Niacin

Nicotinic Acid, Nicorinamide, Antipellagra Vitamin, Vitamin B3

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Functions

  • enhances nerve function, appetite, and digestion
  • component of two important enzymes
  • important in glycolysis, tissue respiration, and fat synthesis

Deficiency

  • Pellagra
  • Digestive
    • gastrointestinal disturbances
    • vomiting
  • Psychological
    • mental disturbances
    • depression
    • headache
    • apathy
    • fatigue
    • disorientation
    • memory loss
  • canker sores
  • thick, scaly pigmented rash on skin exposed to sunlight
  • swollen mouth and bright red tongue
  • fatigue
  • death, if not treated

Characteristics

  • soluble in hot water and alcohol
  • not destroyed by heat, light, air, or alkali
  • not destroyed in ordinary cooking

Good Sources

Natural

  • lean meat
  • fish
  • legumes and peanuts
  • nuts
  • whole-grains
  • potatoes

Food Quantity mg
Bread 1 slice 1.0
Salmon, wild atlantic 3 oz 8.6
Peanuts, dry roasted 1 oz 3.8
Chicken 1/2 breast 12.5

Artificial

  • yeast
  • enriched foods

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)

  • Males (11 yrs. and older)
    • 16 mg
    • 16-19 mg
  • Females (11 yrs. and older)
    • 14 mg
    • 13-15 mg
  • Pregnant females
    • 17 mg
  • Lactating females
    • 20 mg
  • Children
    • 9-16 mg
  • Infants
    • 6-8 mg
  • Varied values reflect different references

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL)

  • Adults (19 to 50 yrs)
    • 35 mg

Intakes above UL may lead to negative health consequences.

Supplementation

  • Large doses may be prescribed by doctor to lower blood cholesterol.
  • May cause flushing and gastrointestinal distress.
  • Nicotinic acid, but not nicotinamide causes vasodilation and flushing


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