Niacinamide Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects And More

Niacinamide Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects

Niacinamide is a potent component when it comes to skincare essentials. But a type of vitamin B3, niacinamide or nicotinamide, has many other health benefits. Combatting the deficiency of vitamin B3, nicotinamide helps to improve kidney problems, joint problems, and skin issues.

Niacinamide is found in many food items like bananas, legumes, brown rice, red meat, nuts, seeds, poultry, etc. But it is also available in the form of a niacinamide moisturizer, serum, and supplement.

Do you want to know about this vitamin having lots of health benefits? Here is a complete overview for you. 

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, and it keeps the cells in our body healthy. Further, it regulates our bodies’ proper functioning of fat and sugar.

It is used to treat vitamin B3 deficiency and acute health conditions like pellagra. Also, it is used to control diabetes, kidney problems, osteoarthritis, and skin aging and discoloration. 

Niacinamide and niacin are similar in name, but they are different forms of vitamin B and have different functionalities. But if you consume niacin in an amount the body cannot utilize fully, the same is transformed into niacinamide.

Niacinamide in the body can also be formed from tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes protein biosynthesis and maintains the neurotransmitters. 

What Are Niacinamide Doses?

The ideal niacinamide dose will depend on your gender, age, and specific health conditions. To explain further, the daily recommended dietary allowance or RDA of niacinamide or niacin equivalents (NE)** for an adult male is 16mg.

For women, the daily RDA of NE is 14mg. The daily RDA shoots up to 18mg when a woman is pregnant and 17mg during the lactating period.

In children, the dose will vary depending on their age. So, you must consult your physician to know the most suitable dose. An overdose of niacinamide can cause stomach upset, dizziness, rashes, bloating, and headache. 

To maximize the benefits of niacinamide, you can take it with zinc, folic acid, or copper supplements. 

**1mg of niacin equivalents is similar to 1mg niacinamide. 

Does Niacinamide Interact With Other Medicines?

Yes, niacinamide causes mild interactions with certain medicines and herbs. 

Anticoagulant /antiplatelet drugs can interact with niacinamide. These medicines slow down blood clotting. Taking niacinamide with them can increase the risks of bruising and bleeding.

Other medicines interacting with niacinamide are carbamazepine or Tegretol and primidone or Mysoline.

Niacinamide also interacts with herbs, which slows down blood clotting. These herbs include Panax ginseng, ginger, garlic, nattokinase, and ginkgo.

Topical Application Of Niacinamide

I consulted a dermatologist about the use of this vitamin for skin health. She recommended topical application of this vitamin in the form of niacinamide serum or niacinamide moisturizer for better results. She added that niacinamide supplements definitely work to improve skin health. However, topical application can be more effective.

Despite being water soluble, too much oral niacinamide intake can cause toxicity. So, if you are taking an ordinary niacinamide supplement just for skincare, switching to a topical application is always better.

However, make sure that the serum or moisturizer you use does not have more than 5% niacinamide concentration. Concentration in a higher percentage can cause skin irritations and other skin problems. 

So, read the label of the niacinamide skincare products carefully before choosing. 

Niacinamide Benefits

As I said earlier, niacinamide is mostly used to treat pellagra caused by vitamin B3 deficiency. However, it is a potent element imparting multiple health benefits. From kidney problems to different skin issues, this vitamin fights it all. 

Niacinamide Is Useful In Chronic Kidney Disease 

In chronic kidney disease, kidney functions keep on deteriorating. Thus, kidneys fail to perform the required blood filtering and cleaning and regulate blood pressure.

When the kidneys cannot function properly, our body faces an accumulation of many harmful elements like phosphate in the blood. When our blood has excessive phosphate, the condition is called hyperphosphatemia. 

Niacinamide blocks the absorption of phosphate and reduces its level in the blood. 

Niacinamide Helps Fight Osteoarthritis

Doctors recommend niacinamide for patients suffering from osteoarthritis. This variation of vitamin B3 increases the flexibility of the joints. It also alleviates pain and swelling.

