top of page
  • Sheehy Ankle & Foot Center

Boosting Foot Health: The Benefits of Niacin Consumption

Spread of healthy foots surrounding a sign with the chemical structure of Niacin (Vitamin B3).

Niacin is an essential nutrient for human health. Besides being an antioxidant, it is used in our bodies to aid in digestion and support the nervous system's function.

Niacin (also known as Vitamin B3) dissolves in water; any excess is not stored in our bodies but released in the urine.

Most people get sufficient niacin through their food, such as fish, meat, milk, cereal grains, mushrooms, and nuts. The recommended daily niacin intake is 16 milligrams (mg) for males, and 14 mg for females.

Niacin Deficiency

In developed countries, niacin deficiency is generally rare. Digestive issues, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of nutrition, and certain medications may result in niacin deficiency.

Symptoms include rashes on the skin, dementia, diarrhea, and swelling of mucus membranes. Thankfully, supplemental niacin is usually effective in treating these symptoms.

Niacin's Link to Foot Health

Pellagra is the name of a condition that is caused by niacin deficiency.

Pellagra causes skin to become dry and flaky, affecting your heels and other body parts. However, you would most likely notice flaky skin on other body parts frequently exposed to the sun before noticing it on your feet.

Niacin-rich Food Sources

For most people, taking a niacin supplement is only necessary if a doctor prescribes it. Among foods rich in niacin, beef liver and chicken liver probably rank near the top, providing a whopping 14 and 11 mg of niacin, respectively, in each serving.

Regarding plant-based sources, peanuts and avocados can meet about a quarter of your recommended daily intake with just one serving.

If you experience flaky skin on the feet or suspect that you may have niacin deficiency, consult a podiatric physician soon. ♦

Podiatrist newsletter article provided by LRW Media. Images provided by Shutterstock (Danijela Maksimovic).



bottom of page