Niacin, vitamin B3 is important for metabolism. It is needed for the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and other essential substances in the body for normal cells functioning. Dried yeast, poultry, liver, red meat, whole-grain, legumes, enriched cereal products are good sources of vitamin B3. Dairy products contain tryptophan, an amino acid which makes up for the lack of Niacin in foods since the body can easily convert tryptophan to Niacin. Niacin is a form of nicotinic acid and has nicotinamide present in it. The required presence of vitamin B3 in the body is necessary for the overall wellbeing of the body. It is known to assist in lowering cholesterol level of the body thereby minimizing the risk of cardiovascular attack. Niacin can be ingested through the mouth to prevent against deficiencies like muscle spasms, blood vessel swellings and fluid collection. Some of the Niacin deficiency syndromes are:

  • Fatigue: Chronic fatigue can be linked with a reduced level of Niacin due to poor mitochondria function. Lack of vitamin B3 in the body will slow the production of energy inside cells which promotes tiredness.
  • Vomiting: Low consumption of Niacin-containing foods can slow down digestion which will lead to vomiting as a result of a weakened system.
  • Indigestion: Low level of vitamin B3 reduces energy supply to enzymes that aid food digestion. A respectable level of vitamin B3 in the body will, subsequently increase the rate of metabolism.
  • Canker sores: Mild Niacin deficiency some to the fore when it is seen on the inside of the mouth and even the tongue. It makes it difficult for you to use your mouth.
  • Pellagra: It’s a vitamin B3 deficiency syndrome that affects the skin and mucous membranes. Lesions on the face and necks are symptoms of Pellagra. A high quantity of vitamin B3 supplement can be used to treat it.
  • Circulatory problem: Niacin is needed to boost energy producing cells for supply to various organs present in the body.

What are the Health benefits of vitamin B3?

  1. Boosts brain function: Coenzymes NAD and NADP needs Niacin for energy supply to be able to function properly. Niacin deficiency has been associated with psychiatric disorder and brain fog. It is also known to be helpful in some Alzheimer cases.
  2. Lowers Triglycerides: Niacin can reduce the effect of triglycerides by 20%-50% by stopping the enzyme producing it from being active. This, in turn, lowers low-density lipoprotein and very low-density lipoprotein level.
  3. Lowers LDL Cholesterol: While Niacin isn’t necessarily used to tackle high cholesterol with the fear of its side effect, it has the capacity to lower the levels of “bad” LDL Cholesterol as much as 5%-20%.
  4. Protects the heart: It guides against heart diseases. Its effect on cholesterol is a way it prevents heart diseases. It helps reduce inflammation of the arteries and oxidative stress, both which results in hardening of the arteries leading to heart failure. Research has proven that when using independently or otherwise, it is capable of lowering the risk of heart-related diseases.
  5. Reduces the symptoms of Arthritis: New developments have suggested that vitamin B3 could be a major relieve for osteoarthritis. It has been confirmed to improve joint movement and reducing the need for NSAIDs. A simple injection can ease arthritis in the form of inflammation.
  6. Treatment of Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease notorious for attacks on the body with the purpose of destroying cells that creates insulin. Some researchers have pointed out to the fact that Niacin could help protect those cells and even go as far as lowering the risk of Type 1 diabetes especially in children at risk. Lowering cholesterol level in Type 2 diabetes makes it also applicable.

Top 10 sources of Niacin

  1. Liver
  2. Chicken breast
  3. Tuna
  4. Turkey
  5. Salmon
  6. Anchovies
  7. Pork
  8. Ground beef
  9. Peanuts
  10. Avocado


The RDA recommends a niacin intake of:

  • Between 2-16mg daily for children,
  • 16mg daily for Men,
  • 18mg daily for pregnant women,
  • 14mg daily for women and
  • 17mg daily for nursing mothers
  • A maximum limit of 35mg daily for all age groups

Getting too much Niacin in the body has its effects also and that is why doctors sensitize against self-medication. You don’t need regular usage of supplements always. It needs to be prescribed before use.


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