Are niacin and weight loss related to each other? Does the former help in achieving the latter? If so, then how? Read ahead to get your doubts cleared!
It would be far easier to lose weight permanently if replacement parts weren’t so handy in the refrigerator.
~ Hugh Allen
Ah well, had Nature been a little more cooperative and had the rules been “eat more to lose more” with regards to body weight, life would have been so much easier and pleasant! It’s like what Al Pacino’s character (John Milton) told Keanu Reeves’ character (Kevin Lomax) in the movie The Devil’s Advocate:
“Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, His own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow…….”
Well, all said and done, historic statistics clearly indicate that Cosmic rules are NEVER EVER subject to changes or modifications, at least not as far as health and fitness are concerned. In other words, if it’s weight you wish to lose, you need to bid adieu to all your food cravings, cruelly deprive yourself of the pleasure of those excess servings and deal a hard blow to your sweet tooth! However, Nature is not completely devoid of compassion – She does give us an option to choose from a lot of healthy food and nutrition alternatives that not only taste great but actually help us lose those ugly bulges and extra pounds. What does all that have to do with niacin and weight loss? Well, that’s what the following segment deals with.
Can Niacin Cause Weight Loss?
Yes and no – yes because niacin does help you in your efforts to lose weight and no because it doesn’t do so directly. You see, the ideal way to lose weight and stay that way is to bring together a harmonious blend of diet and exercise. Now, in order for the body to respond well to the requirement of increased physical activity for exercising, it needs to have the right amount of energy and stamina. Only then would it be able to accommodate the physical pressure of rigorous workouts and drastic dietary changes. For this to be successful, the body must be sufficiently resistant to fatigue and exhaustion. B vitamins, niacin in particular, help you modify your physical and mental caliber in tune with your diet-and-exercise needs by making your body physiologically stronger which, in turn, gives you more energy to endure kickass exercise regimens.
Niacin to Lose Weight – How Does it Work?
Niacin, in combination with other B vitamins, helps your body regulate blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It also improves the overall blood circulation which means all that oxygen you breathe in reaches every muscle in the right amounts, gearing them to endure high voltage workout schedule without crumbling under the extra exertion. Low cholesterol and well-managed blood pressure translates into a healthy heart which means that all parts of your body are able to get all the oxygen-carrying blood they need at regular intervals. B vitamins also improve digestion and metabolism. This means that your body is now capable of extracting the optimal amount of nutrition from its dietary intakes.
Niacin and other B vitamins also maintain and promote the overall health of the nervous system. Niacin, especially, is extremely essential in maintaining a healthy serotonin level – in case you are wondering, serotonin is a key determinant of our moods and emotional behavior, and a low serotonin level is the most common reason behind clinical depression. Therefore, by keeping the nervous system healthy and by keeping serotonin levels balanced, niacin helps the mind stay alert, stress free and promotes mental and emotional well-being. This, in turn, makes us look forward to exercising and making efforts to stay fit.
It is best to get all the niacin you need from natural and dietary sources such as dairy and poultry products, green leafy vegetables, root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, legumes and whole grains, avocados, tomatoes, fish and seafood, dates, brewer’s yeast, etc. If taking supplements, make sure that you consult a doctor prior to popping in those pills, as an overdose can lead you to experience certain unsavory niacin side effects such as skin flushing, itchiness, rashes, dry skin, etc.
Extraordinarily high amounts of niacin can also lead to indigestion, liver toxicity and high blood sugar. Niacin and loss of weight resulting from its intake is, as you can see, totally dependent upon whether or not you religiously follow all other necessary weight loss initiatives such as sticking to a healthy diet and exercising. Depending solely upon niacin to lose weight is more than likely to fail, as niacin just acts as a catalyst and is not the main ingredient in the comprehensive recipe for losing those stubborn pounds.