Niacinamide Slows Down The Progression Of Type 1 Diabetes 

In type 1 diabetes, the beta cells in the pancreas get destroyed due to internal attacks in the body. These beta cells produce insulin. 

Niacinamide works as a protector of these beta cells. Thus, it delays the progression or onset of type 1 diabetes.

However, there needs to be more studies to establish the efficacy of niacinamide in preventing type 1 diabetes. 

Niacinamide Serum Benefits For Skin

Niacinamide is probably the most popular these days as a powerful remedy for skin problems. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help get rid of acne, discoloration, pigmentation of the skin, and more severe conditions like melanoma.

Let’s have a look at how it can be beneficial for your skin in multiple ways.

Niacinamide Can Help Prevent Melanoma

When your skin gets majorly exposed to the UV rays of the Sun, the melanin cells get damaged, and they become prone to developing melanoma, a severe type of skin cancer. To explain further, the Sun’s harmful rays damage the DNA of these melanin cells or the cells that give your skin its color.

Niacinamide helps to keep all the cells in our body healthy. Through DNA repairing and UV damage correction, it takes care of our skin cells. Thus, it reduces the risks of melanoma.

Niacinamide oral supplements are especially beneficial for people who have already had other skin cancers and are at a higher risk of melanoma. 

Niacinamide Is Useful For Hyperpigmentation Treatment

If you use niacinamide for a few weeks and compare the niacinamide before and after results, you will notice lightened dark spots and pigments.

Niacinamide boosts collagen production to make pigments and dark spots lighter. 

Improves Skin Immunity

Niacinamide promotes the production of keratin. Keratin is the protein that maintains the strength and elasticity of your skin.

Great For Regulating Oil

Niacinamide helps in moisture retention and is beneficial for dry and oily both skin types. In dry skin, it prevents parching by retaining moisture.

At the same time, it regulates the oil produced by sebaceous glands in our skin. So, your skin never becomes greasy or has visible sebaceous filaments. 

Makes Pores Less Visible

Niacinamide keeps your facial skin moisturized and smooth. Thus, it makes the pores less visible and minimizes the pore sizes in time. 

Helps To Grow A Lipid Barrier For The Skin

The topical application of niacinamide helps to grow a lipid or ceramide barrier in your skin. This barrier is essential for all skin types to retain moisture.

In this context, niacinamide is most beneficial for ones with mature skin or eczema. 

Reduces Redness

Niacinamide comes with anti-inflammatory properties. So, it reduces inflammation, redness, and discomfort in eczema, acne, and many other health conditions. 

Fights Sun Damage

Ultraviolet rays can damage the DNA of melanin. Niacinamide promotes DNA repair and thus fights Sun damage. 

Fights Skin Aging

Niacinamide helps fight skin aging by fighting oxidative stress and other signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines.

It promotes the generation of new cells and protects the skin cells at the same time. It protects the skin from the aggression of major factors like toxins, pollution, and Sunrays. 

Effective For Acne Treatment

Topical application of niacinamide skincare products can reduce acne problems. Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties. So, it is very effective in the treatment of inflammatory acne like pustules or papules. 

What Are Niacinamide Serum Side Effects?

Niacinamide is not suitable for people who have pre-existing allergies. This vitamin boosts the production of histamine, a chemical compound causing allergies. So, if you already have allergy problems and apply a niacinamide serum, the situation can become worse.

Even if you don’t have pre-existing allergies, niacinamide can cause allergies, mild burning, redness, or itchiness.

How Can I Incorporate Niacinamide In My Daily Skincare Routine?

You can use niacinamide serums two or three times a day after gentle cleansing of your skin. However, if you want to optimize the benefits of niacinamide, you need to apply it after the application of the moisturizer.

Even many moisturizing creams today have niacinamide because of the moisture retention and ceramide-building properties of niacinamide. 

