The Surprising Nootropic Benefits of Niacin and Niacinamide
Niacinamide has been generating headlines in the nootropic community over the past few months. Niacin and niacinamide – better known as Vitamin B3 – have shown some surprising cognitive benefits during recent scientific studies.
Should you add niacin and niacinamide to your nootropic stack? What kind of unique benefits are offered by niacin and niacinamide? Can you really improve your orgasms by taking a niacin supplement? Today, I’m going to explain why Vitamin B3 is a big deal for the nootropic community.
What is Niacinamide & Niacin?
Niacin and niacinamide are two different forms of Vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is a naturally-occurring vitamin found in foods like yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, beans, and green vegetables. It’s also commonly found in vitamin B complex supplements – along with other B vitamins like vitamin B12.
Today, vitamin B3 has a wide range of medical uses. It’s been used to treat diabetes and skin conditions, for example. Some people even use it to outsmart urine tests!
What Are The Benefits Of Niacin And Niacinamide?
Niacin and niacinamide have both been used to treat a number of different medical conditions. Those conditions include:
- High Cholesterol
- Migraine Headaches
- Skin Conditions, Specifically Bullous Pemphigoid And Granuloma Annulare
As mentioned above, some people also recommend taking niacin in order to avoid testing positive for drug use during a urine test. It can also be used to treat acne, leprosy, and a number of other unique conditions.
But for the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on the cognitive benefits of vitamin B3.
Vitamin B3 has been linked to some powerful cognitive benefits. There’s no question that it affects the brain: the main question is how we can harness that power to extract the most valuable cognitive benefits.
Currently, vitamin B3 is used to treat all of the following cognitive conditions:
- Memory Loss
- Chronic Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS)
- Alcohol Dependence And Other Addiction Problems
Some even use vitamin B3 to improve their orgasms! Obviously, vitamin B3 has powerful effects on our cognitive functionality, memory, and neuroplasticity. You can learn more about how vitamin B3 works down below.
Interestingly enough, vitamin B3 has also been linked to anti-aging. It’s used to treat age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain problems. But it also protects the body against toxins and pollutants, which reduces the effects of aging.
Popular anti-aging benefits of niacinamide include:
- Improved Skin Tone
- Higher Skin Elasticity
- Reduced Inflammation
- A More Youthful, Healthier Looking Glow
- Reduce The Effects Of Sun Exposure
So not only do you feel younger in your brain, but your face and body also look younger. The cognitive benefits of niacin combined with the anti-aging effects on the skin make vitamin B3 one of the most popular supplements on the market today.
How Does Vitamin B3 Work?
Vitamin B3 works by increasing niacin levels in the body. When our bodies produce more niacin than we can use, that niacin is converted into niacinamide. Both niacin and niacinamide have high bioavailability and can easily be dissolved in water, making them a straightforward supplement to take.
Many health problems occur because our diets don’t have enough niacin. A niacin-deficient diet can lead to malnutrition, high cholesterol, and even dementia. It’s a serious medication condition.
Vitamin B3 essentially acts as a coenzyme. That means it helps other substances convert proteins, carbohydrates, and fat into energy. This makes our digestive systems more efficient, helping us maximize nutrient delivery and get more benefits from the foods we eat.
Where Can I Get Vitamin B3, Niacin And Niacinamide?
You can get vitamin B3 from a diverse range of foods and supplements.
Many of these foods include the amino acid tryptophan – yes, the same tryptophan found in turkey. Our bodies convert tryptophan into niacin as part of a natural digestive process. For every 60mg of tryptophan you consume, your body will produce about 1mg of niacin.
Here are some of the popular foods which contain vitamin B3:
- Mushrooms And Green Vegetables
- Certain Enriched Cereals And Breads
Ultimately, most meats and proteins contain some type of tryptophan. However, some meats contain more than others. The higher the protein content, the more tryptophan – and by extension, niacin – you’ll consume.
Vitamin B3 Supplements
Eating meat may not give your body the amount of niacin it needs to stay happy, healthy, and youthful. That’s why some people choose to supplement their diets with vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 supplements come in a wide range of dosages and levels of quality.
If you’re taking a vitamin B3 supplement for the first time, here are some things to remember about dosages:
- Vitamin B3 doses of 75mg or more cause your blood vessels to substantially dilate, causing itching, tingling, and flushing across your body. This is called “Niacin Flush”. It’s not a dangerous condition, although it could be embarrassing if you’re out in public or at work.
- Most vitamin B3 supplements recommend starting with a 50mg to 75mg dosage three times per day before slowly increasing that amount as you feel comfortable. This helps your body slowly get accustomed to higher doses of niacin without flushing.
- Some people also find that taking an 83mg aspirin tablet with their niacin tablet eliminates flushing
- Take your niacin supplement with meals in order to avoid nausea and gastric irritation
- Always talk to your doctor about dosage information and ask if niacin is safe for you to use. This is extremely important if you’re already taking medication or have an existing heart or liver condition.
Safety Concerns And Side Effects Of Niacin And Niacinamide
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, “niacin and niacinamide are LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth.”
Yes, that report specifically says “by mouth”. I don’t know how else you’d want to take niacin, but I guess you shouldn’t inject yourself with it or do other unsavory things.
Side effects include the flushing reaction we mentioned above, where your blood vessels dilate, sending redness across your face, chest, arms, and legs (without causing any other harmful side effects). Other common side effects include tingling, burning, itching, and redness.
Some people also experience an upset stomach when taking niacin, in which case it’s recommended you take your supplement on a full stomach – like during meals.
It’s also important to avoid taking over 3 grams of niacin per day. Going over that amount can cause serious and harmful effects, including liver disease, digestive tract problems, irregular heartbeat, and increased risk of stroke.
If you plan on taking a niacin supplement, you should reduce or eliminate your alcohol consumption. Alcohol has been shown to exacerbate the effects of flushing and itching.
With all that being said, sticking to the recommended daily dose of niacin or niacinamide will help you avoid the vast majority of side effects and potential problems.
Is It The Right Cognitive Supplement?
Niacin and niacinamide (vitamin B3) are interesting dietary supplements because they’ve been linked with such a diverse range of effects.
The two most popular effects are anti-aging on the skin and increased cognitive ability in the brain.
But beyond that, niacin supplementation can also be used to cure migraines, pass urine tests, and even improve orgasms.
Very few other supplements in the world come with such an interesting and diverse range of benefits. Consider adding a vitamin B3 or vitamin B supplement to your nootropic stack to enhance your cognitive ability while looking (and thinking) younger!