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There are far too many vitamins for me to know them all by name or what they can do. They are important, even vital components within our lives, because the human body either does not produce enough of them or not at all. Learning what we need and what our bodies are lacking is essential to a healthy foundation, because vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. Do not let the “small quantities” fool you. Go without that small quantity for a long time and a deficiency could occur and cause havoc with your harmonious well-being. There is a delicate balance to the human body and either by food, the environment, or a supplement, we need vitamins in our bodies. 

What is niacin?

Niacin or B3 is one of eight B vitamins. B vitamins help the body convert food (carbs) and fuel (glucose) into energy. According to the Mayo Clinic, niacin helps the body use fats and proteins and is necessary for a healthy liver, skin, hair, and eyes. This water-soluble vitamin dissolves in water and because of this our bodies need a continuous supply of this vitamin in our diet.

Niacin can be found in:

  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lean meats
  • nuts
  • dates
  • poultry

A deficiency in niacin can cause digestive problems, inflamed skin, and mental impairment while large doses of niacin can cause increased blood sugar, liver damage, peptic ulcers, and some skin rashes.

Niacin helps the body to maintain good blood circulation, a healthy robust skin condition and normal functioning of the brain including memory power. Its most important is lowering high cholesterol levels by raising our HDL or good cholesterol, which picks up excess bad cholesterol in the blood and takes it back to the liver for disposal.

How the niacin "flush" helps your hair

When many discuss niacin and hair, they are talking about the niacin “flush” one may experience when taking niacin (high-density lipoprotein) supplements. The “flush” is a result of capillaries widening, allowing for better circulation of blood to the entire body. The flush is a rush of blood to the scalp and the increased blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Because of its circulation-boosting properties, it boosts the thickness of hair strands and increases moisture as niacin increases water content in skin, staving off dryness, and aging.

The flush is a rush of blood to the scalp and the increased blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles.

Niacin will improve the health of your scalp. It also locks in moisture and prevents dandruff and dry hair. Niacin is also one of the necessary vitamins within the B family that specializes in DNA repair and that even includes scalp and hair repair. Whether damaged from processing or from disease, niacin can aid in rebuilding dry, damaged scalp and hair. A malnourished scalp has less ability to recover from styling and environmental stresses in our daily lives. From combing to coloring to UV rays, our hair gets frequently manipulated and maintenance requires cleansing, conditioning, and sometimes vitamin supplements if your doctor says you are deficient in nutrients like vitamin B.

Niacin or vitamin B3 is often found in hair care products for locking in moisture to increasing blood circulation to the scalp, so we shared a few that you may have tried or thinking about giving a try. If you choose to take supplements make sure to not overdo it (consult a physician to determine the correct dosage) and know that plenty of foods contain niacin. Nothing will ever beat eating well-balanced meals!

Products with niacin