Medical Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us


Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Description and Overview:

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is a water-soluble B vitamin that play a role in at least fifty different metabolic functions, which are all critical in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.

Niacin is necessary for the metabolization of carbs, fat, and protein for the body to use for energy, as well as for the maintainence of tissue and cell integrity and health. Vitamin B3 is a required component for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for proper digestive function. It also has plays roles in antioxidant and detoxification processes, and in the creation of hormones. A deficiency of vitamin B3 can result in a condition known as pellagra. Pellagra is usually seen in those who abuse alcohol, people who are malnurished, and in those suffering from multiple nutritional deficiencies. Read more about the benefits and functions of vitamin B3 and signs of vitamin B3 deficiency.

Vitamin B3 is readily available in foods form both animal and vegetable sources. Niacin can be obtained from milk, lean meat (such as poultry and pork), fish, nuts, eggs, and enriched grain products like bread and cereal. Vegetables including broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes also contain vitamin B3. Read more about sources of vitamin B3 and the daily requirement of vitamin B3.

Excessive amounts of vitamin B3 can result in liver damage, peptic ulcers, and skin rashes. In the case of large dosages which are utilized to control cholesterol levels (dosages more than 100mg/day), nicotinic acid can result in flushed and itchy skin, headaches, and low blood pressure. Read more about vitamin B3 overdose.


Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble nutrient that is a member of the B vitamin group. It is available in two general forms - niacin (also known as nicotinic acid) and niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide). Another type of niacin, known as inositol hexaniacinate, can also be found in certain supplements. The two basic types of vitamin B3 have the same nutrient functions, but are used differently for pharmacological uses. Nicotinic acid is utilized as an anti-hyperlipidemic agent and nicotinamide is thought to act as an anti-diabetogenic.

Niacin acts in conjunction with other B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, pantothenic acid, and biotin) in the conversion of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) into energy.

The body can produce niacin by converting it from tryptophan, an amino acid.amino acid. However, this process is quite inefficent - it takes 60 milligrams of tryptophan to produce just one milligram of niacin. This is known as "niacin equivalency." Because of the large amount of tryptophan needed to create a small amount of niacin, consuming large quantities of tryptophan isn't a viable substitute for consuming niacin. .

The liver is the primary location where vitamin B3 is stored in the body and absorption of occurs in the intestines. Niacin has a very high absorption rate through digestion and dosages up to 4 grams can be almost completely absorbed.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Articles:

Article Link

Article Link

More Information:

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Benefits, Functions, Signs of Deficiency

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Daily Requirement, Dietary Sources



Copyright © 2010 - Vitamin Mineral Information. All Rights Reserved.