Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) provides numerous health benefits. It helps reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), while elevating levels good cholesterol (HDL). It also assists in the energy production of cells. It is naturally present in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and green vegetables.
Vitamin B3 supports a healthy nervous system and a well-functioning digestive system, though intake of B3 can sometimes cause an stomach upset. To reduce this, it is recommended that vitamin B3 always be taken with food. Caution should be used when taking high levels of vitamin B3, as this can lead to liver problems, muscle damage, low blood pressure, and changes in heart rhythm. Taking high levels should there fore only be done under a doctors supervision.
Vitamin B3 deficiency may cause pellagra, a disorder of the digestive and nervous system.
The benefits of vitamins B3 can be obtained by consuming small amounts based on recommended dietary intake. One should eat enough fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food. Since most adults do not eat these kinds of food, the National Academies of Science (NAS) recommends that adults over the age of 50 take vitamin B supplements to prevent possible deficiencies.