On The Benefits of Niacin
Health conscious individuals, especially athletes and bodybuilders, have taken advantage of the benefits of niacin for years. Our bodies naturally produce niacin, but we often need to replenish our stores of this vital vitamin.
Niacin’s Role in the Body
Niacin is a B complex vitamin that aids in digestion, helping us to convert the foods we eat into usable energy. Without niacin, we’d have serious trouble in processing nutrients properly.
Another one of the benefits of niacin is that it works to regulate blood sugar levels – an important thing for anyone, particularly diabetics.
This wonder-vitamin also helps to rid the body of harmful cholesterols and unneeded fat cells. Because of these properties, niacin has been linked to the prevention of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. It can also help to facilitate weight loss in this way.
Claims of niacin’s amazing healing properties are many. Niacin has been used to treat headaches, insomnia, depression, and much more. Niacin is also credited with helping to stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Niacin’s Detoxifying Properties
One of the most popular benefits of niacin is the way it can help detoxify the body. During niacin-induced vasodilation, capillaries open up to at least twice their normal size, allowing a greater blood flow than usual. Capillaries directly service the body’s fatty cells, which is where toxins are stored.
Normally, capillaries – which are very tiny – allow only a single blood vessel to pass through at a time. Sometimes, capillaries even become blocked, preventing any blood flow at all in the clogged area. Niacin expands the capillaries to let two or three blood cells at a time through to the fatty cells, where the blood essentially scrubs out stored toxins and carries them out of the body through the bloodstream.
This process can be helpful in eliminating toxins accumulated from ingesting drugs or from working around environmental pollutants. It is also effective in helping the body to shed excess fatty deposits.
People taking niacin often feel flushed and their skin looks red – due to the increased blood flow to those areas. This is often called the “niacin flush.”
Another common side effect of using niacin for detoxification is itching. This is because cells release substances called histamines to trigger vasodilation. Histamines are part of an immune response system, and are known to cause itching of the skin. An interesting note is that people who regularly take high doses of niacin don’t experience this side effect as strongly since histamine levels become somewhat diminished after repeated niacin flushes.
An additional reason a niacin regimen would be in order is in cases where the body has become deficient, usually due to poor diet. Niacin exits the body through the urine, so if you aren’t getting enough from the foods you eat, you will quickly become depleted. A doctor can help you determine whether you are lacking in niacin, as well as what kind of supplementation regimen will work best to get your levels back to normal.
Including plenty of niacin in your diet is the best way to avoid becoming deficient.
Niacin Rich Foods
- Crimini mushrooms
- Leafy greens and asparagus
Eating lots of these foods will help to keep niacin levels in the body regulated. Of course, simply eating a niacin-rich diet will not help you to achieve the heavy-duty detoxifying flush. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in boosting your niacin intake to remove pollutants from your bloodstream. He or she can help you to figure out the right dosage for your situation.