Benefits: Maintains normal function of skin, nerves, digestive system. Prevents
premenstrual headache. Reduces cholesterol levels. May improve poor digestion
and offer protection from toxins and pollutants.
Good food sources: Chicken and turkey breast, cold water fish, pork, veal, enriched
breads and cereals.
Cautions: Don't take if you have: impaired liver function, have
an active peptic ulcer or are pregnant. Consult a doctor if you
have: diabetes, gout, gallbladder or liver disease, over 55.
Substance interactions: These medications lower blood pressure to extremely
low levels: beta-adrenergic blockers, mecamylamine, pargyline. These decrease
the medication's effect: anti-diabetics, chenodiol. Decreases vitamin's effect:
Signs of toxicity: Body flush, nausea, vomiting abdominal cramps, diarrhea,
high blood sugar, high uric acid, heart-rhythm disturbances, jaundice.
* Prevents pellagra, a very rare and sometimes fatal condition that affects
alcoholics and people suffering from severe gastrointestinal problems.
* Prevents the release of histamine, which triggers allergies, asthma, and
* High doses of niacin, especially the slow-release form, can cause liver
damage. Niacinamide, a form of niacin included in multivitamin supplements,
does not produce the side effects associated with niacin.