Is a Niacin Flush Dangerous?

By Dr. Mercola Niacin, or vitamin B3, is important to your overall good health. Vitamin B3 deficiency may result in a condition called pellagra, characterized by mental confusion, diarrhea and scaly skin sores. Deficiencies, however, are rare and often confined to people with trouble absorbing the vitamin from their food.1 The vitamin is water soluble, so it is not stored in the body but eliminated through the kidneys. This means you need a steady supply from your diet. Niacin is found in many foods commonly found in an everyday diet, such as chicken, eggs, legumes (peanuts), milk and rice.2 The vitamin helps convert carbohydrates into glucose and is part of the process in making several sex and stress-related hormones.3 You can meet your daily requirements for niacin through dietary intake. It is rare to develop a deficiency unless you also suffer from an underlying medical condition that reduces your absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, such as alcoholism. Niacin is available a


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