Nutrient Information: Niacin (Vitamin B-3)

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Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Niacin (Vitamin B-3)
Nutrient Category: Vitamins and Other Components
Measuring Unit: mg
Nutrient Summary: Niacin is also called Vitamin B3. Its primary function is to turn food into energy. It also helps to keep body nervous system, digestive system and skin healthy.
Nutrient Function: As coenzyme, Niacin is involved in many biological reactions, including intracellular respiration and fatty acid synthesis. It involves over 400 biochemical reactions in the body, mainly related to obtaining energy from the food. Niacin is stored in various body tissues. Its key functions include:

• Is central in energy-transfer reactions, especially the metabolism of glucose, fat, and alcohol.
• Nervous system function: play a role in cell signaling and protect against neurological degeneration
• Digestion
• Play a role in making and repairing DNA
• May help boost good HDL cholesterol level and modestly lower bad LDL cholesterol
• May reduce blood pressure

Niacin has two chemical forms:
• Nicotinic acid, from foods eaten
• Nicotinamide (niacinamide), converted from nicotinic acid and the major form of niacin in the blood

Niacin can also be made in the body from an essential amino acid tryptophan.

As a B vitamin, Niacin is water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamin moves directly into the blood, and not well stored in the body.

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Food Sources

• Fish, such as tuna and salmon
• Poultry, such as chicken breast and turkey
• Liver
• Meats, such as beef and pork
• Some types of nuts and seeds, such as peanuts, sunflower seeds
• Mushrooms, such as enoki, maitake, king oyster, beech mushrooms.
• Enriched grain products (e.g., bread, cereal, pasta, rice)
• Whole-grain (niacin absorption rate is ~30% from unfortified cereal grains)
• Potatoes

1. Niacin is less vulnerable to losses during food preparation and storage than other water-soluble vitamins.
2. In addition to the niacin intake from above foods, your body can also generate small amount of niacin from tryptophan, amino acid in proteins from foods like turkey and meats.
3. Iron, riboflavin, vitamin B6 can help convert tryptophan to niacin.

Sample Foods High in: Niacin (Vitamin B-3)
View Additional Food Sources
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Fish, tuna, yellowfin, fresh, cooked, dry heat
Category: Finfish and Shellfish Products
22.07 mg 137.94%
Beef, variety meats and by-products, liver, cooked, braised
Category: Beef Products
17.525 mg 109.53%
Peanuts, spanish, oil-roasted, without salt
Category: Legumes and Legume Products
14.933 mg 93.33%
Chicken, broiler or fryers, breast, skinless, boneless, meat only, cooked, grilled
Category: Poultry Products
12.133 mg 75.83%
Pork, ground, 96% lean / 4% fat, cooked, crumbles
Category: Pork Products
11.05 mg 69.06%
Corn flour, masa, enriched, white
Category: Cereal Grains and Pasta
9.932 mg 62.08%
Mushroom, enoki
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
6.987 mg 43.67%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use FDA 2000 calorie diet as Daily Value reference

Additional Nutrient Information
Nutrient Summary Niacin is also called Vitamin B3. Its primary function is to turn food into energy. It also helps to keep body nervous system, digestive system and skin healthy.
Deficiency Health Effects Severe niacin deficiency can lead to disease pellagra and have these effects:
• Dermatitis: Rough skin that turns red or brown in the sun
• Diarrhea, Vomiting, or constipation
• Dementia, or memory loss
• Depression
• Headache
• Even death
Effects if Above Upper Limit Niacin from nature foods is safe and will not cause adverse effects. However, excess intake of niacin (> 30mg) comes from dietary and pharmaceutical supplements and fortified foods may have adverse effects such as Flushing.

With large dose of niacin intake, the additional adverse effects include:
• Low blood pressure
• Nausea and vomiting
• Liver toxicity
• Impaired glucose tolerance and high blood sugar levels
• Blurred vision and fluid buildup in the eyes
External References

Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values Daily Value Upper Limits
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 6 mg 10 mg
Child 4 to 8 years old: 8 mg 15 mg
Male 9 to 13 years old: 12 mg 20 mg
Male 14 to 18 years old: 16 mg 30 mg
Male 19 to 30 years old: 16 mg 35 mg
Male 31 to 50 years old: 16 mg 35 mg
Male 51 to 70 years old: 16 mg 35 mg
Male Senior 71 or older: 16 mg 35 mg
Female 9 to 13 years old: 12 mg 20 mg
Female 14 to 18 years old: 14 mg 30 mg
Female 19 to 30 years old: 14 mg 35 mg
Female 31 to 50 years old: 14 mg 35 mg
Female 51 to 70 years old: 14 mg 35 mg
Female Senior 71 or older: 14 mg 35 mg
Female Pregnancy (>18): 18 mg 35 mg
Female Lactation (>18): 17 mg 35 mg
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 16 mg

Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials.
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets.
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.

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