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NUTRITION

Niacin and Fertility*

Will Niacin Help You Get Pregnant?

 

Introduction

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is both made and used by your body to convert food into energy. A key vitamin for nerve, skin, and digestive health, this B-complex vitamin also plays a role in healthy fertility. More specifically, it is believed to reduce your risk of miscarriage and birth defects. If you are trying to conceive, it’s important that you maintain adequate B-vitamin levels, including niacin.

What Is Niacin?

As discussed above, niacin is a B-complex vitamin. Being water-soluble, your body does not store it. Although your body can produce small amounts of niacin from the amino acid tryptophan, you get most of your daily niacin intake from food. Impacting nearly every part of your body, niacin helps convert food into energy. It is also important for the development and function of your cells, as well as the production of serotonin. That is why a niacin deficiency can impact mood.

Niacin Deficiency — These Are the Warning Signs

The greatest risk factor for a niacin deficiency is a non-varied diet. Once a deficiency develops, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Skin problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor mood

While the majority of people in the United States get enough niacin from their diet, you face an increased risk if:

  • You consume a diet that doesn’t provide enough riboflavin, iron, and vitamin B6, as these nutrients are needed to convert tryptophan into niacin.
  • You have the rare genetic disorder Hartnup disease or carcinoid syndrome.
  • You are undernourished due to alcohol use, AIDS, anorexia, inflammatory bowel disease, or cirrhosis of the liver.

A New Jersey Medical School study found that one-third of pregnant women had low levels of niacin during their first trimester. This suggests that niacin was either poorly absorbed or that their prenatal vitamins didn’t provide enough niacin.

The Relationship Between Niacin and Fertility

When it comes to niacin and prenatal health, this vitamin is required to produce Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which is found in all living cells and when disrupted, cells cannot function properly, resulting in possible defects.

In 2017, researchers identified a major cause of miscarriage and multiple birth defects.1 It was discovered that low levels of NAD can damage embryos in the first critical weeks of pregnancy. NAD allows cells to produce energy and supports the development of organs. While studying mothers who had suffered multiple miscarriages or had babies with multiple birth defects, they found mutations in two genes.

After replicating these mutations in mice, the researchers found that when the pregnant mother took vitamin B3, they corrected these mutations. This was seen as a “double breakthrough,” as scientists discovered both a cause and a possible solution. The cause, NAD, and the solution, niacin.

Of course, this is just one possible cause and is not the end-all solution to miscarriage. As stated by fertility experts, the largest single cause of miscarriage is chromosome errors.2

Although the majority of research on niacin and fertility focuses on preventative measures (i.e. a reduced risk of miscarriage and birth defects), researchers have also explored the relationship between niacin and ovarian health. In this study, niacin was found to promote ovarian follicle growth, reducing the risk of oocyte apoptosis and overall infertility.3

Foods That Contain Niacin

Niacin is found in a number of foods, particularly meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes. Some of the best sources include chicken, tuna, beef, salmon, peanuts, and lentils.

Since a niacin deficiency is often linked to inadequate dietary intake of NAD precursors, including tryptophan, it’s important to eat a balanced, varied diet. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid present in high-protein foods, such as chicken, eggs, cheese, nuts, pumpkin seeds, turkey, tofu, and fish. However, in order for tryptophan to be converted into niacin, your body requires vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and iron.

If You’re Trying to Conceive, Impryl Can Help

If you’ve been trying to conceive, you know how complex your reproductive health is. Like all B-vitamins, niacin is required to help you maintain optimal health, supporting your fertility. The healthier you are, the greater your chances are that you’ll conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. This relates back to your diet and lifestyle. In this case, nutrition is of optimal importance.

Concerned that you’re deficient in niacin, as well as critical micronutrients like zinc and betaine? Impryl offers a dietary supplement that provides all of the above. Learn more about the ingredients used here.

While you work alongside your doctor, addressing any potential fertility concerns you may have, Impryl can support your reproductive health. This applies to both men and women, as approximately 35 percent of subfertility/fertility issues affect both partners. Education is so important during this stage of your life, which is why you need to remain mindful of how your reproductive and overall health influences your ability to become pregnant.

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*NOTICE: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a potential medical condition.