Are you suffering from feelings of hopelessness and intense sadness? Has your doctor recently diagnosed you with depression? Unfortunately, many people suffer from this mood disorder. If you’re living with depression, you may have a niacin deficiency.

Some researchers believe that one of the causes of depression could be caused by a lack of niacin.

What Is Niacin?

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in foods from both plants and animals. Its main function is to convert nutrients into energy. Niacin also aids in the forming of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps to regulate moods. Low serotonin levels can lead to depression.

Side Effects of Niacin Deficiency

There are several noticeable side effects of not having enough niacin in your body.

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Skin rash
  • Bright-red tongue
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

How to Increase Niacin in the Body

There are two ways to increase the niacin in your body. You can eat more of certain types of foods, or you can take a supplement. A healthy, well-balanced diet should supply your body with enough niacin. You can ensure that you’re getting enough of this B3 vitamin by eating the following foods.

  • Beef liver
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Peanuts
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Tuna

You can also increase your niacin intake by taking a daily supplement. Niacin can be found in multivitamins and B complex supplements. Speak to your primary care physician about recommended dosages.

Niacin and Depression

Niacin is an important vitamin that helps keep your body functioning in a healthy way. A lack of niacin could cause lower levels of serotonin, which could lead to depression. Eating more foods that are high in this B3 vitamin can help relieve your symptoms if it’s caused by a deficiency. Another option is to take B complex supplements.