Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide/Nicotinamide): Radiant Skin, Flexible Joints, and More Energy

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Along with providing information on whether Niacinamide or Nicotinamide supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy supplements online through Fullscript’s secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

Vitamin B3, known for its vital role in supporting metabolic processes, skin health, and nervous system function, is a nutrient important in our daily diet. Available in various forms, such as niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide riboside, and nicotinamide mononucleotide, each offers unique benefits ranging from cholesterol management and skin care to potential anti-aging effects. This article explores the diverse advantages of Vitamin B3 supplements, and how they cater to different health concerns and nutritional needs.

Forms of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, a pivotal nutrient also known as niacin, plays an essential role in numerous bodily functions, emphasizing its importance in our diet. It is integral to the metabolic process, transforming food into energy, and it supports the proper functioning of the nervous system. Moreover, vitamin B3 contributes significantly to the maintenance of healthy skin, blood cells, and brain, showcasing its versatile role in promoting overall health. This vitamin is available in several forms, each with distinct properties and health benefits, making it a flexible component in addressing a variety of health concerns and nutritional needs.

  • Niacin (Nicotinic Acid): This form is primarily utilized to counteract niacin deficiency and manage cholesterol levels effectively. Niacin aids in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while enhancing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. However, it can cause skin flushing, a side effect resulting from the dilation of blood vessels, though this can be alleviated by consuming niacin with food or opting for slow-release formulations.
  • Niacinamide (Nicotinamide): Unlike nicotinic acid, niacinamide does not induce flushing, making it a preferable option for treating niacin deficiency sans the uncomfortable side effects. It’s also widely incorporated into skincare products for its anti-inflammatory qualities, helping treat acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions. Additionally, niacinamide can improve skin elasticity, bolster its barrier function, and diminish hyperpigmentation.
  • Nicotinamide Riboside (NR): A relatively new form of vitamin B3, NR is converted into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme vital for cellular metabolism. The potential anti-aging effects and improvements in metabolic functions attributed to increased NAD+ levels are subjects of ongoing research, highlighting NR’s promising implications for health and longevity.
  • Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN): Similar to nicotinamide riboside, NMN serves as a precursor to NAD+, attracting attention for its potential to enhance longevity and metabolic health. It plays a role in energy production and DNA repair, with studies indicating that NMN supplementation could support the reversal of age-related declines in energy metabolism, improve blood flow, and enhance insulin sensitivity. Continued research is essential to confirm these benefits in humans.

Each form of vitamin B3 serves a specific purpose and can be chosen based on the desired health outcomes. While niacin is geared towards cardiovascular health but may cause flushing, niacinamide is favored for skin health without the flushing effect. Nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide, on the other hand, are under research for their potential to impact metabolic health and aging positively, offering new avenues for health enhancement and longevity.

Nicotinamide

Niacin or Nicotinic Acid

Nicotinamide Riboside

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide

What are the Benefits of Niacinamide?

Here’s a list of some potential health benefits of niacinamide:

  • Energy production: Niacinamide, a type of vitamin B3, is crucial for our body’s energy production process by increasing levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), an essential coenzyme involved in converting food into energy. By boosting NAD+ levels, niacinamide helps ensure that our bodies efficiently utilize the nutrients we consume to produce energy.
  • Skin health: Niacinamide is a well-regarded ingredient in skincare products because of its numerous benefits for the skin. It helps reduce inflammation, control oil production, and improve conditions like acne. Moreover, niacinamide can visibly diminish fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production, while also brightening the skin and reducing uneven pigmentation. Additionally, it strengthens the skin’s natural barrier, keeping it hydrated and protected from environmental stressors. [PMID: 34844552]
  • Joint health: Studies have explored niacinamide’s potential in promoting joint health, especially in conditions like osteoarthritis. Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate joint pain and stiffness. Furthermore, it could support joint flexibility by aiding in the production and preservation of cartilage. These findings suggest that niacinamide supplementation offer relief for persons experiencing joint discomfort or arthritis symptoms. [PMID: 8841834]
  • Cognitive function: Emerging research shows that niacinamide could play a role in maintaining cognitive function, particularly as we age. By increasing NAD+ levels, niacinamide may support cellular processes crucial for brain health and memory. [PMC2617713]
  • Cholesterol management: Although niacinamide has been studied for its potential in managing cholesterol levels, it’s important to note that niacin (nicotinic acid) is more recognized for its lipid-modifying effects. Niacin is known to raise HDL cholesterol levels (the “good” cholesterol) and lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus reducing cardiovascular risk. However, ongoing research may provide additional insights into niacinamide’s role in cholesterol management. PMC2617713

How Nicotinamide Differs From Niacin (Nicotinic Acid)

It can be confusing to keep track of the different forms of Vitamin B3, so the table below summarizes the differences.

