Niacinamide, which is also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B-3. A deficiency of vitamin B-3 can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. But this can be prevented by taking niacinamide.
We have to take note that niacinamide is different from niacin. However, excess niacin in your body is converted into niacinamide.
Where Can You Get Niacinamide?
Consuming eggs, milk, beans, most green vegetables, and meat will give you this nutrient. It is also found in vitamin supplements. One can buy over the counter supplements for niacinamide which is also available in topical creams or combined with other vitamins. In the Model List of Essential Medicines of the World Health Organization, this is also listed as Nicotinamide.
What are the Health Benefits?
Niacinamide can help build proteins in the skin and preserve moisture in order to avoid environmental damage. It can also help cure or reduce the risk of acne, cancer, diabetes, hyperphosphatemia, osteoarthritis, hyperpigmentation and melasma.
Aside from those mentioned, Healthline stipulated other health benefits that one can get from niacinamide. This includes:
- Immunity. Niacinamide builds keratin which keeps the skin firm and healthy.
- Lipid barrier. With the help of niacinamide, your skin can grow ceramide (lipid) barrier to retain skin moisture. People with eczema or mature skin can benefit a lot from it.
- Minimizes redness and blotchiness. It reduces inflammation to ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Minimizes pore appearance. It keeps the skin smooth and moisturized.
- Regulates oil. Niacinamide regulates the amount of oil from the sebaceous glands.
- Sun damage protection. It helps rebuild healthy skin cells while it from potential ultraviolet rays damage.
- Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Aside from sun damage protection, it also helps reduce signs of aging on skin.
- Protects against oxidative stress. It helps build cells in the skin while protecting them from environmental stresses like sunlight, pollution, and toxins.
What are the Side Effects?
Niacinamide is generally considered safe to consume and for topical use. Its minor side effects include diarrhea, itchiness, dizziness, flatulence, mild headaches, and heartburn. Possible side effects of applying niacinamide on the skin are mild itching, redness, and burning.
When more than 3 grams a day is taken, niacinamide may cause a negative or toxic effect on the liver. Before taking supplements containing it, those with the following conditions need to consult a doctor:
- pregnant or breastfeeding
- have liver disease
- have gallbladder disease
- have gout
What to Consider
Niacinamide may have a positive effect on one’s skin health when taken topically daily. But it may take several weeks before seeing a noticeable improvement.
When buying supplements, make sure to look for niacinamide on the label since some only contain niacin or other forms of vitamin B-3. It can be taken alongside other active ingredients like folic acid, zinc, and copper.
Bear in mind that you need to speak to your doctor before you take niacinamide to make sure that you will get the right dosage. This is only prescribed once you have B-3 deficiency or other conditions.