March 29, 2012 – Niacin, which is a B3 vitamin, is another natural way to improve your skin tone. Research on this water soluble vitamin has shown that it widens capillaries, which increases blood flow. Your skin gets most of its blood flow from capillaries, so if they are even slightly constricted it can keep your skin from looking its best. Wider capillaries and more blood flow also means that more toxins can be flushed, more nutrients can be delivered and that adds up to healthy skin.
The increased blood flow to the surface of your skin also helps to heal sun damage, even out pigment, make your skin smoother and decrease wrinkles and fine lines. The Mayo Clinic reports that niacin can also help raise your HDL or good cholesterol, which is another great benefit of the vitamin. And the fact that it is a water-soluble vitamin means that it won’t stay in your body, but be flushed out.
You should always consult your doctor before adding any vitamin supplement to your diet. Taking large doses of niacin can cause your skin to look temporarily flushed from opening the capillaries wider and increasing blood flow. But you can add niacin to your diet and skin care routine by eating niacin fortified cereals and breads. Niacin is also present in beets, peanuts, sunflower seeds, beef liver and kidney, salmon, tuna and swordfish.
You’ve probably also heard the joke about tryptophan (an amino acid) in turkey making us sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. But tryptophan is converted into niacin in our bodies and eating turkey, chicken, eggs, red meat and dairy products like cheese can also boost your niacin intake.
Add some niacin-rich foods to your diet and you should see healthier looking skin in a few weeks.