- Like other B vitamins niacin is essential for the manufacture of enzymes that provide cells with energy through tissue respiration and carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.
- Niacin is involved in over 50 enzyme reactions and is essential for healthy skin, tongue and digestive tract tissues and the formation of red blood cells.
Deficiency of Niacin
- Factors that may increase vitamin B3 niacin deficiency include alcohol consumption, caffeine, refined sugar, low protein intake, liver disease, glaucoma, diabetes, or peptic ulcers. Deficiency of vitamin B3 niacin can lead to fatigue, muscular weakness, loss of appetite, low blood sugar, dizziness, headaches, insomnia, canker sores, skin inflammation and eruptions.
- Long term niacin deficiency typically leads to pellagra, the common term for niacin deficiency disease. Pellagra starts with sunburn-like eruptions on the skin where exposed to sunlight, later symptoms being swollen red tongue, diarrhea, mental confusion / dementia, irritability and depression.
Toxicity of Niacin
- Skin disorders. Itching, rashes, pruritus, dry skin, increased pigmentation
- GI distress.
- GU distress. increased urinary frequency, dysuria.
- Hyperuricemia may precipitate gout.
- Hepatic and pancreatic disturbances with high doses.