How effective is niacin for cholesterol, depression and anxiety? Can niacin help reduce or lower harmful cholesterol? Does it act as remedy for both anxiety and depression? How does it work?What is the link between niacin and these 3 unhealthy conditions? Are there studies that show that niacin(vitamin B-3) is an effective treatment for depression, anxiety and bad cholesterol? In this article, find a comprehensive discussion of how important niacin is for cholesterol, depression and anxiety.
Niacin for Cholesterol-How does Niacin and Cholesterol lowering Work?
Niacin is a soluble vitamin B-3 that has unique properties on your health.Vitamins are vital nutrients to your health. The body utilizes vitamins to convert food inform of carbohydrates into glucose which in turn the body uses as energy for metabolism. Niacin falls in the class of Vitamin B commonly called as Vitamin complex. The body uses these vitamins for proper functioning of organs such as; liver, skin and eyes. Vitamins B-complex is also important for the proper function of the body nervous system.
So what about niacin and cholesterol? Your body needs a regulated level of cholesterol to function well. Cholesterol s purely fatty acid substance produced in the liver and distributed throughout in our bodies. The foods we take are other source of cholesterol too. When you eat eggs, meat and most dairy products you automatically build the level of cholesterol. Though cholesterol is known only for its negative effects, it allows our bodies to synthesise Vitamins and hormones also enhance the manufacture of bile acid in the body.
Usually, high cholesterol levels only exist when you have more than what the body requires. This puts your body at risk of getting heart attack and might eventually lead to death if not treated. Did you know high cholesterol levels can cause stroke?
The build of cholesterol in the body limits the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain. If there is a complete blockage in your blood vessels, you end up with stroke. The need to reduce the levels of cholesterol is significant if you have to live a healthy life.
Niacin and cholesterol- Is it possible for Niacin to lower Cholesterol?
The cholesterol level of the arteries always rises as one advance in age which forms a build up of arterial plaque. If you experience such a condition you become susceptible to cardiovascular disease. For this reason, most physicians tend to prescribe treatment to get rid of arterial cholesterol before it develops to a major health hazard.
Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) or sometimes in millimoles per litre (mmol/L). In men if the levels of HDL are below 40mg/dL, it is considered to increase the risks of heart attack. Similarly, women risk heart attacks if the levels of HDL cholesterol are under 50mg/dL.
Niacin is a member of group B vitamin which is soluble in water and therefore cannot be stored in the body. According to Abram Hoofer, M.D., PhD, niacin helps to destroy harmful cholesterol in the body by reducing them significantly. Niacin is one of the best vitamins in the body that increase the levels of good cholesterol (lipoprotein) and consequently decreasing the bad in terms of ratio.
Niacin can be used as a treatment to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol which are preferred to as the good cholesterol in the body. This can be raised up to 30% and effectively used in the body. The bad cholesterol are taken back to the liver and destroyed.
Niacin for Depression-How does Niacin and Depression relate
How have you ever suffered from depression? You may have been diagnosed with acute or simply a minor case. Why do people get depressed? Depression is considered to be an extremely complex disease which can occur for known reasons. While some people get seriously depressed during a medical illness others may have it due to sudden life changes such the loss of a loved one. Depression causes sadness and loneliness for the victims and it can be fatal is not closely monitored.
According to researchers, the differences in brain size in people could be another biology related case. It is said that hippocampus, a fraction of the brain that stores memories appear to be reduced in people who have a record of depression. Some biological related research indicates that depression in some cases could be genetically inherited and tends to run in the family.
Niacin and depression-Does it work?
Is niacin really that effective at treating depression? It should be noted that depression can actually be influenced by poor diet and increased stress levels. If you are depressed you should probably considering reducing on your stress levels through exercise. Similarly, improving your diet could greatly improve problems related with depression and anxiety as well.
While most doctors may prescribe niacin for depression, only a certain dosage is recommended. Doctors always start with small but frequent doses of niacin and gradually increase until you are declared depression –free.
Is it possible to reduce depression with niacin? Niacin has the ability to greatly reduce depression. Niacin is a soluble vitamin which helps to dilate the blood vessels and warm sensation of the blood vessels. This is called a niacin flush. When you have niacin flush the skin gets blushing too.
How is the flushing important to depression? According to research, flushing (sensation of heat) indicates that there is slight saturation of the niacin which last temporary in our bodies. It therefore follows that whenever there is an increase in niacin levels in the body, depression is consequently suppressed.
According to Dr.Hoffer, to realise the maximum benefits of niacin, you need to get the correct prescription. He adds that, taking larger doses of niacin at initial stages have a longer lasting effect on depression. This means you get a more pronounced sensation of the blood vessels.
However, with additional doses of niacin the ability to effectively flush gradually decreases. It could be the reason why most patient fall back to their depression over time. So what is the best way to take niacin to accurately control the flushing sensation? It is not easy to tell how much niacin is enough. The saturation level greatly varies from one person to another.
Niacin for Anxiety
Does niacin work for anxiety? Anxiety is basically a feeling of worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about a coming up event or something with an uncertain outcome.
According to health.com, signs or symptoms of anxiety include,
- Excessive worry
- Sleep Problems
- Irrational fears
- Muscle tension
- Compulsive behaviors
- Chronic indigestion
So, does niacin lower anxiety? It is has been said that niacin reduces anxiety just like it does to depression while promoting calmness and improved sleep. However, the effectiveness of niacin on anxiety is subjective. As “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition,” states, it is possible that niacin’s ability to lower blood pressure, boost blood flow, eliminate excess adrenaline and regulate hormones could contribute to feelings of relaxation in those who are anxious.
However, neither does the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) nor the American Medical Association consider niacin as a valid treatment for anxiety or depression.
What is your view? Have you tried niacin or vitamin B-3 for your depression, anxiety or cholesterol? What was your experience? Your contribution in the commenting section below will be highly appreciated. Be sure share this post… the word will be spread and someone will learn something new.
Sources and Citations
- Niacin Can Boost Good Cholesterol: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/niacin/art-20046208
- How to Take Niacin (Vitamin B3) for Depression and Anxiety:http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-take-niacin-vitamin-b3-for-depressio