Vitamin B3 is an important vitamin for our health and for glutathione production.
Although the medical profession routinely gives vitamin B shots to stabilize the mental health of hospital patients, the one B vitamin that is seldom considered or used (except in patients that consume considerable amounts of alcohol) in the Northern US is Niacin or B3.
Before you read on, note that if you overdose on B3 you can experience some uncomfortable side effects. The no flush nicotinamide and time released versions have been associated with liver damage.
Here is a story of someone who lived... Danger of Vitamin B3 Overdose. Note that he took 11,000 mg (which is not recommended anywhere we could find). Even high doses are recommended to be spaced throughout the day and taking it up to five times to attain the high dose, usually not more than 3000mg and under a doctors supervision.
Vitamin B3 deficiency results in Pellagra. This is a disease described by the four Ds, diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death. Pellagra is most noticed in diets dependent on corn. The Southern US Native Americans prepared the corn in such a way to prevent this problem. It is most often noted in Africa, Indonesia, China and rural South America.
Pellagra is a disease resulting from vitamin B3 deficiency and is related to excessive intake of leucine.
B3 deficiency is often noted in people with poor diets and excessive alcohol intake.
Leucine comes from corn, soy, peanuts, wheat germ, almonds, oats, beans, chick peas and brown rice. Although we need leucine, too much is not good for health.
In addition to the above symptoms, note that insomnia, mental confusion are of the symptoms.
If you are trying to manage mental health, sleep or mental clarity, then B3 is an essential tool to use.
Sources of vitamin B3 (niacin):
- chicken breast
- chicken livers
- brown rice
- dried figs
Here is what is interesting.
While there were numerous studies in the later 30's to early 1960's, as drug companies began to rise in power, the future results became inconclusive at the best. Many doctors still prescribe B3 as a solution.
We do know that it produces vasodilation (lowers your blood pressure). Often times, this results in a flushing, a notable feeling of what is happening.
Some have found that niacin helps with sleep. Again, there are no high level studies. The science suggests that B3 could indeed be beneficial.
Taking niacin as a supplement may indeed help you with sleep. If it works for you, let us know.
Of course, the best way to get it is through a balanced diet of foods high in niacin.
If you do take it, many doctors recommend starting off at 50 mg and working up until your body is used to it. Take with meals to prevent stomach upset. Since most pills are 250mg and up, you may have to get a pill cutter and cut into 1/4 to start at a lower dose.
Personally, I enjoyed the flush when first trying the B3.
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