B2 (Riboflavin) And B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide)

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is very much involved with your body’s energy processes, as well as many other processes. It is vital, for example, for healthy eyes, the production of antibodies, and proper tissue repair.

Functions of B2 in your body

• Catalyzes several reactions that process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
• Crucial to the cytochrome P450 system, which metabolizes medications and xenobiotics (environmental toxins)
• Involved in the metabolism of vitamin K
• Needed for energy metabolism
• Needed in the regeneration of glutathione (the strongest antioxidant produced by your body)
• Needed to convert vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A, and niacin into their active forms
• Required for proper thyroid function
• Used in lipid metabolism
• Used in the formation of aldosterone (a steroid hormone that balances blood) by the adrenal glands

10 to 100 milligrams daily. You need more B2 during illness or athletic training. B vitamins are water soluble and leave the body quickly, so they should be taken twice a day. Therefore, you should take 5 to 50 milligrams of B2 twice a day. High doses supplementation of a single B vitamin can cause imbalances of other B vitamins.

B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide)

Vitamin B3, include both niacin (or nicotinic acid) and its derivative niacinamide. The lists below, however, refer to niacin, a vitamin made from tryptophan, B6, B2, and iron. It is used in at least forty chemical reactions in your body. Niacin has shown to have positive effects on cholesterol levels, particularly when used in conjunction with a statin drug. However, taking niacin by itself may result in increased homocysteine levels.

Functions of Niacin in your body

• Can decrease lipoprotein A (high amounts of which are related to heart disease)
• Can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol
• Decreases fibrinogen (high amounts of which are related to heart disease)
• Involved in energy production
• Lowers triglycerides
• May improve the health of people with diabetes
• Needed for the proper function of the adrenal glands
• Provides energy needed to convert cholesterol to pregnenolone (a hormone that, among other thing, is involved with memory)
• Used in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
• Used in the metabolism of tryptophan and serotonin

50 to 3,000 milligrams daily. However, see your doctor if you want to consume doses greater than 100 milligrams. If you find yourself needing more niacin, try taking NADH, a reduced form of vitamin that is also more active B vitamins are water soluble and leave the body quickly, so they should be taken twice a day. Therefore, you should take 25 to 1,500 milligrams of niacin twice a day.

Side Effects and Contraindications

When you are first beginning niacin treatment, it is fairly common to experience skin flushing, sensations of heat, stomach problems, or dry skin. However, these reactions typically subside within several weeks. Also, taking an aspirin 30 minutes before supplementing with niacin can help prevent skin flushing. High doses of niacin or extended-release niacin can cause liver damage, peptic ulcers, high uric acid levels, or glucose intolerance. Do not take niacin without taking the other vitamins in the B complex because doing so can cause your homocysteine levels to elevate, increasing your risk of heart disease and memory loss. If statin drugs (which lower cholesterol) and niacin are taken together, rhabdomyolysis (a potentially fatal breakdown of skeletal muscle) may occur. Therefore, niacin should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Disease / disorders that can be treated with Niacin

Acne, depression, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, high lipoprotein(a), high triglycerides, intermittent claudicating (leg pains due to circulation changes), low HDL (good) cholesterol, memory loss, osteoarthritis, painful menstrual cycles, Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

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