Niacin Benefits: What is Niacin?

Niacin is one of the B vitamins (B3), and like other B vitamins it is involved in energy production and fat metabolism. But niacin has so many other benefits.

Niacin Benefits for Cholesterol

One of niacin’s best-known benefits is its ability to improve your cholesterol levels. Niacin lowers your LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, while increasing your HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. Together, these effects might decrease your risk of a heart attack or stroke. The studies that have shown this effect have used high-dose niacin. Sometimes vitamin B3 is also used to supplement other cholesterol-lowering medications.

Some studies have even shown that niacin is better than some prescription medications for improving your cholesterol levels. All this from a natural supplement.

Niacin Benefits for Osteoarthritis

Niacin is known for increasing the mobility in your joints. This can make it an effective supplement for those with osteoarthritis (along with glucosamine). Enough niacin can also help your body rebuild cartilage.

Niacin Benefits for Blood Sugar

Niacin can also help stabilize your blood sugar. This is a fantastic benefit that’s worth the price of admission by itself. Stabilizing your blood sugar levels means that your appetite won’t spike, and your energy levels will stay consistent. This is important for weight loss and helping to prevent conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes.

Niacin Benefits for Atherosclerosis

By helping your body to produce histamine, which, among other things, helps dilate your blood vessels and improve blood flow. This helps protect against atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. It’s also good for your cardiovascular system.

More Niacin Benefits

Niacin is such a versatile vitamin that I just want to mention some of the lesser-known benefits of niacin:

  • It can help improve your sleep.
  • It can help you recover from a hangover. This is because alcohol depletes your body of the B vitamins.
  • It improves circulation. By dilating your blood vessels, niacin improves blood flow. If you take enough niacin, you’ll notice a “skin flush” of brief redness and itchiness about twenty minutes after taking it. This is due to blood rushing to the capillaries on the edge of your skin.
  • It improves your skin tone and might help with some skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and inflammation. This may be related to the circulation-improving effects of niacin.
  • It’s typically safe, even in high doses. However, talk to your doctor before starting high-dose niacin, since it may be contraindicated by people with insulin-dependent diabetes.

Do I Need Niacin?

You might want to consider a niacin supplement if you have any of the following symptoms, as they can be a sign of deficiency:

  • Digestive problems
  • Skin problems
  • Muscular weakness
  • Poor appetite


Thanks for reading about the benefits of niacin (vitamin B3). To learn more about the B complex vitamins, check out vitamin B6 benefits, foods with vitamin B, B12 overdose, and symptoms of deficiency of vitamin B12.