Though vitamin B3 deficiency is not as common today as it once was, you can still be vitamin B3 deficient if you do not have a good diet. Vitamin B3 is present in a variety of different foods like chicken, beef and even eggs, but because people follow a range of different diets these days, vitamin B3-enriched foods may not be part of the equation. As a result, you may be suffering from vitamin B3 deficiency. Not to worry, though--there are plenty of signs that will let you know if you have vitamin B3 deficiency. Here are just a few of the ways that you can tell if you may have a vitamin B3 deficiency in your body:
1. High Cholesterol
Though high cholesterol may just be the result of a bad diet, vitamin B3, or niacin as it is often called, is responsible for maintaining your cholesterol levels. It lowers your cholesterol by fighting against bad cholesterol and raising the levels of good cholesterol in your body. By doing this, your arteries do not get clogged up by bad cholesterol and you have a lower chance of suffering from heart disease. However, if you have a vitamin B3 deficiency, your body cannot produce more good cholesterol and you will likely have high levels on bad cholesterol in your blood.
2. Skin Lesions
Though taking too much vitamin B3 can actually cause a chemical imbalance in your body and cause acne on your skin, a vitamin B3 deficiency can also cause you to have issues with your skin. In fact, vitamin B3 deficiency can cause skin lesions to form on your face and a variety of different places on your body. In past centuries, skin lesions were actually the tell-tale sign of vitamin B3 deficiency.
3. Diarrhea, Mental Confusion and Insomnia
At its worst, a vitamin B3 deficiency can develop into Pellagra, a terrible disease that results in all of these signs being present. While Pellagra is not terribly common today, it results from a vitamin B3 deficiency in the body and can often lead to death. In addition to these symptoms, if you are suffering from vitamin B3 deficiency, you may also experience fatigue, vomiting, the loss of your appetite and problems with your digestive system. Though this combination of things can make you deathly ill, vitamin B3 can help to prevent and cure you from having these problems.
Getting More Vitamin B3 into Your Diet
Fortunately, vitamin B3 is not an uncommon supplement to find in a variety of different foods today. And, while you want to be careful that you don't take too much vitamin B3 (overdosing can cause liver problems as well as cause high blood sugar levels in your body), you can prevent vitamin B3 today by eating foods that contain it. If you feel that you may be suffering from vitamin B3 deficiency, try talking to your doctor about what you can do to raise your vitamin B3 levels. In most cases, you'll be able to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency simply by making some small changes to your diet.