12 May Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
Niacin, often known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble B vitamin that can be found naturally in some foods, added to foods or used as a supplement. It’s an essential nutrient — meaning that you must obtain it from food or supplements because your body cannot produce it on its own. You can find B3 (Niacinamide) in the all new FIT+, which is great because having enough vitamin B3 in the body is important for overall good health. Did you know that every part of your body needs B3 to function properly?1
Let’s first look at two forms of Niacin/ B3 and then some of its benefits!
Nicotinic acid vs Niacinamide:
Niacin/ B3 is one of the eight B vitamins, and there are two main forms of niacin:1
- Nicotinic acid
- Niacinamide (found in new FIT+)
Both of these types can be found in foods and supplements.2 Let’s compare the two!
Nicotinic acid is commonly used as a supplement to manage high cholesterol and heart disease.3 Supplemental doses can create a condition known as “niacin flush,” which causes skin to become red and irritated so it’s important to be mindful of this if choosing to supplement with this form of Niacin/ B3.3
Niacinamide on the other hand, which is found in FIT+, does not cause flushing.3 It has been shown to provide support for some skin diseases, arthritis, and early onset type 1 diabetes.3 It has anti-inflammatory properties which have helped it become increasingly popular in supplements as well as skin care.
What are the benefits of Vitamin B3?
Supports heart health
B3 has been shown to support reductions in “bad” LDL cholesterol, increases in “good” HDL cholesterol, and lowering of triglycerides.3 It is sometimes used for people who cannot tolerate statin drugs to lower their cholesterol.4
Protects and enhances brain function
A severe niacin deficiency has been associated with cognitive decline such as memory loss and dementia.5Additionally, niacin is believed to protect brain cells from stress and injury.5
May help support healthy blood flow
Niacin helps to open your blood vessels, boosting blood flow and lowering blood pressure by releasing prostaglandins.6 As a result, niacin may help support healthy blood flow.
Improves skin health
Whether taken orally or applied as a lotion, niacin has been shown to protect skin cells from UV damage.7 One study showed that when compared to a control group, ingesting 500 mg of niacinamide twice a day reduced the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer in over 300 adults who were at high risk of skin cancer.8
Along with the other B vitamins, niacin/ B3 plays a crucial role in how the body obtains energy from the food we eat2.
A nutritious diet and FIT+ are great ways to get in B3!
As mentioned, niacin/B3 in the form of niacinamide is found in the all new FIT+! Additionally, you can get niacin/ B3 from food sources like red meat, poultry, fish, brown rice, fortified cereals and breads, nuts, seeds, legumes and bananas.
Please note: The research presented here is exclusively for informational purposes only and not intended to provide medical advice or guidance on any of the conditions mentioned above or any other medical condition. Please check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about incorporating supplements into your dietary regimen especially if you have any medical conditions or are on any medications.
- Jennings, K.-A., MS, & RD. (2021, April 15). 5 benefits of niacin (vitamin B3) that you may not know. Healthline.
- Niacin. Nih.Gov. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- Discover the vitamin with brain-boosting, skin-soothing benefits. (2019, January 18). Mindbodygreen.
- Mani, P., & Rohatgi, A. (2015). Niacin therapy, HDL cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease: Is the HDL hypothesis defunct? Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 17(8), 43.
- Niacin – vitamin B3. (2020, July 6). The Nutrition Source.
- Zhang, Z., Liu, M., Zhou, C., He, P., Zhang, Y., Li, H., Li, Q., Liu, C., & Qin, X. (2021). Evaluation of dietary niacin and new-onset hypertension among Chinese adults. JAMA Network Open, 4(1), e2031669.
- Snaidr, V. A., Damian, D. L., & Halliday, G. M. (2019). Nicotinamide for photoprotection and skin cancer chemoprevention: A review of efficacy and safety. Experimental Dermatology, 28 Suppl 1, 15–22.
- Chen, A. C., Martin, A. J., Choy, B., Fernández-Peñas, P., Dalziell, R. A., McKenzie, C. A., Scolyer, R. A., Dhillon, H. M., Vardy, J. L., Kricker, A., St George, G., Chinniah, N., Halliday, G. M., & Damian, D. L. (2015). A phase 3 randomized trial of nicotinamide for skin-cancer chemoprevention. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(17), 1618–1626.
|Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultant