NIACIN AND THE EFFECTS ON HUMAN BODY
Niacin also defined as nicotinic acid (NA) is a B-vitamin that that functions as a
Coenzyme in the production of energy from glucose; obtained from meat or produced from the amino acid tryptophan, which is present in milk eggs and meat. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is known to aid the body in many metabolic processes and provides energy on a cellular level which aids the body in fighting disease. Niacin has many positive purposes and assists with functions in the body, but too much or to less intake of this vitamin can lead to harmful consequences.
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These symptoms of niacin deficiency occur in just twenty two percent of patients suffering from pellagra and almost never in children. Factors leading to deficiency in people include poverty situations, alcoholics, the homeless, and people with malabsorbtion problems. Pellagra has extreme side effects and can be fatal if it is not treated.
Toxicity usually occurs when the daily intake of niacin exceeds more than one milligram. Niacin toxicity causes flushing, which is a warm, tingly, itching sensation of the skin and causes redness of the skin. Flushing is caused by the expansion of blood vessels on the surface of the skin. Flushing is harmless to the human body but is extremely uncomfortable. Hepatotoxicity ranges from elevated liver enzymes to acute liver failure. The liver toxicity is significant in the overuse of niacin.
The Dietary Reference Intakes of niacin differs and greatly depends on the age of the person. The recommended doses are as follows: infant’s 0-12mo 2-4 mg/d, children 1-8 yrs. of age 6-8 mg/d, males 9-13yrs of age 12 mg/d, males 14 and older 16 mg/d, females ages 9-13 12 mg/d, females 14 and older 14 mg/d. A pregnant woman recommendations are higher at 18 mg/d.
Niacin plays a major role in the disease process. Clinical trials have demonstrated that niacin reduces the risk of heart disease by increasing levels of HDLs, the good cholesterol. Many people with heart disease take niacin to prevent a first heart attack or simply to avoid the possibility of have others. Niacin is effective in treating a range of lipid disorders. This has not become a first choice therapy for many because of the “flushing” side effect and the potential risk of liver and gastrointestinal side effects.
Niacin is a water-soluble and the most environmentally stable vitamin. You can find NA in coffee, tea, meats, fish and poultry. Other food sources include...