Brain Foods

Brain Foods

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Vitamin B-3 forms

Vitamin B-3 forms


Vitamin B-3 Facts

Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) is a water soluable vitamin, meaning any excess is excreted and not stored in the body. If a person is not deficient in Vitamin B-1, B-2, and B-6, the body can manufacture its own niacin using the amino acid tryptophan, although it takes 60 mgs of tryptophan to yield 1 mg of niacin. About half of the niacin found in a diet comes from this processing of tryptophan, from food sources of eggs, milk and poultry. Niacin is good for lowering cholesterol and may be instrumental in the prevention and treatment of depression, arthritis, and other ailments.

How it Works

Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) is necessary to release energy from carbohydrates and like Vitamins B-1 and B-2, it plays a critical role in energy metabolism. This vitamin also is involved in controlling blood sugar, keeping healthy skin, and optimal functioning of the nervous and digestive systems. Vitamin B-3 raises HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers LDL (bad cholesterol). It helps promote circulation by relaxing the blood vessels. It helps foster healthy brain and nerve cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Possible Benefits

Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, reduces high blood pressure, improves circulation, and prevents heart disease.
Promotes healthy digestive system and alleviates gastrointestinal problems.
May help with arthritis by encouraging better joint flexibility and less inflammation.
Promotes healthy skin.
Helps prevent and ease migraine headaches.
Increases energy through better metabolization of food.
Helps eliminate canker sores and bad breath.
Can ease diarrhea.
May prevent progression of type 1 diabetes.
May relieve depression.
May provide nourishment for healthy cells to prevent cancerous growths .
Fosters healthy brain and nerve cells.
Eases depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Usage Guidelines

RDA for Vitamin B-3 is 20 mg a day, although much larger doses can be taken safely. Best taken in balance with the other B vitamins. If you are taking therapeutic dosages of 1000 mg or more, you should do so under a doctor's supervision so your liver enzymes can me monitored. Consult your doctor before taking if you have diabetes, low blood pressure, bleeding problems, glaucoma, gout, liver disease, or ulcers. High level dosage symptoms may include indigestion, flushing and itching of the skin, and liver damage. Major severe deficiency symptoms of Vitamin B-3, signs of a disease called pellagra, is characterized by changes in the skin (dermatitis), diarrhea, dementia (memory loss), vomiting, bright red tongue, fatigue and even death. Slight deficiences are characterized by irritated skin patches, indigestion and loss of appetite, and weakness.

Some Natural Sources (including food providing tryptophan)

Liver, tuna, turkey, chicken, salmon, veal, beef, pork, haddock, scallops, cottage cheese, swiss cheese, whole milk, cheddar cheese, colby cheese, wheat germ, brown rice, enriched noodles, white enriched rice, enriched bread, cereals, pasta, eggs, brewer's yeast, avocados, dates, figs, roasted peanuts, and prunes.


This information is based on reputable resources and scientific research but there is no guarantee that what we know today, will change with time. Readers should not use this information for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, but should always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any major dietary changes. This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice.

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