Niacin and Depression

What is Niacin

Niacin, also referred to as nicotinic acid or simply vitamin B3, is actually amongst the 8-complex vitamins required by our human body. Functioning just like other vitamin B, Niacin plays an important role in our liver health, hair, eye and skin as it assists in converting carbohydrates, fats as well as protein into body fuel. Besides, niacin also provides proper support for the functioning of our human nervous system.

Relationship between Niacin and depression

The other function of Niacin is also to assist the body to develop stress-related hormones in various parts of our body and in the adrenal glands. The moment Niacin (B3) drops below the minimum level in our body, the production of stress related hormones will be affected, and this in turn will contribute to the depression condition.

Causes and symptoms of Niacin deficiency

In the developed countries, deficiency of Niacin is relatively rare. When there is a severe deficiency of Niacin, a condition known as Pellagra will occur. And it is characterized by dementia, diarrhea and cracked skin. Milder deficiency of Niacin will usually cause vomiting, fatigue and depression, though it is still quite uncommon in the developed world. In the United States, it is believed that the main cause of Niacin deficiency could be due to alcoholism, thus linking alcoholism and depression together. However, in the third world countries, deficiency of Niacin is usually caused by a very poor diet.

Treating Depression with Niacin

If the root cause of a depression is due to the B3 deficiency, then taking Niacin would certainly be effective in treating depression. Just like most other cases, taking some supplements that could provide remedies for the health problem should improve the condition associated with that deficiency.

Nevertheless, when it comes to depression which is a complicated mental disorder, there could also be many other possible causes. While there is a connection between Niacin and depression, there are also other various minerals and vitamins. Just like deficiency of vitamin D, lacking of vitamin B12 is also greatly connected with depression and fatigue.

One should always consider all possible causes of depression as there could be many possibilities. If Niacin deficiency is really the root cause, then taking supplements should improve the condition. Perhaps, it could also be due to other vitamin or mineral deficiency. Or it could even be due to non-nutritional related.

What Are The Steps To Take

First of all, always start by finding out the root causes, address them and see if there are any improvements on the condition. Then try the Niacin supplement and see if you got better. Just ensure that you’re not having a vitamin D or B12 deficiency. Consume lots of vegetables, fresh fruits, poultry, meat as well as dairy products. Avoid excessive sugar, junk food, refined grains and hydrogenated vegetables. Monitor for a while and check for any improvements on your depression condition.

Finally, make it a point to visit your medical doctor if you are not able to remedy the health problem yourself.