047: Niacin, Part 2: Blood Tests, Foods, and Supplements
Mastering Nutrition Episode 47
In part 1 we covered what niacin is and why you need it. Here’s part 2, where Alex Leaf and I cover blood tests, foods, and supplements!
How much do we need? The RDA has some flaws, including claiming women need less than men, when all the evidence shows women need *more* than men.
Why eating enough protein is so essential, yet so unreliable as a way of boosting niacin status.
How the niacin in your coffee, seeds, and grains is all locked up and unavailable, and how to release it through proper preparation. Do you drink light roast or dark roast? You may either hate or love this episode… or you might just switch coffees.
Should we take high-dose niacin to lower cholesterol? Alex has a theory on how we can do that without getting diabetes. 😬
High-dose niacin can cause liver failure and can kill lab mice. But Alex and I know how to steer clear of that problem!
NAD-boosting supplements are the new darling of the anti-aging industry. But should we take nicotinamide riboside (NR), nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), or should we endure all the whole-body burning 🔥 that the folks injecting NAD+ are so hyped up about? We discuss the promises and problems of these approaches.
Why you should match glycine to one form of niacin and trimethylglycine (TMG) to all of them.
00:38 Cliff Notes
01:35 Recap of Part 1
09:33 Markers of niacin status
11:34 Methylated metabolites of niacin in the urine as a marker of niacin status
13:07 Caveat to using methylated metabolites of niacin in the urine as a marker of niacin status
14:17 Erythrocyte NAD(H)/NADP(H) ratio, the “niacin number,” as a marker of niacin status
16:57 Caveat to the niacin number as a marker of niacin status
22:35 Critique on how the RDA for niacin was established
34:14 How protein intake affects the dietary requirement for preformed niacin
36:50 Estrogen regulates the synthesis of niacin from tryptophan.
37:37 In men in particular, niacin synthesis from tryptophan might just be a way to clear excess tryptophan.
39:33 General discussion about protein requirements
43:47 How different forms of food processing, such as nixtamalization, fermentation, and sprouting, increase the bioavailability of niacin
46:53 Niacin in coffee
47:54 Niacin in nutritional yeast
48:18 Dietary sources of niacin, divided into five tiers
53:59 Niacin in herbs and spices, including spirulina
57:48 The contribution of the microbiome to niacin status is not well studied.
58:58 Where we would expect to see niacin deficiency
59:40 Risk factors for niacin deficiency include Hartnup’s disease, megaduodenum, intestinal malabsorption, carcinoid tumors, certain drugs, alcoholism, HIV/AIDS, and deficiencies of iron, riboflavin, and B6.
01:03:54 Risk factors for suboptimal niacin status include a diet based on unprocessed whole grains, a diet based on sugar and fat, a diet low in non-collagen protein, any form of cellular damage, and low ATP levels.
01:08:44 How metformin and berberine could affect niacin status
01:11:30 The effect of leucine and muscle growth on niacin status
01:13:55 The prevalence of inadequate niacin intake and niacin deficiency
01:18:02 Contributors to niacin toxicity
01:19:09 The use of nicotinic acid to benefit blood lipids and reduce heart disease risk
01:25:16 Potential side effects of taking nicotinic acid to manage blood lipids include the flushing reaction, liver harm, and increased diabetes risk.
01:28:23 The mechanism behind high-dose nicotinic acid-induced insulin resistance and how you could mitigate it
01:42:02 Rodent studies of nicotinamide riboside supplementation
01:44:58 Human studies of nicotinamide riboside supplementation
01:50:34 Why the rodent studies of nicotinamide riboside supplementation look more promising than the human studies
01:58:17 What is the probability that someone would get longevity benefits from supplementing with nicotinamide riboside?
01:59:16 Whether or not Alex and Chris will start supplementing with niacin after doing the research for this podcast
02:00:16 Should someone with hypercholesterolemia consider taking nicotinic acid? How should they manage the side effects, and which form is best?
02:04:54 Does it matter if niacin is taken with food?
Niacin Links and Research
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