"Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is one of the B-complex group of vitamins and comes in two basic formsniacin (or nicotinic acid) and niacinamide (or nicotinamide).
Niacin plays an important role in the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to energy, and is involved in the synthesis of male and female sex hormones. Niacin promotes healthy skin, efficient functioning of the nervous and digestive systems, is useful in the treatment of schizophrenia, and has also been demonstrated to improve mental alertness due to its ability to enhance microcirculation. This latter property of niacin, which comes about due to its ability to relax vein and artery walls, makes it a valuable aid in combating vascular conditions such as Raynauds disease, numbness, cramping, and other symptoms of poor circulation, such as tinnitus.
In its niacin form, this vitamin has been demonstrated in various studies to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and is therefore of assistance in the prevention of heart disease. Diabetes and multiple sclerosis may also improve under a regime of niacin supplementation. Niacin also acts as a detoxicant, assisting the body to rid itself of toxins, pollutants, organic poisons, certain insecticides, and drug residues.
Morbid deficiencies in Vitamin B3 are rare, the most notable being pellagra, a condition characterized by rash, appetite loss, diarrhea, mental disturbances, and a coarse, thickened tongue. More common low-grade deficiencies result in fatigue, dizziness, headaches, indigestion, halitosis, hypoglycemia, depression, muscle aches, as well as skin conditions such as sores, cankers, and acne.
Vitamin B3 works best in conjunction with Vitamins B1, B2 and Vitamin C and is usually taken together as a B-complex + C source. Niacin is safe to use at recommended dosages (usually 100mg daily), however some people may experience flushing, headache, lowering of blood pressure, and stomach and liver problems, particularly at higher dosages. Individuals taking the supplement at such dosages should do so under the direction of a physician."