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Vitamin B3

Also indexed as:B3 Vitamin, Nicotinic Acid, Niacin, Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3: Main Image

The body uses the water-soluble vitamin B3 in the process of releasing energy from carbohydrates. It is needed to form fat from carbohydrates and to process alcohol. The niacin form of vitamin B3 also regulates cholesterol, though niacinamide does not.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Acne Vulgaris
Apply 4% gel twice per dayas Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)3 stars[3 stars]
In a double-blind trial, applying a topical 4% niacinamide gel twice daily for two months significantly improved acne.
High Cholesterol
1,500 to 3,000 mg daily under a doctor's supervision3 stars[3 stars]
High amounts (several grams per day) of niacin, a form of vitamin B3, have been shown to lower cholesterol.
High Triglycerides
500 mg three times per day3 stars[3 stars]
The niacin form of vitamin B3 is used by some doctors to lower triglycerides, however, the quantity needed to achieve reductions may cause side effects. Ask your doctor is niacin is right for you.
Intermittent Claudication
2 grams twice per dayas Inositol Hexaniacinate (Vitamin B3)3 stars[3 stars]
Inositol hexaniacinate, a special form of vitamin B3, has been used successfully to reduce symptoms, this treatment should be monitored by a doctor.
Osteoarthritis
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Supplemental niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) has been reported to increase joint mobility, improve muscle strength, and decrease fatigue in people with osteoarthritis.
Atherosclerosis
2,000 mg per day (only under a doctor's supervision)2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, doctor-supervised supplementation with extended-release niacin in combination with a cholesterol-lowering statin drug appeared to reverse atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the brain).
Dysmenorrhea

(Rutin, Vitamin C)
200 mg niacin daily, 300 mg vitamin C daily, and 60 mg rutin daily througout menstrual cycle; for cramps: 100 mg niacin every two to three hours2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with a combination of vitamin B3, vitamin C, and the flavonoid rutin resulted in a 90% effectiveness for relieving menstrual cramps in one study.
Dysmenorrhea
200 mg daily throughout menstrual cycle; for cramps: 100 mg every two to three hours 2 stars[2 stars]
The niacin form of vitamin B3 has been reported to be effective in relieving menstrual cramps in 87% of a group of women supplementing with it throughout the menstrual cycle.
High Cholesterol
500 to 1,000 mg of inositol hexaniacinate three times daily under medical supervisionas Inositol Hexaniacinate (Vitamin B3)2 stars[2 stars]
Inositol hexaniacinate, a special form of vitamin B3, has been reported to lower serum cholesterol, and apparently without the toxicity of high levels of niacin.
High Triglycerides
500 mg three times per dayas Inositol Hexaniacinate (Vitamin B3)2 stars[2 stars]
Some doctors recommend inositol hexaniacinate (a special form of vitamin B3) as an alternative to niacin, which can have negative side effects.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
1,200 mg a day of inositol hexaniacinate2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B3 may help prevent and treat skin ulcers caused by peripheral vascular disease.
Raynaud's Disease
3 to 4 grams daily of inositol hexaniacinate2 stars[2 stars]
A variation on the B vitamin niacin, inositol hexaniacinate has been shown to reduce arterial spasm and improve peripheral circulation.
Schizophrenia
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
High amounts of vitamin B3 may create a more optimal biochemical environment and increase recovery rate and reduce hospitalization and suicide rates.
Type 1 Diabetes
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Taking vitamin B3 (as niacin or niacinamide) might prevent or limit the severity of type 1 diabetes in your family.
Alcohol Withdrawal
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Preliminary research has suggested that niacin may help wean some alcoholics away from alcohol. Niacinamide--a safer form of the same vitamin--might have similar actions.
Anxiety
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) has been shown in animals to work in the brain in ways similar to anxiety medications. One study found that niacinamide helped people get through withdrawal from benzodiazepines--a common problem.
Cataracts
40 mg daily with 3 mg daily vitamin B21 star[1 star]
Vitamin B3 is needed to protect glutathione, an important antioxidant in the eye.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

(Tetracycline)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Preliminary evidence indicates that, when drug therapy with dapsone is not tolerated, people may respond to a combination of tetracycline and nicotinamide (a form of vitamin B3).
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B3 may play a role in HIV prevention and treatment. A form of vitamin B3 (niacinamide) has been shown to inhibit HIV in test tube studies.
Hypoglycemia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Research has shown that supplementing with niacinamide (vitamin B3) can prevent blood sugar levels from falling excessively in people with hypoglycemia.
Hypothyroidism
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B3 (niacin) supplementation may decrease thyroid hormone levels.
Multiple Sclerosis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency may contribute to nerve damage. Researchers have found that injections of thiamine or thiamine combined with niacin (vitamin B3) may reduce symptoms.
Photosensitivity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, can reduce the formation of a kynurenic acid--a substance that has been linked to photosensitivity.
Tardive Dyskinesia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In some studies, taking vitamin B3 as niacin or niacinamide, along with other nutrients, appeared to prevent the development of tardive dyskinesia.
Type 2 Diabetes
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Small amounts of niacin (a form of vitamin B3) may help some people with type 2 diabetes.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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