The Niacin Rush
Your face turns flush and your skin starts to itch. Yourheart begins to beat faster. The itching may be felt allacross your face and extend down your arms to yourfingertips.
What is going on? If you're like me you forgot what youlearned in school and had to call ask-a-nurse to bereminded.
You may have taken a little too much niacin, or vitamin B-3.It's ok, you'll be fine, it will probably wear off in abouthalf an hour.
But it can really make you scared if you don't know what isgoing on.
What happened? I took a niacin supplement plus brewer'syeast which itself contains lots of niacin. That was nineyears ago but I still remember it like yesterday.
Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid is very necessary foryour body. Niacin is needed at the cellular level. It is animportant nutrient in cellular processes that create theultimate energy currency of your body - ATP or AdenosineTriphosphate.
A deficiency in niacin can lead to pellagra, which has anumber of manifestations. An inflamed tongue and irritatedgastric track and colon as well as depression and hard roughskin are just some of the symptoms of this deficiencydisease.
Anxiety and hallucinations are also possible symptoms ofpellagra. Wide spread pellagra is no longer seen in theUnited States, though individual cases can still occur.
Dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea are considered the 3 Ds orthe classic symptoms of pellagra.
Diets rich in meats, eggs and milk provide adequate amountsof niacin to the body. Alcoholics and diabetics are atgreater risk for being deficient in niacin.
Niacin is a vitamin, it is necessary to the body forcellular processes.
Oral supplementation can reverse the less severe cases ofdeficiency. In severe cases there may be permanentconsequences.
So the next time your face flushes and you get an itchingburning sensation down to your fingertips, take a moment toreflect before you panic. Did you have too much niacin?
This article is for information purposes only. If you haveor think you have a health condition, consult your physicianfor proper diagnoses and treatment.