Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is an organic compound that is naturally found in certain foods, or available as a supplement and prescription medicine. It is an excellent remedy for individuals who have high blood pressure (hypertension) and cholesterol-related issues. High amounts of niacin in the body can be helpful in reducing the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) along with triglyceride and increasing the “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the body, which will prevent heart damage.
Niacin maintains the health of the skin, nerves, and digestive system as well. It is an essential vitamin that is needed for metabolizing food into energy. Its inadequacy in the body for a prolonged time can lead to its deficiency, which causes pellagra, indicated by the symptoms – dermatitis, issues related to the digestive system, and poor mental function.
To restore the amount of niacin, one can either increase the intake of foods that are good sources of niacin or consume niacin supplements. It is not safe to consume niacin supplements without consulting your healthcare provider or a certified dietician. Excessive amounts of niacin can cause its overdosing, thereby potentiating the risk of peptic ulcers, skin rashes, muscle damage, liver dysfunction, and an increase in blood sugar levels in the body.
Before you start using the niacin supplements, you must discuss the risk factors and interactions with your healthcare provider. In case you have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, kidney disease, or liver dysfunction, then you must inform your healthcare provider about your condition.
Also, there is a possibility of adverse side reactions post-interaction of niacin with certain drugs. It does not go well with blood pressure medicines, diabetes drugs, blood thinners, thyroid drugs, antibiotics, etc. Your healthcare provider will prescribe a safe dose of niacin considering your chronic health condition and the medications you are already taking.
Niacin side effects
A high dose of niacin can trigger some side effects that are listed below:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Skin flushing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
If you experience these symptoms, then you must talk to your healthcare provider. They may reduce your dose and recommend a safe one. Note that, utmost care must be taken in the case
of pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers because Niacin intake might not be safe among such individuals, which is why they must never take these medicines without a healthcare provider’s prescription.
Niacin and erectile dysfunction
Some research suggests that erectile dysfunction can be treated with niacin. A condition like Erectile dysfunction (impotence) does not happen on its own, it can be a symptom of some underlying health condition such as heart disease or cardiovascular disorders. These two chronic health conditions can potentiate the risk of heart disease and vascular damage, and they are also the major contributors to erectile dysfunction problems in men.
Increasing the intake of niacin-rich foods or using prescription niacin might reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular dysfunction, which may ultimately impact the erection function and help in treating erectile dysfunction problems.