Niacin | Vitamin B-3 - Increasing Your Energy

Niacin | Vitamin B-3 - Increasing Your Energy

Any discussion of how to increase energy levels will naturally start with B vitamins. Without these coenzymes, your body could not convert fuel to energy, so they are fundamental to feeling full of pep. Of all the B family, B-3, or niacin, is the only vitamin which when deficient can cause serious problems, not the least of which is chronic fatigue. It is involved in more than 50 metabolic processes, but its most important function is to oxidize fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids in tissue cells to produce energy.

Niacin is fundamental to energy in the body.

Niacin not only helps energy production, it also supports the function of the digestive system, circulatory system, hormone production (especially in the adrenal glands),liver, skin, eyes, hair, nerves, cell signaling, dna repair, and genetic stability -- as I said, fundamental. Amongst its range of benefits, it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Research shows it can help lower triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (the bad one) while significantly raising HDL (the good one), lower blood pressure, and has benefits to the cardiovascular system (especially as a strong vasodilator). Taking niacin alone has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks -- and second heart attacks. It is so reliable that it is often combined with cholesterol-lowering drugs. 

Niacin keeps your brain fueled with energy too.

Niacin is also crucial to optimal brain function. One study at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging found a link between niacin intake and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. It helps supply brain cells with more oxygen and glucose, thereby promoting ATP production, which is the fuel of the brain. Another benefit from vasodilation, niacin helps to flush out toxins from your neurons, supporting optimal function through necessary nutrient level maintenance. It directly affects energy metabolism within the brain, which may be the reason people report higher levels of focus, alertness, and mental stamina.

Clearly many benefits derive from this ability to improve blood flow. Niacin is involved in histamine production, a compound that dilates blood vessels, hence its ability to increase blood circulation. This makes it extremely beneficial to diabetes sufferers, particularly as it also seems to protect insulin-producing pancreas cells that are critical to glucose balance, and delays the need for insulin.

Because of niacin's essential role in metabolism and circulation, it is particularly useful for people looking to boost their energy levels as well as mental focus and alertness. Niacin is critical to the high-energy organs, like the brain, gut, and skin, and their proper function. It is helpful at improving joint mobility, enhances muscle strength and reduces muscle and joint fatigue, so useful for stamina in general. Our own use of niacin is crucial to our energy and focus boosting supplement JUMPSTART EX. It is responsible for both improving energy production and enhancing attention.

One caveat though: check with your doctor before adding more than around 60 mg of niacin a day to your regimen, or if you are taking any other medications, have liver or stomach problems, or gout. Some people can experience a mild flushing sensation, but although this can be odd at first, it is not actually a sign of any danger (circulation is flowing). People's tolerance of niacin can vary greatly, but less than 50mg a day is considered safe. Depending on what you need it for, higher doses may be necessary. 

Niacin from food:

If you are looking to boost B-3 levels naturally, look for beets, fish (tuna especially), chicken and turkey, beef kidney and liver, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, avocados, and peanuts. The good thing about getting your niacin from food is that it comes in perfect balance and you are unlikely to get too much. The down side is that it doesn't do too much for an instant boost when you really need it, which is why B supplements are popular for energy boosting. Also bear in mind that B vitamins need to be taken together for optimal benefit, especially when it comes to maintaining proper energy levels, so if you are considering supplementing, look for a complex (B-3, B-6, and B-12 are often combined for best effect.) 

Related Posts:
Are You Suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? 
The Relationship Between Energy, Nutrition, Focus, Discipline
Understanding Energy Usage is Crucial to Weight Loss

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The opinions expressed in this article are of the author. Content and other information presented on the site are not meant to be medical advice or any substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider.


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