VITAMIN B3: AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT IN HEALTHY AGING
YING WANG, BSC. PHARM., RPH.
What is vitamin B3?
Vitamin B3 is an essential nutrient for all humans. It comes in three forms: niacin, niacinamide, and nicotinamide riboside (NR), all of which have been shown through scientific research to have therapeutic value.
What does vitamin B3 do in the body?
At the root of vitamin B3’s function is its role as precursor to NAD+ and NADP which are coenzymes to every cellular process in our bodies. NAD+ is used by the mitochondria—the powerhouse of the cell—to convert food to energy. NADP+ is a powerful antioxidant that repairs damage to our DNA. All three forms of vitamin B3, niacin, niacinamide, and nicotinamide riboside (NR), can act as precursors to NAD+ and NADP+.
As we age, the amount of NAD+ and NADP+ in our bodies decline and this depletion can be a significant trigger for agerelated decline and disease.
How does supplementing with vitamin B3 affect aging?
• Niacin lowers our “bad” cholesterol, LDL, and raises our “good” cholesterol, HDL
• Vitamin B3 is essential to the protective pathways that guard us against neurodegenerative diseases like dementia
• Niacinamide can stimulate collagen growth, improve skin elasticity, and preserve the skin moisture barrier in otherwise aging skin cells
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