(Natural News) Vitamin B3 is an essential vitamin that can be obtained from different types of food. It plays a role in digestion, supports mental health, and helps keep the heart, skin, and nervous system healthy. It also contributes to important bodily functions, such as the conversion of food into energy.
The different forms of vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 comes in different forms, each of which affects the body in different ways. These forms are all converted inside the body to an important coenzyme called NAD+. NAD+ is present in every single cell and is important for energy metabolism and maintaining proper cell function. It also helps protect cells from age-related damage. Check the list below to see in which form you need to take vitamin B3.
Nicotinic acid — One of the main forms of vitamin B3, nicotinic acid can easily be obtained from food. As a supplement, it is known as niacin and is used to lower cholesterol and treat heart disease. Nicotinic acid can also be converted into nicotinamide inside the body.
Nicotinamide (niacinamide) — This is another form of vitamin B3 that is present in food. Nicotinamide is usually included in multivitamins and fortified foods since it does not cause flushing. But unlike nicotinic acid, nicotinamide doesn’t help with cardiovascular conditions. Instead, it treats inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and Type 1 diabetes. Nicotinamide can also be found in skin care products.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) — NR is a recently discovered form of vitamin B3 that can be found predominantly in supplements because it is scarce in foods. Although it is an uncommon form, it holds great promise in boosting cognitive function and slowing the aging process. NR is more efficient than nicotinamide or nicotinic acid in increasing NAD+ levels in the body and brain.
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13 foods that are rich in vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin that the body doesn’t store or produce naturally. It can only be obtained from outside sources, and it needs to be replenished daily. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B3 is 16 milligrams (mg) for adult men and 14 mg for adult women. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need 18 and 17 mg of vitamin B3 per day, respectively. To get the right amount of vitamin B3 that you need, consider adding the following foods to your diet:
- Nutritional yeast (¼ cup): 46 mg
- Turkey (3 oz): 10 mg
- Chicken (3 oz): 9 mg
- Tuna (3 oz, canned): 8½ mg
- Salmon (3 oz): 8½ mg
- Bran flakes (¾ cup): 5 mg
- Beef (3 oz): 4½ mg
- Peanuts (1 oz): 4 mg
- Mushrooms (1 sliced cup): 2½ mg
- Lentils (1 cooked cup): 2 mg
- Coffee (1 brewed cup): 2 mg
- Whole-wheat bread (1 slice): 1½ mg
- Beets (1 sliced cup): 1 mg
What vitamin B3 does for you
Vitamin B3 is a useful vitamin that is brimming with health benefits. In its different forms, it can provide protection, alleviate symptoms, and soothe painful conditions. Here are the things that studies have shown it can do for you:
It helps lower cholesterol levels. Supplements containing nicotinic acid increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels and lower triglycerides. (Related: Dietary supplement made from vitamin B3 provides same benefits as calorie restriction for improving arterial health, reversing cardiovascular aging.)
It protects the skin from cancer due to excessive sun exposure. Topical creams that contain nicotinamide protect the skin from getting damaged by ultraviolet rays. High intake of vitamin B3 could also prevent the development of certain types of skin cancer.
It helps clear up acne. Topical and oral nicotinamide can reduce acne due to its anti-inflammatory activity.
It relieves joint pain caused by inflammation. Swollen, inflamed joints, such as those seen in people with arthritis, can also be treated by adequate amounts of vitamin B3 and supplementation.
It boosts brain function. Severe vitamin B3 deficiency has been linked to dementia, but getting enough vitamin B3 from your diet may also prevent Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
It promotes digestion and gut health. Vitamin B3 is essential for the metabolism of food; insufficient amounts can cause upset stomachs and even a disease called pellagra.
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