4 Amazing Niacinamide Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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There are quite a few niacinamide benefits you can enjoy if you use this compound on a regular basis.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, that has been combined with amino acids. Niacin taken in its original form can cause a side effect called “flush,” causing blood vessels near the surface of the skin to dilate, resulting in heat and irritation. Niacinamide does not cause “flushing,” and is therefore often recommended in the place of niacin for certain ailments as per a study by Wararat Sirikudta from the Department of Dermatology, Siriraj Hospital, Thailand. While this cream is most commonly prescribed for skin conditions, there are some other forms and functions of this specialized compound.

A bowl full of white cream being displayed in two hands

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B₃ found in food, mainly used in medicine or as a dietary supplement. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Niacinamide Benefits

There are many benefits of niacinamide, let’s take a detailed look at it below.

Skin Care

Niacinamide has been shown to protect skin cells from sun exposure and damage and leads to a reduced incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in high-risk subjects. It increases the production of ceramides, part of skin cells’ lipid barrier that keeps skin moisturized. Niacinamide also supports healthy collagen production and is a recommended treatment for hyperpigmentation.

Anxiety

Niacinamide has been shown to reduce anxiety in animal studies, with the same effects as benzodiazepines, a class of Valium-like drugs that are used to treat anxiety in humans. Niacinamide has also been used to help people going through benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Osteoarthritis

A study conducted by the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA, found that patients treated with niacinamide had improved joint flexibility and reduced inflammation. It also improved the effectiveness of other anti-inflammatory medications when used in conjunction, and other research suggests it also assists with building muscle strength and reducing fatigue in patients.

Diabetes

According to a study by Hubert Kolb, PHD, niacinamide may help protect insulin-creating cells in the pancreas of patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes. Niacinamide may also help prevent blood sugar levels from drastically falling, and is recommended for people suffering from hypoglycemia.

Word of Warning

Using this compound in its various forms may cause skin irritation or redness when used topically. Used internally in small doses, minor side effects can include nausea, dizziness, and rash.

Doses over 3 grams can result in liver damage or high blood pressure. As with any compound such as this, it is best to speak with your doctor before introducing it into your health regimen in a major way, particularly if you are already using prescribed medications.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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