Niacin for Kids: All the Things You Need to Know
- Niacin for kids is an important nutrient with lots of health benefits.
- Niacin deficiency can cause health problems such as pellagra, which affects the skin, digestive system, and brain.
- Niacin supplements can help you ensure that your kids get enough of this nutrient.
If there’s one thing most parents struggle with, it's making sure their kids get enough of the nutrients they need. Kids require a lot of nutrients to remain healthy and grow strong. Niacin for kids is one of these important nutrients
This guide will cover niacin for kids, why this nutrient is important, and how you can ensure your kids get enough of it. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about niacin for kids.
What Is Niacin for Kids?
Niacin (vitamin B3) is a vitamin that the body needs for many different functions. It belongs to the B complex group of vitamins. B complex vitamins are water-soluble. Since water-soluble vitamins can’t be stored by the body, they must be consumed regularly to prevent deficiencies.
Niacin is an essential nutrient, meaning the body can't produce it and it must be obtained from the diet or supplements. Although our bodies usually convert an amino acid called tryptophan into niacin, the amount converted isn’t enough to meet the nutritional requirements.
There are two active forms of niacin in the diet and supplements: nicotinic acid and nicotinamide (niacinamide). Niacin is usually absorbed in the small intestine and excreted in urine.
A lot of parents have questions about what the benefits of adding niacin to their kids’ diet are. If this is you, read on to learn all about the amazing health effects of niacin.
Why Is Niacin for Kids Important?
When it comes to kids’ health, niacin is an important nutrient. The health benefits of niacin include:
1. Converts Food Into Energy
One of the most salient health benefits of niacin is its role in converting food into energy. Niacin is a coenzyme in many biological reactions that process food into energy. It helps to break down carbs and fats into energy which the body can utilize.
2. Helps to Control Cholesterol Levels
Niacin increases the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol. It also lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. High LDL levels raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Due to its role in maintaining healthy lipid levels, niacin is sometimes prescribed alongside cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.
3. Helps to Lower Blood Pressure
Niacin causes blood vessels to widen, lowering blood pressure in the process. Children with high blood pressure may benefit most from this. However, high doses of niacin from supplements may lower your child’s blood pressure to unhealthy levels, so always take caution.
4. Promotes Healthy Skin
Niacin contains both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are good for the skin. Niacin helps to protect the skin from damage by the sun. When applied topically, niacin can help clear acne and reduce skin wrinkling.
5. It May Improve Mental Health
How Much Niacin Do Kids Need?
Depending on their age, your kids need to get a certain amount of niacin every day to meet their nutritional requirements. Too little or too much of this nutrient can cause health problems. It’s important to know how much they need and where they can get it from.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of niacin are:
- 0-6 months: 2 mg
- 7-12 months: 4 mg NE
- 1-3 years: 6 mg NE
- 4-8 years: 8 mg NE
- 9-13 years: 12 mg NE
- 14-18 years: 16 mg NE for males, 14 mg NE for females
- 19+ years: 16 mg NE for males, 14 mg NE for females, 18 mg NE for pregnant women, and 17 mg NE if breastfeeding
Note: NE stands for niacin equivalent. 1 NE is equal to 1 mg of niacin or 60 mg of the amino acid tryptophan (which the body can convert to niacin).
If your kids lack enough niacin, they may suffer from a disease called pellagra. Pellagra is rare in developed countries, but it’s still important to make sure your kids get enough vitamin B3.
The symptoms of pellagra are:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Rashes in sun-exposed body parts
- A bright-red tongue
- Memory loss
- Loss of appetite
Whole-Food Sources of Niacin
The best way to obtain niacin is through a healthy diet. Most kids will get enough niacin from their diet if they consume foods rich in niacin. Generally, we recommend plant-based food sources over animal sources.
Foods rich in niacin include:
- Legumes, such as green peas and lentils
- Whole wheat
- Nuts and seeds
- Fortified cereals and bread (be sure to check the nutrition facts)
- Red meat
Niacin Supplements for Kids
If your children are unable to meet their nutritional requirements for any reason, niacin supplements can come in handy. Kids may suffer from niacin deficiency due to picky eating habits. If you constantly have to struggle with making them finish their plate of food to no avail, they might be at risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Some medical conditions that can make kids more vulnerable to niacin deficiency are diabetes, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and carcinoid syndrome.
Whatever the case, you have the option of using supplements to ensure they get enough vitamin B3, but be sure to consult your healthcare provider first. Niacin supplements are available as either pure supplements consisting of the active forms of niacin or as part of combined multivitamin supplements.
Choosing the right supplement can be a hassle, given the huge number of brands available in the market. What should you look out for in supplements?
The quality of the supplement tops the list. High-quality supplements are made from natural, organic ingredients with no added artificial substances. Since the FDA regulates dietary supplements differently from food and drugs, substandard products can reach the market.
Always go for brands that have a proven track record of quality. Third-party testing is a plus. Also, ensure you only purchase products meant for kids. Overdosing on supplements can have serious side effects.
If you’re looking for the best, high-quality, health-supporting supplements, choose Llama Naturals plant-based multivitamin gummies for kids. Llama Naturals multivitamin supplements contain 13 essential vitamins — including vitamin B3 — carefully sourced from real fruits and vegetables, and formulated for optimal absorption.
The gummies are slow-cooked to retain the phytonutrients and the rich fruit flavor. In addition, they contain no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, yet they still taste delicious. Llama Naturals whole-fruit multivitamin gummies are the perfect mix of healthy and delicious.
Niacin for Kids: A Healthy Dose of Good Health
As children grow, their bodies need certain nutrients to be healthy and full of energy. Niacin is one of these important nutrients. It supports brain health, energy levels, and even skin health.
It can be hard to ensure your kids get enough niacin — especially when they’re picky eaters. Vitamin supplements can help you stay on track with their nutritional requirements.
If you’re looking for high-quality, organic multivitamin supplements, Llama Naturals whole-fruit multivitamin gummies are your best choice. Choose Llama Naturals for the perfect health boost your kids deserve.
Llama Naturals is a plant-based nutrition brand that has created the World’s First Whole Fruit Gummy Vitamins that are made with no added sugar and whole-food vitamins. They are USDA Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, free of common allergens, and are slow-cooked on low heat to retain rich phytonutrients & fruit flavor. It’s a win-win gummy vitamin that the whole family will love.