Vitamin B3

Caaution Vitamin B3

Wait for PKD Trials to Complete. Vitamin B3 Shows Promise for Treating PKD Wait for clinical trials to complete at University of Kansas (Dec 2018) before trying niacinamide for PKD. Xiaogang Li, Ph.D., an associate professor of Nephrology and Hypertension and a member of the KU Kidney Institute, found that vitamin B3 helped naturally inhibited the activity of a protein called Sirt1 that influences the formation and growth of cysts. Li and colleagues were able to show that vitamin B3 slowed the creation of cysts and restored kidney function in mice with PKD. The results were published in the June 17, 2013 Journal of Clinical Investigation

Vitamin B3 or Niacin vs Niacinamide

Vitamin B3 is an essential vitamin required for processing fat in the body, lowering cholesterol levels, and regulating blood sugar levels. Recently it was discovered that B3 could decrease PKD cyst formation.

Niacinamide is a reduced form of Niacin without much flushing effect. Niacin does give flushing (skin gets red, you feel hot) and niacin lowers cholesterol. A slight deficiency of niacin can lead to irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, apathy, and depression. An overdose of niacin can lead to skin rashes, dry skin, various digestive problems. Long term overdose can lead to liver damage, elevated blood sugar as well as increased risk of birth defects.


Nicotinamide, also known as niacinamide Nicotinic acid, also known as niacin, is converted to nicotinamide in vivo, though the two are identical in their vitamin functions, nicotinamide does not have the same pharmacological and toxic effects of niacin, which occur incidental to niacin's conversion. Thus nicotinamide does not reduce cholesterol or cause flushing, although nicotinamide may be toxic to the liver at doses exceeding 3 g/day for adults.

Side effects

Reactions range from flushing, itching, nervousness and headaches to intestinal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. High doses of niacin can cause liver toxicity; doses in excess of 3 grams a day should be used only under careful medical supervision (for example, in the treatment of high cholesterol). Gout, abnormal heart rhythms and worsening of stomach ulcers side effects have also been reported with very high doses of supplemental vitamin B3.

Caution with Niacin

It is rare but sometimes liver failure can occur with individuals who take niacin. On the web niacin is touted as a way to pass a urine drug test. Wait for your doctor to recommend taking B3. One individual with PKD/severe PLD had a bad reaction to B3.

Niacinamide PKD Trial

This is an uncontrolled open label feasibility trial at University of Kansas actively recruiting participants.

Alcohol and B Vitamins

Alcohol intake depletes B vitamins and minerals. During pregnancy extra B is needed for the pregnancy. PKD researchers at KU in the USA feel that possibly Vitamin B3 may hold promise for not only the treatment of PKD but for women possibly pregnant with a child that may have PKD.

Food Sources

Women should have 15 milligrams each day and men should have 15 to 19 milligrams each day. Tryptophan is an amino acid that serves as a Vitamin B3 equivalent. Sixty milligrams of tryptophan is equal to 1 milligram of vitamin B3. Corn is a great source of Vitamin B3 but limestone, the mineral, is needed to help release vitamin B3 in corn.

Vegan Sources Vitamin B3 Niacin
Avocados Dates
Leafy vegetables Broccoli
Carrots Sweet Potatoes
Asparagus Nuts
Whole grains Legumes
Saltbush seeds Shiitake mushrooms
Crimini mushrooms Non-yeasted spelt bread
Green peas Collard greens
Kale Raspberries
Cauliflower Spelt

We are  sharing our experiences with PKD/PLD Diet, an adjunct diet envisioning it complementing a physician's prescribed medical therapy. Consider testing this with your doctor's prior knowledge, who can  adjust it according to your own uniqueness by adding it to your current  treatment.

Medical Disclaimer