Also referred to as nicotinic acid, vitamin B3 is a body compound that naturally results from the processes developing within our system. The main function of vitamin B3 is in cellular respiration, but it also contributes to the energy release and the metabolism of fats, carbs and proteins within the body. Other regular functions that require the action of vitamin B3 include skin conditioning, maintenance of the nervous system and the correct secretion of the bile and gastric juices. As a supplement, vitamin B3 is often prescribed for the treatment of poor memory, schizophrenia and other mental disorders in similar categories.
When administered as a drug, and not as a mere supplement, vitamin B3 lowers cholesterol levels and purges the body from organic poisons. In case of intoxications with various chemicals, vitamin B3 is often used for cleansing the aggressive element from the system; the vitamin B3 detoxification is not too harsh, and it carries very mild adverse reactions. If administered correctly, or if the amount of vitamin B3 in the blood is large enough, then mental alertness is remarkable. Most patients who have taken it in the supplement form have been impressed with the influence of the nicotinic acid on nervous processes.
Vitamin B3 deficiency causes a very serious disease known as pellagra; the symptoms of this affection include diarrhea, dermatitis and even dementia. Fortunately pellagra occurrence is very rare since vitamin B3 shortage is no longer as severe as it used to be in the past. Anyway, in case you experience limb pains, low blood sugar levels, headaches, indigestions, skin eruptions and inflammations, seek medical advice right away. Abnormal or too low levels of vitamin B3 should be revealed through laboratory blood tests; only afterwards, the health care provider may prescribe the right dosage of vitamin supplement necessary for the condition.
There are special health conditions that require the administration of high doses of vitamin B3, but under such circumstances, the patient needs to be under constant medical observation. Side effects associated with overdosing should not be treated lightly since they can affect the overall health condition pretty well. Thus, if the daily 200mg dosage is not respected, blood vessel dilation can occur, accompanied by a severe drop in the blood pressure. Elevated glucose levels, liver dysfunctions and skin itching have also been signaled in association with too high doses of vitamin B3. Hence, the safest thing you can do is to stick to the doctor's orders and avoid overdosing.