What Exactly Is Niacin?
A friend mine was asking me about various vitamins and minerals just the other day and he was curious as to what role each plays in our bodies. He has been engaged in a weight loss program and he’s had great success eating better, exercising and taking all-natural supplements! While discussing the various ingredients in the products he uses, he asked me specifically, “What exactly is niacin and what does it do?” Most adults have some understanding of what vitamins A, C, D and E are and roughly know what they do, but some of the B vitamins are commonly known by other names and can be a little more mysterious. Niacin is one of those members of the vitamin B family – specifically, vitamin B3. All B vitamins are water-soluble and need replenishing every day. They are vital for maintaining good health! Okay, so now we know in which family this organic compound belongs, but what exactly does it do for us?
Well, like its brothers and sisters in the B-complex family, niacin plays an essential role in metabolism in our cells and in the breakdown of fats. It is involved in DNA repair and in the production of natural steroid hormones in the adrenal gland. This essential B vitamin has been shown to increase levels of HDL, aka “good”, cholesterol, and it works to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as proven in many clinical trials. In fact, niacin supplements are commonly prescribed by doctors and other healthcare professionals to assist in treating those with high LDL levels and high risks for heart attacks.
So, where do we find niacin in our diet, and do we need supplements of niacin? Niacin is readily available in a healthy diet. The problem comes in when we don’t get the appropriate level from food alone. Good sources of B3 include:
- Animal products like liver, chicken, beef, milk, eggs and some varieties of fish (salmon and tuna)
- Fruits and vegetables such as avocados, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, asparagus
- Nuts, legumes and whole grains
- Mushrooms and brewer’s yeast
- Fortified products such as cereals and some energy drinks.
It’s probably a good bet you consume something from the above list, but do you get enough of this essential vitamin to regulate your metabolism and maintain good heart health? Maybe or maybe not! Since you probably can’t run your own blood or urine test at home to determine your vitamin levels on a daily basis, doesn’t it make sense to eliminate any doubt as to what you are taking in every day? Of course it does, especially when taking daily supplements is so easy and convenient!
A2Z Discount Vitamins offers many products to help us maintain healthy levels of niacin and our other B vitamins, as well as the other components we need daily to operate at full speed, mentally and physically! Vita Logic’s Daily Extra multivitamin offers a full day’s supply of these essential vitamins and minerals. For revitalizing your metabolism with niacin and the other B vitamins, try Vita Logic Stressed Out. This specially-formulated supplement provides us with the daily energy we need to be at our best!