#19 Building a Better Brain-B3

Here’s another B vitamin you don’t want to miss out on: B3 or more commonly called niacin.  This vitamin is a multi-purpose nutrient with several important jobs in the body. In its various forms it’s even used therapeutically for such conditions as atheroslerosis, arthritis, joint stiffness and in preventing the progression of type 1 diabetes.  It doesn’t stop there though, as it plays a vital role in brain metabolism and has been used to treat depression, impaired memory, schizophrenia, mental confusion and insomnia.


I’ve already talked about the importance of good circulation for brain health and this little number 3 vitamin is no exception to the rule! It slows and even reverses the process of artherosclerosis, a condition that blocks blood vessels, by lowering lousy LDL cholesterol.  It also lowers levels of lipoprotein, triglycerides and fibrinogen ,while widening blood vessels.  All good things for improved circulation and improved fuel flow to the brain.


Many of you have heard the terms triglycerides and lipoproteins before, but fibrinogen may be a new term. Let me explain. Fibrinogen, a protein produced in the liver, helps stop bleeding by enabling the formation of blood clots.  Basically, it makes red blood cells and platelets stickier so they aggregate together, forming a clot. High levels of fibrinogen though, can reduce the flow of blood and increase the risk of thrombosis and atherorgenesis. In addition, researchers have now discovered that it may also increase the risk of developing Alzheimers and vascular dementia.


Niacin is a water soluble vitamin and is stored in the liver. Any excess vitamin is flushed out with the water works. However, excessive sugar and starch consumption can deplete it as can the use of antibiotics, illness, trauma, growth periods and physical exercise. So in times of physical and emotional stress you may want to take more.


NOTE: Doses of as little as 25 milligrams may cause uncomfortable flushing of the skin however, so if you experience this simply ask for the flush free form of niacin.


Now I’m still not suggesting a dose, as I want to share information about all the B vitamins first.


Stay tuned for the last of the fabulous four and then it’s on to the spiritual side of the brain and just how effective gratitude can be at helping your brain feel great!

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