Vitamin Breakdown Series (Part 4: Vitamin B3)

Vitamin-B3-Niacin-Acid-Nicotinic-Niacinamide-300x225

Welcome back for week 3 of discussing another B vitamin. This week I focus my time on the third child of the B vitamin family, B3. Just because it’s the third B vitamin in the B vitamin family it doesn’t become any less importance than any of the previous B vitamins. Let’s begin to discuss how this vitamin became known to the world.

Background History: 

So this little vitamin was discovered by Conrad Elvehjem originally as nicotinic acid in meat and yeast in 1937. This vitamin was a critical discovery because it helped create a cure for pellagra as mentioned last week in discussing vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). Vitamin B3 is often used interchangeably with Niacin so don’t get be confused if you hear niacin more often. The recommended daily dosage to this vitamin is anywhere from 2mg for kids to up to 16mg for adults.

niacin-300x295Basics that are not so basic:

This vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is critical to our bodies as it can help reverse high cholesterol by boosting the good kind of cholesterol and lowering the bad type of cholesterol. Individuals with high cholesterol should know that taking high amounts of this vitamin might reduce your cholesterol  but one big side effect is that it can potentially lead to stomach and liver problems. For other users you would have to consume 2-6 grams per day to feel those kind of side effects, so don’t worry. Like other B vitamins, it is important for growth and it also impacts our nervous system. So that means it affects our brain, spinal cord, and sciatic nerve. So you wouldn’t want to be deficient with this vitamin.

Food sources for Vitamin B3:

Niacin is prevalent in many foods it just depends on the type of food you want to eat them in. This vitamin can be found in animal sources such as chicken, fish, and eggs. Or if you prefer to eat just fruits and vegetables, niacin can be found in avocados, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and asparagus. So be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables because at the very least you can be helping yourself win the cholesterol battle and ensure you are getting enough niacin in your system. Like always feel free to leave any comments you may have otherwise feel free to connect with me on twitter. 

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Vitamin Breakdown Series (Part 2: Vitamin B1)

article-vitamin_b1Last week we discussed vitamin A (retinol) and its importance to our bodies. This week we talk about vitamin B1, one of the 8 vitamin B’s out there. Rather than summing up the entire vitamin B family in one gigantic post, I will discuss each vitamin B separately because in my opinion each vitamin B equally deserves the spotlight as they bring something different to the table. I want you to think about each vitamin B as one part of an octuplet family and this week we are focusing our attention on the first of 8 children.

Background History:

This vitamin was first discovered in 1897 by Christian Eijkman, a Dutch physician. He observed this while he was trying to find causes to beriberi (pronounced berry berry), a disease that can be fatal if you lack enough vitamin B1 in your body. After Eijkman, scientist Casimir Funk picked up where Eijkman had left off and in 1912 he coined the word vitamin while isolating the “anti-berberi factor.” This would eventually lead to the vitamin being named B1 as it was the first of the B vitamins to be discovered.

sources_of_vitamin_b1-compressedBasics that are not so basic:

Another common name to B1 is thiamine. This B vitamin is water soluble like the other seven B vitamins so it does not stay in our bodies and must be replenished. This vitamin is instrumental for multiple functions in our body which include converting food into energy, improving brain function, and improving our immune system. As mentioned before, without this vitamin in our bodies, it can lead to beriberi if left untreated but to other health problems as well. These health problems include fatigue, paralysis, and heart damage among other problems.

Food sources for Vitamin B1:

Some food sources that have high amounts of Thiamine include beans, lentils, nuts, beef, pork, and various grains such as cereal and oatmeal. Keep in mind that there has been some research that has found when consuming coffee and tea that Thiamine is not fully absorbed. Recommended dosages of this vitamin vary in men, women, and children based on aged. You should consult your doctor based on your individual needs.This wraps up this weeks discussion of vitamin B1.  Next week I discuss another B vitamin. If you have any questions feel free to ask away below or follow me on twitter. 

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