Written By Lizzie Howard / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
You may have heard plenty about niacin but aren't sure how it works in the human body. It's also known as vitamin B3, and niacin plays a major role in turning the food you eat into energy by aiding enzymes.
This key vitamin also helps to keep your skin clear and healthy. While most people get enough niacin from their diet, others do not and can develop a niacin deficiency.
How Much Niacin Is Needed Daily?
Niacin is measured in milligrams of niacin equivalents, according to The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). For adults ages 19 and older, men need 16 mg NE, and women require 14 mg NE. For pregnant women, it's 18 mg for NE and 17 mg NE for lactating women.
A large variety of foods contain niacin, and some of these include poultry, red meat, and fish. Also, enriched pasta and peanuts have niacin along with fortified cereals and bread.
However, a niacin deficiency can occur through genetic disorders, difficulty in digestive absorption, or even interaction with certain medicines.
You can often correct the issue by taking the best NMN supplement that contains nicotinamide to help protect the body in energy production, metabolism, and treating acne and other skin conditions, including skin cancer.
The following signs can suggest a niacin deficiency:
Mouth And Skin Sores
A niacin deficiency can occur in several ways and show up with a variety of symptoms. For instance, your mouth can be one of the first places to check. Often, not getting enough vitamin B3 or niacin can cause sores to break out in the mouth as well as cause the tongue to develop a dark red color. The mouth can also become swollen.
The deficiency can also cause a burning sensation for some in the mouth, throat, and esophagus. In addition, saliva production may increase.
Red Body Rash
Another sign of a niacin deficiency, also called pellagra, is a dark red rash that can resemble a sunburn. This very visible symptom shows up looking like gloves on the arms and hands. You may also recognize the rash like a pair of boots across the feet and calves.
For others, the red rash shows up on the neck, looking like a necklace. The deficiency can even affect one's face with a rash that forms in a butterfly shape. These affected areas of the face, neck, and extremities can also develop brown in color and scaly in texture.
Fatigue, Insomnia, And More
A niacin deficiency can also display symptoms by giving the body fatigue and weight loss. For some, not being able to sleep with insomnia occurring is another frustrating aspect of a vitamin B3 deficiency.
Even the brain can become susceptible to the effects of a deficiency and cause a person to exhibit a variety of issues. Some of these include confusion, memory loss, disorientation, or even hallucinations. In time, one can experience a number of emotions such as depression, over-excitement, extreme elation (manic), deliriousness, or paranoia.
Deficiency Was Common Early 1900s
Suffering from a niacin deficiency isn't anything new. In fact, its history can be traced back to the early part of the 20th century in the southern part of the United States.
Doctors were finding people who had developed red, scaly skin, diarrhea, and dementia. Many were getting sick, and hundreds of thousands would later die from the epidemic.
At first, the experts could not figure out what was causing these symptoms and whether it was contagious or not. However, the U.S. Public Health Service eventually determined that people were getting ill through poor diet, and it was a lack of vitamin B3 that was causing all these symptoms. Niacin was being added to bread and cereals by the 1950s, and this helped to stem the problem.
Vitamin B3 helps every cell in the human body to function properly. Niacin has a job to do and that is to convert carbohydrates into glucose, metabolize fats and proteins and maintain the nervous system running in peak condition.
This B vitamin also keeps your circulation revving, cholesterol levels stable, and your hormones (sex and stress-related) balanced.
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Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.