Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2014 (www.naturalstandard.com). All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Background

Vitamin B3 is made up of niacin and niacinamide, and can be found in many foods, including yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains. Vitamin B3 is often found in combination with other B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin, and folic acid.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved niacin for use in treating vitamin B3 deficiency (pellagra), which includes symptoms of skin inflammation, dementia, and diarrhea.

Human research has shown that niacin is effective and relatively safe for treating high cholesterol levels. Limited evidence shows that niacin may help with clogged arteries and heart disease. Side effects commonly related to higher doses of niacin are itching, flushing, and stomach upset. Niacin may also cause liver problems, increased blood sugar, and hormone changes.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

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