How does vitamin B3 (niacin) protect the heart?

Vitamin B3 increases levels of good HDL cholesterol, lowers bad LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, another dangerous blood fat. Dr. Oz and Walgreens pharmacist Stacia Woodcock share solutions for keeping your heart healthy.
Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in the body and has to be constantly replenished. It comes in two basic forms -- niacin (also called nicotinic acid) and niacinamide (also called nicotinamide).

Some new National Institute of Health research has linked vitamin B3 with improved joint range of motion and reduced pain and swelling. In a study published in the journal Inflammatory Research, researchers concluded that niacinamide improved joint flexibility, reduced inflammation, and allowed for reduction in standard anti-inflammatory medications when compared to placebo. In another similar study published in October 1999 in Medical Hypothesis, researchers concluded the same, that non-toxic nutritional therapies, such as niacinamide, may prove beneficial in preventing and halting osteoarthritis by enhancing glucocorticoid secretion.

Some researchers have used therapeutic doses of vitamin B3 (150 milligrams) as prophylactic treatment for migraine headache with good results. Yet, higher doses (more than 75 milligrams) can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as flushing, and liver damage may occur. The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) is 20 milligrams. The best food sources are brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, enriched breads, mushrooms, green vegetables, peanut butter, potatoes, and rice.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.