Vitamin PP exists in two active forms: as nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. It was discovered in 1937 and has been used for a long time as a remedy for pellagra, which is now extremely rare and only in the poorest countries of the world.
Today, this vitamin is not inferior in importance to drugs, since it participates in the redox processes in the body. Now it is also called vitamin B3, niacin, niacin.
What does the body need vitamin PP (B3) for?
The need to maintain the optimal amount of vitamin B3 in the body is due to the fact that it is involved in almost all biochemical processes in the body. Niacin is essential for:
- regulation of cholesterol levels in blood and tissues;
- participates in the formation of gastric juice;
- normalization of blood sugar levels;
- improving oxygen supply to cells;
- stimulation of coronary and cerebral circulation;
- prevents the penetration of free radicals into the body.
Vitamin stimulates metabolic processes in cells and tissues, it is often included in the therapy of diabetes and arthritis. It prevents the breakdown of the pancreas and stimulates the production of insulin. If there is enough substance in the body, then there is no pain in the muscle tissue, it has a slight sedative effect. Helps to cope with depression, and is recommended for alcoholism.
Signs of a lack of vitamin PP (B3)
The most characteristic signs of PP vitamin deficiency include:
- frequent dizziness;
- decreased appetite;
- problems with the digestive tract;
- all kinds of wounds and ulcers in the mouth;
- muscle weakness.
The deficiency also affects fatigue, a person becomes irritable, often depressed. He suffers from headaches and even insomnia. In extreme cases, if steps are not taken to correct the deficiency, dementia and even pellagra can develop.
Indications for the use of vitamin PP (B3)
It is prescribed as an aid in the treatment of:
- neuritis of the facial nerve;
- hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver;
- gastritis, especially hyperacid;
- infectious pathologies;
- in the presence of a number of diseases associated with the circulatory system;
- spasms of the brain.
Often, the vitamin is included in the treatment of long-term non-healing wounds and ulcers. Exceeding the recommended daily dose is required during pregnancy and lactation, with constant stress.
Also, increase the dose when using a large amount of alcohol and drugs. Indicated for introduction into the diet for oncology, cirrhosis. It helps to quickly improve the condition after severe injuries and quickly restore strength after work associated with hard physical labor. In old age, an increased amount of niacin is also required. Also, more vitamin is required if a woman uses oral contraceptives on a regular basis. Smokers also really need this vitamin, so it is recommended to drink it periodically in small courses. The body of raw foodists and vegetarians also requires an increased amount of this substance, since it does not receive a complete protein of animal origin, which contains a large amount of vitamin.
In addition, in clinical practice, acid is used to treat diseases of the heart and vascular system. It increases blood microcirculation and has a cardiotrophic effect.
Its use with preparations containing thiamine is unacceptable, since the latter substance is completely destroyed by the action of B3. Also, the vitamin is able to enhance the hypotensive properties of drugs, and when combined with antibiotics, increase hyperemia.
Daily norm of vitamin PP (B3) and indications for use
The required amount of vitamin, which should be present in the daily diet, is calculated depending on age. For kids:
- from birth to 6 months, 2 mg is needed;
- from 7 to 12 months, 4 mg is already required;
- from 1 year to 3 years, 6 mg;
- from 4 to 8 years 8mg;
- at the age from 8 to 13 years old, girls and boys need 12 mg each;
- from 14 to 18 years old, boys need more vitamin 16 mg, girls 14 mg.
Women from 19 years old need 14 mg per day, men 16 mg. It is recommended to increase the dose during gestation up to 18 mg, and during lactation up to 17 mg.
Determine the deficiency or excess of the vitamin by urine analysis. Daily urine should normally contain decomposition products of niacin from 7 to 12 mg.
Overdose of vitamin PP (B3)
An overdose of vitamin B3 is extremely dangerous, although it is well excreted in the urine. If the daily dose is equal to 1 gram, then headaches, tinnitus, increased sweating may appear. A dose of 3 grams is even more dangerous and can cause jaundice and other liver diseases. An overdose in the presence of asthma is very dangerous, since the vitamin promotes the release of histamine.
Overdose can even trigger gout, as niacin increases the concentration of uric acid.
Contraindications to the use of vitamin PP (B3)
First of all, the additional administration of niacin is not recommended under the age of 2 years, unless it concerns the treatment of a specific disease. Contraindications also include:
- exacerbation of the ulcer;
- low pressure.
Prolonged, and even more so uncontrolled, enthusiasm for vitamin B3 can cause the development of arrhythmias. A person may experience periodic hot flashes in the face and upper body, manifested by redness. Dizziness and diarrhea may occur.
If it is necessary to use vitamin PP for a long time and in large quantities, the diet should be adjusted towards the use of cottage cheese, and lipotropic agents should be used. Treatment with drugs containing this substance should be carried out against the background of constant monitoring of the state of the liver.
Vitamin PP (B3) content in foods
The vitamin is found in many foods. If we talk about those that are of animal origin, then the acid is contained in:
In plant foods, the vitamin is found in sufficient amounts in corn flour, cereals, potatoes, peanuts, broccoli and yeast.
Nicotinic acid is even found in some medicinal plants and fruits such as rose hips, sage, alfalfa, clover, and burdock root.
Niacin is one of the most resistant to culinary processing, its loss is no more than 20%. The amount of acid in food practically does not decrease after boiling and frying. Quantitative indicators and drying of fruits and vegetables, freezing does not affect it.
The value of vitamin PP (B3) for dietetics
Indeed, this substance helps to accelerate metabolism, therefore, makes it faster to convert fats and carbohydrates into energy. And this is directly related to the process of losing weight.
However, it should be remembered that no more than 30 mg per day is required to speed up metabolism. An excess of a substance, or rather a dose exceeding 50 mg per day, can play a cruel joke on a person. In such an amount, the vitamin provokes appetite, and the absorption of fats begins to slow down.
In order to lose weight, it is permissible to use nicotinic acid for no longer than 1 month, then be sure to take a break for at least 2 months.
B3 is a very important acid for the body, participating in many processes in it. Its deficiency can lead to many serious pathologies, in particular, it is the cause of the development of pellagra, a rare but terrible disease. An excess of vitamin in the body is also extremely dangerous. But if you establish proper nutrition, then there will be no health problems.