Healthy Aging - Niacin

Did you know that vitamin B3 is one of the best longevity nutrients available? …  If you live in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Hamilton, or Niagara you might consider our advanced clinical nutrition approach for healthy aging and longevity.

There are many associated syndromes that factor in to supporting a healthy aging process and these are explained in detail in my three part blog series on longevity: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  To me, aging is healthy when we live longer and maintain a high quality of life.

The Coronary Drug Project findings showed an 11% reduction in mortality in the niacin group.  Here are four other reasons why vitamin B3 is a key nutrient associated with healthy aging and longevity — it can help improve 1) joint flexibility, 2) muscle strength, 3) balance and 4) mental health.

The early research described below on “The use of vitamin therapy to reverse certain concomitants of aging” was published by Dr. William Kaufman in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (1955; 3(11): 927-936).  Kaufman used niacinamide exclusively in this study but there are 4 types of vitamin B3 available (pure niacin, niacinamide, inositol hexanicotinate, and NADH).  He assessed 663 patients between 4 to 80 years old who were treated with various doses of niacinamide for as little as a few months to 9 years.  The dose of niacinamide ranged from 0.9-4.0 grams per day in divided doses.  The study was done in private practice without placebo control.  Patients were ambulatory and maintained on adequate protein and caloric intake.

Joint Flexibility: A Longevity Perspective

Maintaining a full range of motion can have a huge impact on your quality of life.  Kaufman found that participants taking niacinamide (alone or with other vitamins) experienced a significantly improved range of motion in left-right neck rotation, wrist extension and flexion, finger extension, hip abduction, and knee extension.

Muscle Strength: A Longevity Perspective

Dr Kaufman assessed the muscle strength of the right thumb and found that 70% taking niacinamide (alone or with other vitamins) experienced significant improvement that peaked 3 months into the treatment.  Some that did not respond seemed to respond with the addition of other B-complex vitamins and/or choline.  Strength improved and restored in many patients to the point that they could maintain daily tasks without excess fatigue as compared to pre-treatment, and when treatment was withdrawn, patients reverted back to pre-treatment status.

Balance: A Longevity Perspective

The lack of coordination (unsteadiness) is a sign of aging.  Kaufmann assessed balance by looking at one’s ability to maintain balance without swaying in a standing ‘heel to opposite knee’ position for 10-15 seconds.  He found that many who were not able to balance in this test were able to do so within 3 months of niacinamide treatment.  Some required additional B-complex vitamins.

Mental Health: A Longevity Perspective

Kaufman found that agitated, hyperkinetic (those that over-react to noise/verbal stimuli), and depressed patients responded well to niacinamide therapy.  Some required additional B-complex vitamins.

Kaufman’s research as described above strongly suggests that vitamin B3 is an excellent longevity nutrient. 

Vitamin B3: The BodyMindLink

Vitamin B3 can help in varying degrees with the following conditions/symptoms: fatigue, heart disease and high cholesterol (niacin or inositol hexanicotinate), ADD (mind-running), PTSD, schizophrenia, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, erectile dysfunction, and eye conditions.



The BodyMindLink series by Dr Ray Pataracchia ND provides insight on Naturopathic approaches that matter and have the potential to benefit general and mental health.   Clinical approaches discussed are implemented by the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic (NMRC) in Toronto, Ontario.  Our clinic treats a wide array of health conditions.

Disclaimer: Information provided is not to be used for self-assessment, diagnosis or treatment.  We advise readers to discuss these topics with their health care provider or book an appointment with our Toronto clinic.