Niacin and Nicotinamide There are two forms of vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is found in many foods, including:
- most green vegetables
When you consume more niacin than your body needs, the excess is converted to niacinamide.
Niacinamide is also known as Nicotinamide. As an oral supplement, it is available over the counter. It can be used alone, in combination with other vitamins, or found in topical creams.
Like niacinamide, it is included in the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines.
This article looks at some of the health benefits of niacinamide. It also discusses side effects, dosage, and what to look out for when purchasing.
Niacinamide should not be confused with niacin, which is another form of vitamin B3.
Health Benefits of Niacinamide
Niacinamide supplements are used to treat pellagra. This condition is caused by niacin deficiency. Symptoms include:
Niacin can also be used to treat pellagra, but niacinamide is generally considered a better choice. This is because it does not cause flushing, a common side effect of niacin.
Scientific Evidence for the Use of Niacinamide
- Acne: A 2017 review found that topical or oral niacinamide significantly reduced acne. Because there are no major side effects, many dermatologists recommend including it in acne treatments.
- Cancer: A 2015 study found that niacinamide helps reduce the risk of skin cancer.The study followed participants at high risk of skin cancer who took niacinamide for a year. Researchers found it lowered their risk of two types of skin cancer by 23 percent.Research also shows that it reduces actinic keratosissometimes called skin precancers.
- Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. Some research suggests that niacinamide can help treat and prevent this condition. In particular, studies show it can help in prediabetes and in the early stages of the disease.
- Osteoarthritis: Niacinamide supplements can improve joint mobility and reduce inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, according to several studies. Note that you may also need to limit your use of anti-inflammatory drugs if you are taking niacinamide for this reason.
- Hyperpigmentation and Melasma: hyperpigmentation Describes a group of conditions that cause dark spots on the skin. Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation. Because niacinamide has been found to reduce hyperpigmentation, it is considered a possible treatment for hyperpigmentation and melasma. Early clinical trials also suggest it may help treat photoaging, a type of skin damage caused by sun exposure.
- Hyperphosphatemia: Hyperphosphatemia This is when phosphate levels in the blood are high. It is one of the most common complications of chronic kidney disease. Some research suggests that niacinamide can help treat hyperphosphatemia and kidney disease. When used in combination with other phosphate binders, It can safely reduce the amount of phosphate in the blood.
There isn’t enough scientific evidence that niacinamide can be used to lower blood pressure, prevent motion sickness, or solve many other problems.
possible side effects
Niacinamide is generally safe for oral and topical use. Minor side effects of supplements may include:
- mild headache
Side effects of topical niacinamide cream include:
- mild itching
At high doses of more than 3 grams per day, niacinamide can have negative and even toxic effects on the liver.
Talk to your doctor before taking niacinamide if you have:
- pregnant or breastfeeding
- have diabetes
- have liver disease
- have gallbladder disease
- have gout
If you plan to have surgery or are taking anticoagulants, talk with your doctor before starting niacinamide. This is because niacinamide reduces blood clotting.
Do not drink alcohol while taking niacinamide supplements.
Dosage and Preparation
MedlinePlus from the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends the following dosages:
- For osteoarthritis, take 3 grams daily for 12 weeks. The dose should be divided into small doses throughout the day.
- For hyperphosphatemia, take 500 mg to 1.5 g daily for 8 to 12 weeks. The daily dose should be divided into smaller doses throughout the day.
- For pellagra, take 3 grams per day in small doses.
- For acne, choose a supplement containing 750 mg of niacinamide and 25 mg of zinc, 1.5 mg of copper, and 500 mcg of folic acid. Take once or twice a day.
what to look for
When buying supplements, look for the word “niacinamide” on the label. Many products claim the benefits of niacinamide but contain niacin or other forms of vitamin B3.
Niacinamide may cause minor side effects, but is considered safe when taken at recommended doses.
Niacinamide is a supplement used to treat niacin deficiency. It may also help treat acne, arthritis, and other conditions.
Niacinamide can cause side effects and can be harmful in high doses. Be sure to consult your doctor before you start taking niacinamide or any other supplement.
Niacinamide supplements are generally safe and may help treat a variety of ailments. Still, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements that contain niacinamide. This will ensure that you know the dosage that is right for your health needs and goals.