Supplements

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) May Improve Longevity, Skin Quality And Lipid Balance

Posted on 31 August 2020

Vitamin B3 or niacin is an essential vitamin that is necessary to support the function of many enzymes.

Why Might Vitamin B3 Supplementation Be Beneficial?

Vitamin B3 supplementation may improve longevity and cognition by increasing cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels. NAD+ is a molecule of interest in the field of ageing research, as decline in NAD+ levels occurs with age and has been observed in almost all age-related diseases. Preliminary evidence suggests that increasing NAD+ levels may slow some aspects of the ageing process, but more research is needed to confirm this effect in humans.

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Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of age-related mortality. As we age, fatty deposits accumulate in our arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to hypertension and heart failure. The rate at which this occurs is influenced by the levels of cholesterol-containing particles in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) accelerates atherosclerosis, while high-density lipoprotein (HDL) can actually remove lipids from the arterial deposits.

Vitamin B3 supplementation seems to be very effective at normalising blood lipid levels in people with low HDL or high LDL. This should make Vitamin B3 an excellent supplement for protecting against cardiovascular disease, but unfortunately it also reduces the body’s response to insulin, raising blood sugar and cancelling out the benefits with regard to cholesterol. Supplementation therefore only provides benefits for cardiovascular health if precautions are taken against this effect.

Topical application of vitamin B3 may also improve skin quality and reduce wrinkles slightly.

What Is The Evidence Behind Vitamin B3 Supplementation?

Numerous studies point towards a reduction in LDL-C and an increase in HDL-C with vitamin B3 supplementation. However, a meta analysis including 35 760 subjects found no beneficial effect for vitamin B3 in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, though it may have a role to play in treating patients who are resistant to statins.

One small study reported that vitamin B3 application to the skin improved elasticity and reduced wrinkles.

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References

Examine.com: Vitamin B3 (Niacin): https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-b3/

Niacin in patients with low HDL cholesterol levels receiving intensive statin therapy: DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1107579

Assessment of the Role of Niacin in Managing Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis: DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.2224

Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance: DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31732

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