What Are the Benefits of Niacin Pills?


Quick Answer

The benefits of niacin pills include lowering cholesterol, reducing the chance of hardening arteries, lowering the risk of a second heart attack and as a treatment for pellagra, explains WebMD. Niacin is also being studied as a way to lower the risk of conditions like Alzheimer's.

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Full Answer

There is very strong evidence that niacin works well as a treatment for high cholesterol, states WebMD. However, up to 3000 milligrams of niacin are required, which can pose dangers like liver damage, glucose intolerance and issues with the gastrointestinal system. This treatment should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor, and the pills are normally taken with food. Flushing of the face is a common side effect of excess niacin, so medications to reduce flushing, such as aspirin, are also prescribed.

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, notes WebMD. Children need up to 16 milligrams of niacin daily, depending on age. Men require a daily minimum of 16 milligrams and women a daily minimum of 14 milligrams. Pregnant women should consume 18 milligrams a day, and breastfeeding women should consume 17 milligrams of niacin a day. Adults should only take up to 35 milligrams of niacin each day unless undergoing treatment.

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