Your face turns flush and your skin starts to itch. Your
heart begins to beat faster. The itching may be felt all
across your face and extend down your arms to your
What is going on? If you're like me you forgot what you
learned in school and had to call ask-a-nurse to be
You may have taken a little too much niacin, or vitamin B-3.
It's ok, you'll be fine, it will probably wear off in about
half an hour.
But it can really make you scared if you don't know what is
What happened? I took a niacin supplement plus brewer's
yeast which itself contains lots of niacin. That was nine
years ago but I still remember it like yesterday.
Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid is very necessary for
your body. Niacin is needed at the cellular level. It is an
important nutrient in cellular processes that create the
ultimate energy currency of your body - ATP or Adenosine
A deficiency in niacin can lead to pellagra, which has a
number of manifestations. An inflamed tongue and irritated
gastric track and colon as well as depression and hard rough
skin are just some of the symptoms of this deficiency
Anxiety and hallucinations are also possible symptoms of
pellagra. Wide spread pellagra is no longer seen in the
United States, though individual cases can still occur.
Dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea are considered the 3 Ds or
the classic symptoms of pellagra.
Diets rich in meats, eggs and milk provide adequate amounts
of niacin to the body. Alcoholics and diabetics are at
greater risk for being deficient in niacin.
Niacin is a vitamin, it is necessary to the body for
Oral supplementation can reverse the less severe cases of
deficiency. In severe cases there may be permanent
So the next time your face flushes and you get an itching
burning sensation down to your fingertips, take a moment to
reflect before you panic. Did you have too much niacin?
This article is for information purposes only. If you have
or think you have a health condition, consult your physician
for proper diagnoses and treatment.
Dave Snape is a health, fitness and wellness enthusiast. His website is http://tobeinformed.com