With face masks emerging as an important component of your daily skincare regime, you can also try a niacinamide face mask. 

Combining niacinamide with other skincare components can be more effective for skin care. You can club it with vitamin C, retinol, or other ceramides like hyaluronic and glycolic acid. 

Can I Combine Niacinamide And Retinol?

Yes, you can combine niacinamide and retinol. Combining these elements can be really beneficial for your skin health. Considering this, many skincare products today come with a combination of these elements. Let’s have a look at the benefits of using them together.

Prevents Dryness Of The Skin

As you apply retinoid on your skin, it gets transformed into retinoid acid. Retinoid acid can cause dryness and other skin irritations. When you use a combination of retinoid and niacinamide for your skin, the latter reduces the dryness and irritation caused. 

Reduces Skin Irritation And Inflammation

If you use a skin care product with retinol and niacinamide, you will likely experience less skin irritation than using a solution with only retinol. 

There Will Be Lesser Side Effects

Niacinamide helps create a strong lipid barrier on your skin and protects the skin from external aggressors, environmental damages, and toxins. So, if you use a solution that has retinol and niacinamide, you will experience more skin benefits with fewer side effects. 

May Be More Effective For Fighting Acne Problems

If you need to fight acne problems, a combination of niacinamide, retinol, and 7-dehydrocholesterol will be gentler and more effective. 

The Combination Is Effective In Fighting Signs Of Aging

You can get a better skin tone and fight signs of aging by using hexylresorcinol, retinol, and niacinamide. 

This combination does not have any major side effects on the skin. However, if you have sensitive skin or sensitivity toward retinol, prior consultation is mandatory for using this combination.

Again, the effect, impact, and adverse results of using this combination will depend on the condition of your skin, the concentration percentage of the ingredients used, and other elements present in a specific solution. 

Can I Use Niacinamide And Vitamin C Together?

There are a lot of debates regarding whether you can use niacinamide and vitamin C together or separately for your skin care. Some say that using them together can adversely affect your skin. Some, on the other side of the pole, recommend using them together.

However, after talking to many dermatologists and skincare experts, I can assure you that using a combination of vitamin C and niacinamide can be effective for your skincare.

You can use a skincare product containing vitamin C and niacinamide before you apply Sunscreen or moisturizer on your skin.

Vitamin C and niacinamide can work hand in hand in fighting skin aging and hyperpigmentation. Both elements fight wrinkles and fine lines to maintain your skin’s youthful appearance at the same time. 

Again, these elements can lighten dark spots and blemishes to make the skin tone even. These vitamins also have anti-inflammatory properties. 

However, like a thumb rule, you must be extra careful when using a combination skincare product if you already have sensitive skin or some specific skin conditions. Patch test is a simple method to know about your skin’s allergic reaction to certain products.

But for me, the safest method is consulting a dermatologist or a skincare expert before pacing up your skincare routine with combination products. 

The Takeaway

Niacinamide is a powerful variation of vitamin B3. Consumption of this vitamin in adequate amounts is necessary on a daily basis through food or supplements. It keeps the cells healthy, plays an effective role in the treatment of pellagra, osteoarthritis, and chronic kidney disease, and slows down the onset of type 1 diabetes.

Niacinamide is also used in various skincare products to fight signs of aging, pigmentation, inflammation, and other skin problems. 

However, medical conditions like gallbladder problems, stomach or intestinal ulcers, and kidney dialysis can worsen with niacinamide consumption. Further, an overdose of this vitamin can cause dizziness, stomach upset, and other health problems.

So, always seek a medical consultation and be particular about the doses/concentration (for topical applications) if you are to use niacinamide supplements or skincare products.

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sibashree bhattacharya

Sibashree has been into SEO and eCommerce content writing for more than 9 years. She loves reading books and is a huge fan of those over-the-top period dramas. Her favorite niches are fashion, lifestyle, beauty, traveling, relationships, women's interests, and movies. The strength of her writing lies in thorough research backing and an understanding of readers’ pain points.

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