Niacinamide or nicotinamide, comes from vitamin B3 or niacin, and is also called nicotinic acid. It becomes niacinamide when an amide molecule attaches itself to niacin. In the process nicotinic acid is converted to nicotinamide or niacinamide.
Although nicotinic acid and niacin both play important roles in the body, nicotinamide does not possess the toxic effects of niacin which occurs during niacin’s process of conversion.
Nicotinamide does not possess the some effects that nicotinic acid has involving the intestines, the liver, and its fat-lowering and vasodilation characteristics which explain why nicotinamide does not have the flushing, itching and burning sensation when nicotinic acid is taken in large quantity.
Niacinamide is believed to delay the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It helps by reducing inflammation inside the brain and by strengthening the immune system. Previous experiments have proved that regular supplementation of niacinamide would greatly benefit those suffering from Parkinson’s disease especially when given at the early stages of the disease before dopamine starts to be depleted.
Researchers found that niacinamide reduces the level of the protein called phosphorylated tau in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. High levels of this substance leads to the development of lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The symptoms of niacinamide deficiency is very similar to the symptoms of anxiety and depression – hyperactivity, fatigue, apprehension, headache and insomnia. Once niacinamide deficiency has been corrected, any symptom of anxiety and depression that a patient is suffering from will have been addressed as well.
Niacinamide is also known to enhance insulin production and protects insulin sensitivity and secretion by helping in cell function and metabolism. Previous laboratory experiments have also demonstrated that it prevents the early onset of Type 1 diabetes.
It has exhibited anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit patients suffering from skin conditions, like acne vulgaris, that are prone to infection and inflammation. It exerts its anti-inflammatory properties by blocking iodides that cause and aggravate acne inflammation.
It is also believed to have the potential to be an effective treatment for cirrhosis of the liver, acne and is also believed to delay the process of aging.
Niacinamide can be found in various foods, including yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains.