All the B vitamins are so important to our health and niacin is no exception. Niacin like so many of the B vitamins is needed for energy and helping our bodies to properly use carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Our brains, nervous systems, digestion and skin all need the help of niacin. It also helps to regulate our blood sugar and eliminate toxins.
In too large of a dose, niacin causes a flushing and tingling of the skin which can last for fifteen minutes. I experienced this myself. It's not exactly comfortable, but it does pass.
Niacinamide is the synthetic version of niacin. It does not cause flushing and has a slightly different effect on the body. It is good for those with rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis and those with early-onset type-1 diabetes. It is also an antioxidant.
So how can we add niacin to our diet? According to healthaliciousness.com here are the top ten foods for niacin. The first is yeast extract spread (Marmite), followed by bran (rice and wheat), fish (Anchovies, Tuna, Swordfish), liver, paprika, peanuts, liver (lean), chicken (light meat), bacon and finally there is sun-dried tomatoes. I will admit that after seeing how many times paprika has come up on these top ten lists that I have started to use a lot more of it in our meals.
What would you choose for increasing the niacin in your diet?
The information about Vitamin B3 comes from the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, Alive Publishing Group, 1997.