Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an important nutrient. In fact, every part of your body needs it to function properly. As a supplement, niacin may help lower cholesterol, ease arthritis and boost brain function, among other benefits.
Niacin is one of the eight B vitamins, and it’s also called vitamin B3.
There are two main chemical forms and each has different effects on your body. Both forms are found in foods as well as supplements.
Nicotinic acid: As a supplement, nicotinic acid is a form of niacin used to reduce cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease
Niacinamide or nicotinamide:
Niacin is water-soluble, so your body doesn’t store it. This also means that your body can excrete excess amounts of the vitamin if it’s not needed.
Your body gets niacin through food but also makes small amounts from the amino acid tryptophan.
As with all B vitamins, niacin helps convert food into energy by aiding enzymes.
Specifically, niacin is a major component of NAD and NADP, two coenzymes involved in cellular metabolism. it also plays a role in cell signaling and making and repairing DNA, in addition to acting as an antioxidant
Niacin is found in a variety of foods, especially meat, poultry, fish, nuts and legumes. Some energy drinks are also loaded with B vitamins, sometimes in very high doses.
Niacin is one of eight B vitamins that are important for every part of your body.