Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It is found in a range of foods including milk, eggs, beans, green vegetables, and meat, but can also be ingested via supplements or applied to the skin. The vitamin is often recommended for people with vitamin B3 deficiency. Beyond this, some people take it orally to improve symptoms of diabetes, oral cancer, osteoarthritis, and acne. It is also applied topically to treat skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
According to scientific studies, niacinamide may act as an effective antioxidant that improves the function of the skin's epidermal barrier. As a result, it can improve the body's ability to fight key signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles, redness and blotchiness, and sallowness. It may also improve the skin's elasticity if applied topically on a regular basis.
Many researchers believe that niacinamide's anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce redness and swelling experienced by people with severe acne. What's more, it may work to control the amount of oil produced by the skin's glands and help fade the purple and brown marks acne often leaves behind.
According to research, niacinamide may help to protect the skin from sun damage by helping to rebuild skin cells damaged by ultraviolet rays and offering protection from further damage. It is believed that both topical and oral forms of niacinamide can provide these benefits.
People with dry skin may benefit from regular topical application of niacinamide. Research shows that niacinamide may help the skin form a lipid barrier which can aid in moisture retention. This helps improve skin dryness and is particularly useful for people who suffer from chronic skin conditions such as eczema.
Early studies suggest that taking niacinamide via oral supplements may help improve the lives of people with osteoarthritis by improving the flexibility of the joints, treating inflammation, and reducing pain. However, it should be noted that there is still research to be conducted in this area, and niacinamide alone is not considered an effective treatment for the condition.
According to a trial exploring niacinamide and cancer, taking oral niacinamide supplements may help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. The study shows that participants susceptible to developing the disease reduced their risk of squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma by 23% after taking the supplements.
Various reports note that taking oral niacinamide supplements may help support insulin production in children and adults with type 1 diabetes. This may reduce the insulin newly diagnosed people require and also support insulin production in people with type 2 diabetes.
Studies show that niacinamide can reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, which causes dark brown or purple patches to appear on the skin. Over time, researchers believe topical application of the substance may help clarify the skin's appearance and leave it looking more even.
Studies show that niacinamide may be effective in treating hyperphosphatemia or too much phosphorous in the blood, a complication of chronic kidney disease. Experts theorize that oral niacinamide supplements could be one of the safest ways to reduce the amount of phosphate in a person's bloodstream.
Overall, research suggests niacinamide is a safe substance that can be taken on a regular basis by most people. However, users should be aware of a few moderate contraindications. People who take medications that slow clotting of the blood, contain primidone, or may harm the liver should talk to their healthcare provider before taking niacinamide.
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