NicotinamideNiacin = Nicotinic Acid
Other NamesNiacinamideNicotinic acid
Vitamin B3
Chemical StructureNicotinamide has an amide group (-CONH2) instead of a carboxyl group.Niacin has a carboxyl group (-COOH).
FunctionNAD Precursor: Nicotinamide is also used to form NAD.
Anti-Inflammatory: Nicotinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for the treatment of acne.
Aging: Nicotinamide is also being researched for its potential in age-related diseases due to its role in maintaining cellular health.
NAD Precursor: Niacin form NAD, a coenzyme essential for various biological reactions.
Heart Health: Niacin supports cardiovascular health.
Side EffectsNo Flushing
Nicotinamide is generally better tolerated than niacin. It doesn’t cause “niacin flush” and is less likely to cause stomach upset. High doses can still potentially cause mild side effects, like dizziness or rash.
Flush and No Flush Varieties
Nicotinamide supplements are frequently used for treating skin conditions and are also being explored for potential anti-aging benefits and joint pain relief.
Dietary SourcesNicotinamide is present in similar foods as niacin, as they are both forms of Vitamin B3. It’s also available as a dietary supplement and can be synthesized in the body from tryptophan, an amino acid.Niacin is found in foods like meat, fish, whole grains, and green vegetables. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
Use in SupplementsNicotinamide supplements are frequently used for treating skin conditions and are also being explored for potential anti-aging benefits and joint pain relief.Niacin supplements are often used for lowering cholesterol levels and reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

Niacinamide/Nicotinamide in Acne Treatment

A lot of people are looking for new ways to treat acne because current treatments can have side effects and sometimes don’t work as well as they should due to increasing antibiotic resistance. Vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide, might be a good option because it has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm down the skin.

Researchers reviewed scientific studies on the use of vitamin B3 for acne treatment. Out of 10 studies they found, most showed that using vitamin B3 on the skin led to a significant reduction in acne. Also, taking vitamin B3 as an oral supplement resulted in less acne in two studies. The good news is, no major side effects were reported. Yet, the researchers said more research will be needed before we can be sure that nicotinamide works for acne. [PMID: 28220628]

Dosages in most studies have used 4% nicotinamide cream applied to the skin twice daily or oral supplements containing 500 – 750 mg niacinamide per day taken in divided doses. Some studies have evaluated oral nicotinamide as part of a combined treatment, typically including other vitamins or zinc. This makes perfect sense because cells need so much more than niacin alone to maintain optimal function.

Niacinamide For Joint Pain

Researchers explored whether niacinamide can help people with osteoarthritis. This was a test of 72 people with osteoarthritis who didn’t know if they were taking niacinamide or a placebo.

After 3 months of supplementation with 3000 mg nicotinamide per day (split into 3 doses), researchers looked at several things including overall arthritis symptoms and pain, flexibility of the joints, and several blood tests. Overall arthritis symptoms improved in the group taking niacinamide but got a little worse in the placebo group. Pain levels stayed the same, but those taking niacinamide could reduce their usual pain medications a bit. Niacinamide also seemed to lessen inflammation (as shown by a blood test) and increase the flexibility of the joints compared to the placebo group. Some people experienced mild side effects, a bit more in the niacinamide group.

Researchers concluded that niacinamide could be helpful in treating osteoarthritis. It seemed to improve overall arthritis symptoms, increased joint flexibility, reduced inflammation, and allowed people to take a bit less of their usual pain medications. As always, more research is needed to confirm these findings and understand more about niacinamide’s effects on arthritis. [PMID: 8841834]

Niacinamide to Raise NAD+ Levels

As people age, levels of a crucial substance in the body, known as NAD+, naturally decrease. NAD+ is a pivotal molecule in cellular metabolism. A previous study discovered that consuming 200 mg of nicotinamide can help raise the levels of NAD+ in the blood.

In a new study, researchers aimed to find out if a higher dose of nicotinamide could similarly boost NAD+ levels. To explore this, a group of five healthy adults were given either 500 mg of nicotinamide or just water, and their blood NAD+ levels were analyzed before and after the treatment. The study showed that consuming 500 mg of nicotinamide significantly increased the NAD+ levels in the blood after 12 hours.

