, makes it suitable for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Niacin slows down the build up of plaque within the artery walls. Since it helps in the production of histamine, a compound that can dilate blood vessels, blood circulation is improved throughout the body. Thus it helps in the prevention of atherosclerosis and other peripheral vascular diseases.
Niacin is known to aid our body in most of its functions. It is known to prevent many physical ailments. They include:
All the forms of niacin have different effects on our body. It is best to take niacin in the form of natural food sources.