Niacinamide (Nicotinamide) Benefits and Information

Niacinamide (nicotinamide) is one of the two principal forms of the B-complex vitamin niacin (see Niacin). The term niacin is used as a collective term to refer to both nicotinamide and nicotinic acid, the other principal form of niacin, or the term is used synonymously with nicotinic acid. Nicotinamide and nicotinic acid have identical vitamin activities, but they have very different pharmacological activities.

Nicotinamide, via its major metabolite NAD++ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), is involved in a wide range of biological processes including the production of energy, the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and steroids, signal transduction, and the maintenance of the integrity of the genome. Nicotinic acid, in pharmacological doses, is used as an antihyperlipidemic agent. It also causes vasodilatation of cutaneous blood vessels resulting in the so-called niacin flush. Nicotinamide in pharmacological doses does not have antihyperlipidemic activity, nor does it cause a niacin-flush.

Benefits of Niacinamide

Nicotinamide, unlike nicotinic acid, does not have significant effects on lipids, but it has been shown to be useful for supporting healthy blood sugar levels.

Dosage and Administration

Nicotinamide is the form of niacin which is typically used for nutritional supplementation. It is also the form of niacin used in food fortification. It is available as a single ingredient product (immediate-release and sustained-release) and in multivitamin and multivitamin/multimineral products. Typical supplemental dosage ranges from 20 to 100 milligrams daily. Pre- and postnatal vitamin/mineral supplements typically deliver a dose of 20 milligrams daily.