Nicotinic acid amide – also known as nicotinamide, belongs to a group of compounds referred to as vitamin B3, along with nicotinic acid and inositol hexanicotinate. It exerts its main biological activity as a precursor to two key coenzymes for efficient energy metabolism of the body: nicotinamide adenine dinucletodide and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. They are responsible for carrying hydrogen and electrons in the respiratory chain and thus facilitate efficient energy production by the human body.
Nicotinamide supplementation is recommended for active persons not only because of its ability to promote the body’s energy efficiency. It has also a beneficial impact on mind, increases tolerance to stressors and may reduce symptoms of depression. It is pointed out that niacin supplementation correlates positively with sleep quality.
Unlike nicotinic acid, nicotinamide does not show the ability to produce a “flush effect”, namely redness in the face caused by taking large doses of niacin. It has been also shown to influence partly cardiovascular function.
Nicotinamide is also indicated to influence beneficially the absorption of other B vitamins and vitamin D. This compound should be taken with caution by diabetics because it can increase the body’s demand for insulin.