What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin), one of the eight B vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. Vitamin B3 plays a vital role in converting the food you eat into usable energy and helps your body’s cells perform important chemical reactions. Because it is water-soluble, your body does not store this vitamin. This is why you need to eat niacin or niacinamide every day. Vitamin B3 usually exists in the form of niacinamide in animal products such as meat and poultry, and in the form of niacin in plant foods such as nuts, seeds and green vegetables.
Many refined grain products, including grains, are also fortified with nicotinamide . Your body can also make vitamin B3 from tryptophan (an amino acid found in most protein foods). However, the conversion efficiency of tryptophan to vitamin B3 is very low because it takes 60 mg tryptophan to make 1 mg vitamin B3 . Historically, vitamin B3 was called vitamin PP, an acronym for pellagra prevention. This is because lack of vitamin B3 or tryptophan can lead to a disease called pellagra, which is characterized by the four Ds-diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. If not treated in time, it can also lead to death. Pellagra is rare in developed countries such as North America and Europe, but it is still common in some developing countries. Both niacin and niacinamide can treat pellagra, but niacinamide is the first choice because it has fewer side effects, such as skin flushing.
In addition to being the preferred form of niacin for the treatment of pellagra, niacinamide has other health benefits and uses.
Helpful for certain skin conditions
Niacinamide plays an important role in maintaining skin health. Therefore, it is a popular additive in the cosmetics and skin care industry. When used topically or taken orally as a supplement, niacinamide has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It has been used to treat skin diseases such as acne and rosacea, which is a facial skin disease characterized by redness. This makes niacinamide a popular alternative to oral or topical antibiotics for acne or rosacea.
May help prevent melanoma
Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that occurs in cells that produce melanin, which is the pigment that gives the skin its color. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds can damage the DNA of cells over time and is closely related to melanoma. Due to its role in maintaining cell health, oral nicotinamide supplements have been shown to enhance DNA repair in human UV-damaged skin. Therefore, niacinamide is a promising supplement to prevent melanoma, especially in high-risk groups, such as those who have previously had non-melanoma skin cancer.
Useful for chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is the gradual loss of kidney function, which affects your body's ability to clean and filter blood and control blood pressure. This can cause harmful chemicals (such as phosphate) to accumulate in the blood. Studies have shown that nicotinamide may help reduce phosphate levels in patients with renal insufficiency by preventing its absorption. Phosphate levels are usually controlled by diet, medication, or dialysis, depending on the severity of the buildup.
May slow the progression of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which your body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in your pancreas. Some people suggest that nicotinamide protects and preserves beta cells, thereby preventing or delaying the onset of type 1 diabetes in high-risk groups. However, research does not support the idea that niacinamide can prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes, although it can help delay its progression by preserving beta cell function. Although promising, more research is needed before recommending niacinamide supplements as an intervention for type 1 diabetes.
Vitamin B3 exists in the form of niacin or niacinamide, and can be used as a supplement alone or with other vitamins and minerals. The dosage ranges from 14 to 1,000 mg per serving. This vitamin is also included in a complex B supplement, which contains all eight B vitamins. Some supplements that contain vitamin B3 only list niacin, but most supplements designate the form of niacin as niacin or niacinamide. Niacinamide may be included in pre-workout supplements , but niacin, a form that causes skin flushing, is the first choice. The purpose is to make consumers feel that they have started after the skin flushing before exercise. For skin care, niacinamide is often included in facial moisturizing lotions or products used to treat acne or rosacea.
The appropriate dose of nicotinamide is usually well tolerated, mainly because excessive nicotinamide will be excreted in the urine. The tolerable upper limit of vitamin B3 is 35 mg per day. This is the amount least likely to cause skin flushing, redness, itching and tingling. This is a known side effect of niacin, but not niacinamide. There are reports of minor side effects associated with niacinamide, such as stomach upset, nausea, and headache. It has also been suggested that niacinamide may increase insulin resistance , which is a sign of type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is not consistent. That said, the best practice is to consult your healthcare provider before supplementing with niacinamide or any supplements related to it to assess your personal risk.
to sum up
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin), which plays an important role in energy metabolism and cell health. It may provide benefits related to skin care and skin cancer, as well as chronic kidney disease and type 1 diabetes. Niacinamide is generally considered to be safe, with few side effects at an appropriate dose. It can be used as a dietary supplement and is a common ingredient in skin care products. However, it is best to consult your healthcare provider before trying niacinamide.