Researchers concluded that taking nicotinamide up to the safe daily amount can effectively boost NAD+ levels in the blood and may also alter the types of fats present in the blood. This strategy could be a beneficial way to counteract the natural decline in NAD+ that accompanies aging. [Science Direct: doi.org/10.1016/j.tma.2021.09.001]

Food Sources of Vitamin B3

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 found in various foods. Here’s a table showing some common food sources of niacinamide and the approximate amount of niacinamide in each:

Food SourceApproximate Amount of Niacinamide (mg 3 oz/100 g Serving)
Turkey, cooked14.3
Chicken breast, cooked13.6
Tuna, canned in water11.3
Salmon, cooked8.5
Beef, cooked7.6
Pork, cooked6.9
Peanuts, roasted13.1
Sunflower seeds8.3
Brown rice, cooked1.8
Whole wheat bread2.2
Green peas, cooked2.0
Spinach, cooked0.6
Milk, whole0.8
Eggs, cooked0.6
Please note that these amounts are approximate and can vary depending on the specific type and preparation of the food.

Is Niacinamide/Nicotinamide Safe?

Niacinamide is safe for most people and toxicity is not a concern. However, there are some medications that may interact with niacinamide. Below is a list of a few medications that might interact with niacinamide and the severity of each interaction:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol): Niacinamide might increase the body’s breakdown of carbamazepine, a medication used to treat seizures and nerve pain. This interaction could possibly reduce the effectiveness of carbamazepine
  • Primidone (Mysoline): Similar to carbamazepine, niacinamide might increase the body’s breakdown of primidone, which is also used to treat seizures. This interaction might decrease the effectiveness of primidone.
  • Anticoagulant / antiplatelet medications: Niacinamide might affect blood clotting. When taken with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications like warfarin, aspirin, or clopidogrel, it could increase the risk of bleeding.

Order Nicontiamide (Niacinamide)

Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Free shipping over $50 and best prices when you order through Supplement Sciences.
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Niacinamide (Thorne)

Manufacturer product information: Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a non-flushing form of vitamin B3. Niacinamide has multiple positive functions in the body, including supporting restful sleep and healthy joint and skin.* It also acts as an antioxidant, inhibiting free radical formation, and it has been shown to promote the regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas.* Niacinamide has been found to stimulate neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, without binding to the receptor sites, which creates a calming, sedative-like effect.* High amounts of niacinamide have been documented as being beneficial in protecting joint cartilage cells.* Niacinamide has also been used in support of several dermatological conditions.* Niacinamide is not derived from yeast.

Take 1 capsule one to three times daily or as recommended by your health professional.

Serving Size: 1 Capsule

Amount Per Serving
Vitamin B3
 … 500mg (Niacinamide)

Naturally Clear [Topical] Spray by Metabolic Maintenance

Naturally Clear [Topical] Spray
-The second step in our Naturally Clear Skin System, this hypo-allergenic spray
contains NiaDerm (a topical form of Vitamin B-3) and aloe vera which together
decrease blemishes, inflammation and redness, and soothe the skin. Combine with
Naturally Clear Facial Scrub and daily Oral Supplements for a complete system
proven to clear, moisturize and nourish the skin. 4 oz. spray lasts about 45
days.*
• Key ingredients: NiaDerm and aloe vera work together to decrease blemishes
and inflammation.
• Gentle amino acid-based moisturizer delivers an effective, hypoallergenic
mist.
• Carefully tested, patented, all-natural formula helps reduce redness and
soothe skin.

Spray onto a clean face and neck twice daily and let dry.

Ingredients: Distilled water, niacinamide (Vitamin B-3), aloe vera, sodium PCA.

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

It’s clear that niacinamide holds a vital place in the fight against aging. The benefits of niacinamide, ranging from boosting skin barrier function to its vital role in reducing wrinkles and fine lines, make it a noteworthy ally in promoting youthful skin. Its ability to improve skin elasticity, stimulate collagen production, and fight oxidative stress further strengthens its position as an essential ingredient in anti-aging skincare. As we have explored throughout this article, niacinamide stands as a transformative component that can significantly aid in slowing down the clock on skin aging. So, whether you’re beginning your journey into anti-aging skincare or you’re looking for effective solutions to maintain your skin’s youthfulness, don’t overlook the potential of niacinamide. Here’s to embracing age with grace, confidence, and the power of niacinamide!


This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.


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