Niacin in the pure form is a white, water-soluble powder. It is popularly known as Vitamin B3. The prescribed amount of Niacin is already present in a balanced diet. Hence taking supplements of this vitamin should be done under the supervision of a doctor. Consuming more than 20 mg of Niacin a day can be very harmful as it brings on skin rashes, causes liver infection and upsets the insulin levels. At the same time, deficiency of Niacin, called Pellagra, leads to dementia, diarrhea, increases skin disorders and cold problems. Hence, eating a balanced diet with the correct amount of Niacin in it is the only solution.
Scientists are putting in a lot of research on the uses of Niacin and this has thrown up interesting facts. It is now being seen that Niacin plays an important role in cell repair and hence, can serve to prevent cancer. Niacin can be used to both prevent and treat cancer. This vitamin selectively kills cancer cells. Studies show that cells with no Niacin develop cancer much faster than cells with requisite amounts of Niacin.
Niacin has a long history in treating arthritis, high cholesterol levels, mental illness and certain allergies. Niacin can also be used to control the levels of triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins and high density lipoprotein cholesterol. Arresting the increase of the main culprits of coronary artery disease and elevating “good” cholesterol levels can save a lot of people from the risk of heart failure. Learning more about this friendly vitamin can serve as a boon and eliminate many dreaded diseases.