Vitamin B3, otherwise known as niacin, is an important vitamin for processing and creating energy in the body. It does not actively get broken down like carbohydrates, proteins and fats do to create energy, rather, it helps allow these processes to happen.

Health considerations

A deficiency in this vitamin causes a condition called pellagra. People with this condition can experience diarrhaea, dermatitis on areas of skin exposed to the sun, dementia, fatigue, decreased appetite, indigestion, headaches, loss of memory, irritability, insomnia, and emotional instability. Due to a lack of vitamin B3 in corn, populations that use corn as a staple in their diet have a higher prevalence of this condition. There has been no evidence of Vitamin B3 toxicity through overconsumption of foods, but supplements containing high levels of this vitamin have shown to cause problems. The symptoms of high vitamin B3 dosage include flushed skin, tingling in hands and feet, red skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhaea, high blood sugar levels, abnormal liver function, and blurred vision.

May be found in

Meat, fish, legumes, mushrooms, wheat bran, asparagus, peanuts


Nutrition: Science and Applications

Alternative Spellings and Names

Vit B3, Niacin, Niacinamide

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