What is vitamin B3?

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Vitamin B9 is a rarely used name for folate or folic acid. Folate is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin while folic acid is the synthetic form, most often used in dietary supplements due to its greater bioavailability.
It is a member of the B-vitamin family called niacin or nicotinic acid. It is found in many foods, and most people who eat a healthy diet will not need to take a B3 supplement, but it can be bought over-the-counter or prescribed to you by a doctor. It reduces the chance of a second heart attack in those with high cholesterol and helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in general, making it a very important nutrient. Niacin is also available by prescription only under the brand names Niacor and Niaspan. It is also available with a prescription as a combination pill called Advicor. Ask your doctor if you think a vitamin B3 supplement could help improve your cholesterol levels or if you think you are not receiving enough B3 through your diet alone.

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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.