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Vitamin B3 and Kidney Health
Article posted in: Kidney Health

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B3

Not many people know that Vitamin B3 can benefit kidney health. However, past and present studies have shown that adding Vitamin B3 to your diet may be an all-natural way to help improve kidney health.

What Is Vitamin B3?

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, niacinamide, and nicotinic acid, is one of 8 B Vitamins (also referred to as B complex vitamins). This Vitamin is water-soluble, which means it dissolves in water, but not fat or oil. (1) Because it is water-soluble, it does not get stored in the body. Like other B vitamins, B3 helps the body convert food (carbohydrates) into energy (glucose) and help the body use up fat and proteins. (2)  It also helps the adrenal gland produce stress and sex-related hormones. B3 assists in helping circulate and regulate cholesterol levels. We need niacin to maintain proper digestive function, as well as to keep our skin and nerves healthy. (2)

How Vitamin B3 May Benefit Kidney Health

One of the complications of impaired renal function is increased levels of phosphorus. Phosphorus is a mineral that’s commonly found in bones. In addition to calcium, phosphorus is needed to help build strong and healthy bones. Phosphorus also helps keep other parts of the functioning properly. (3)

Kidneys that work normally help remove the excess phosphorus in the blood. When someone has impaired renal function, the kidney functions begin to function less, which means that it’s more difficult to remove the phosphorus from the bloodstream.

Calcium

When your kidneys are unable to filter out phosphorus, it removes calcium from the bones, making them weaker as a result. (3)

Calcium deposits may form when there is an excess of calcium and phosphorus in the body. These may potentially form in the heart, eyes, lungs, and blood vessels. Impaired renal function oftentimes leads to dialysis, which may help with the removal of phosphorus from the body. (4) 

The Take-Away

Studies have shown that Vitamin B3 may help slow phosphorus levels from increasing in patients with impaired renal function. The evidence from this study suggests that Vitamin B3 and its metabolites may effectively decrease the phosphorus absorption in the gut, which in turn, reduces serum phosphorus concentrations. (5) Patients with impaired renal function often have increased cholesterol levels. In addition to regulating phosphorus levels, Vitamin B3 also helps regulate cholesterol levels. (6) Adding Vitamin B3 to your diet may be an all-natural way to help improve kidney health. 

Remember, it’s important to always consult with your healthcare practitioner to see if Vitamin B3 is safe for you.

(1) Office of Dietary Supplements – Niacin. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Niacin-HealthProfessional/

(2) Vitamin B3 (Niacin). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/vitamin-b3-niacin

(3): Phosphorus and Your CKD Diet. (2019, August 30). Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/phosphorus

(4) How Your Body Uses Phosphorus. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-your-body-uses-phosphorus#takeaway

(5) Rennick, A., Kalakeche, R., Seel, L., & Shepler, B. (2013, March 21). Nicotinic Acid and Nicotinamide: A Review of Their Use for Hyperphosphatemia in Dialysis Patients. Retrieved from https://accpjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/phar.1258

(6) Park, C. W. (2013, March). Niacin in patients with chronic kidney disease: Is it effective and safe? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716114/

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