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Health Benefits and Side Effects of Niacinamide

Out of the two forms of Vitamin B3, Niacinamide is one form. It is also a water-soluble vitamin and is needed to be consumed through food or vitamin supplements since they are not stored in our body. This article talks more about what Niacinamide is, its health benefits, and also its side effects. Let us read further to know about the same.

What Is Niacinamide? 

Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin is of two forms, one of which is Niacinamide and the other is Nicotinic acid. Both these forms of Vitamin B3 differ in their chemical structure. Niacinamide is essential for the proper function of fats and sugars in our body and also to maintain healthy cells.

Niacinamide is also known as Nicotinamide. It is found in various foods like fish, meat, eggs, milk, cereals, and green vegetables.

Vitamin B3 is found in animal-based products like poultry and meat as Niacinamide, while in plant-based foods it is found as nicotinic acid.(1) This form of vitamin B3 is important for our body and maintains good health. Niacinamide is used to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and other related conditions like Pellagra, skin problems, and even other health issues.

Health Benefits of Niacinamide

Health Benefits of Niacinamide

  1. Treats Niacin-Deficiency Disease (Pellagra)

    Pellagra is a disease that is caused by niacin deficiency when the affected person gets diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia, and if the condition is left untreated it might also lead to death.(2) Pellagra is frequently seen in certain developing countries though it is rare in developed countries like those of North America and Europe(3)

    US- FDA has approved the Niacinamide prescription products for treating and also preventing pellagra.

    Though Nicotinic acid and niacinamide, both can treat pellagra, mostly niacinamide is preferred because it has got fewer side effects like flushing of the skin. It should be noted that pellagra can usually be reversed by using supplements of niacinamide.(4)

  2. Helpful For Specific Skin Conditions

    Niacinamide is beneficial for skin health and thus it is used in several cosmetic and skincare products. It has been shown that when applied topically or taken orally, niacinamide provides anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.(5)  It is used for treating skin issues like acne and rosacea (a facial skin disorder that is characterized by skin redness)(5, 6)

    Research has also shown that applying a cream that contains 4% niacinamide can reduce skin redness and scaling of the skin in those who have Seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition). Apart from this patients with chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus who experience itchy skin can also get relief from itchiness by taking niacinamide. Even patches of skin that have been darkened can also be treated by applying moisture containing 5% or 2% niacinamide with 2% tranexamic acid for at least 4 to 8 weeks.

  3. May Prevent A Type Of Skin Cancer Or Melanoma

    Melanoma or a serious type of skin cancer that is primarily caused due to prolonged exposure to UV radiation can be prevented by using a niacinamide supplement. There is damage to the DNA of the cells if you have Melanoma. Niacinamide plays a crucial role in keeping our cells healthy and also helps in enhancing DNA repair in patients who have had UV-damaged skin. Thus oral niacinamide supplements can be beneficial for treating Melanoma.(7, 8)

  4. Beneficial For Chronic Kidney Diseases

    In the case of patients with chronic kidney disease, there is a progressive loss of kidney function and it affects the ability of their body to clean or filter blood and also to control blood pressure. This can result in the buildup of phosphate in the blood.(9) Research has shown that niacinamide might be beneficial in reducing phosphate levels in patients with kidney dysfunction.(10, 11, 12, 13)

  5. Useful For Treating Or Slowing Down The Progression Of Diabetes

    Niacinamide could be the right thing for you if you are looking for treating or slowing down the progression of Type 1 diabetes.

    Type 1 diabetes is a condition when one’s body attacks and damages the pancreas’ insulin-producing beta cells. Research suggests that niacinamide preserves the beta-cels and thus delays the onset of type 1 diabetes in individuals who are at high risk.(14, 15, 16) However, there is no proper research that supports that niacinamide can prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes.

  6. Beneficial For Controlling Or Treating Cancer Of The Larynx

    It is found from research that niacinamide when taken while receiving radiotherapy and carbogen (a type of treatment to control tumor growth), might be more effective in controlling the growth of the tumor and also increase the survival rate in patients with cancer of the larynx.

  7. Might Be Useful For Treating ADHD

    One more health benefit of Niacinamide is that it might be essential in treating Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding the benefit of niacinamide along with other vitamins required for treating ADHD.

  8. Used In The Treatment Of Lymphoma

    Lymphoma is a type of cancer of WBCs or white blood cells. It is believed that taking niacinamide as a part of the treatment for lymphoma along with the prescribed drug or Vorinostat, might be beneficial.

Other Health Benefits Of the Niacinamide

Some other possible health benefits of niacinamide might be its benefits in reducing the symptoms of treating alcohol dependence, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related mental decline, depression, motion sickness, premenstrual headache, high blood pressure, and some other health conditions too.

Side Effects of Niacinamide

Niacinamide is well-tolerated when taken in appropriate doses, mostly because excess amounts get excreted in the urine.(17) The tolerable upper limit of niacin or Vitamin B3 is 35 mg/day. This is the amount that would least likely cause redness, flushing, tingling of the skin, and itching, which are generally side effects of nicotinic acid and not niacinamide.(18) However, some minor side effects are associated with nicotinamide like nausea, discomfort and headaches.

Precautions To Be Maintained Before Using Niacinamide:

  • Some people must take precautions while starting the supplements of niacinamide.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women must consider consulting with a  healthcare provider before using any new supplements of niacinamide.
  • Children can safely take niacinamide if required, however, the dosage must not exceed the recommended levels.
  • Patients with liver and gallbladder problems should take special precautions while taking niacinamide since it might worsen their symptoms.
  • Patients with kidney problems who might be receiving dialysis for kidney disease should avoid taking niacinamide as it might reduce their blood counts.
  • Individuals who might have stomach ulcers must avoid the use of niacinamide since it might worsen their ulcers.


No doubt niacinamide is a healthy form of niacin or vitamin B3 and plays a crucial role in improving conditions in patients with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and also those with skin issues. The best part of this form of vitamin B3 is that it is generally safe and is known to have only a few side effects when taken in correct doses. However, one should also consult with a doctor before trying to use niacinamide supplements.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 15, 2022

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