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Niacinamide Video #9

Niacinamide, a more water-soluble form of vitamin B-3, may play a key role in fighting aging and repairing damaged joint cartilage, which is typical in arthritis. As the amide form of niacin, niacinamide may prevent, and in some cases even reverse, Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes.

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Known also as nicotinamide, niacinamide does not produce flushing of the skin, as does niacin when doses exceed 50 milligrams. Natural sources of niacinamide include beef liver, brewer's yeast, halibut, chicken, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Synthesized niacinamide is marketed in the form of tablets, capsules, oral solutions, and as injectable formulations, and reportedly aids the release of energy from consumed foods and promotes DNA biosynthesis. In the digestion of fats, production of sugars, and in tissue respiration, the coenzymes NAD and NADP incorporate available niacinamide into their structures. However, while niacin also helps regulate cholesterol, niacinamide does not.

At higher concentrations than the 25 milligrams per 2 pounds of body weight prescribed for diabetes, niacinamide acts as a natural tranquilizer and binds onto the same brain receptor sites as synthesized pharmaceuticals such as Valium. Certain research suggests that niacinamide protects the liver against cirrhosis and other alcohol-abuse induced damage, and some trials of the chemical indicate that when it is ingested four times a day at 500-milligram doses, canker sores are inhibited and healed. Deficiencies in vitamin B-3 result in pellagra, headaches, depression, and other symptoms, and because cigarette smoking decreases vitamin B-3 absorption, smokers may require supplemental niacin. Overdoses of niacinamide cause vomiting and diarrhea and can result in high blood sugar, high uric acid, liver damage, and heart arrhythmia.

Contributing Authors

Omar Alvarado, Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.

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