Vitamin B3, also called Niacin, is one of the most important of the B vitamins. We often hear it recommended for cardiovascular health, but it is also important for digestive health as it promotes hydrochloric acid production. Did you know that most people who suffer from acid reflux actually do not produce enough hydrochloric acid? The "acid" of acid reflux is usually organic acids produced by foods rotting and fermenting in the stomach due to poor digestion.
Here's the technical detail: Niacin is converted to the cofactor NAD which is an important part of how our body processes carbohydrates, fats, and protein (amino acids). It promotes a healthy heart, skin, digestion, cellular respiration, and enhances metabolism and circulation.
You can get too much Niacin, particularly from synthetic sources. How do you know? You get what is called the "niacin flush" - your face and ears become red and hot. I recently experienced this myself and was able to trace it back to this very source.
Niacin supports the cardiovascular, digestive, hepatic (liver), integumentary, and nervous systems. It also supports the soft tissue and the tongue.
The best food sources of Niacin are: fish (salmon, tuna, halibut), lean beef, liver, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, organ meats, poultry, and wheat germ.
Are you noticing a trend - the best sources of B vitamins are mainly from animal products. Keep that in mind when we get to B12 in a few days!
Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.