Both nicotinic acid and nicotinamide can serve as the dietary source of vitamin B3. Niacin is required for the synthesis of the active forms of vitamin B3, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD +) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP +). Both NAD + and NADP + function as cofactors for numerous dehydrogenase.
Food Sources of Vitamin B3
Liver, lean meat, poultry, fish, rabbit, nuts, peanut yeast, meats including liver, cereals, legumes, asparagus, seeds, milk, green leafy vegetables, and fish.
Functions of Vitamin B3
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for many aspects of health, growth, and reproduction. It is part of the vitamin B complex.
Niacin assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy.
Vitamin B 3 is needed for proper circulation and healthy skin. It is involved in the normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids, and in the synthesis of sex hormones. Niacin lowers cholesterol and improves circulation. It is helpful for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and is also a memory enhancer.
Male 18 mg per day and female 13 mg per day although 100 mg is mostly used in supplementation.
What are the deficiency symptoms of vitamin B3?
A diet deficient in niacin (as well as tryptophan) leads to glossitis of the tongue, dermatitis, weight loss, diarrhea, depression and dementia.
May result in pellagra, gastrointestinal disturbance, nervousness, headaches, fatigue, mental depression, vague aches & pains, irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia, skin disorders, muscular weakness, indigestion, bad breath, canker sores.
Several physiological conditions (e.g. Hartnup disease and malignant carcinoid syndrome) as well as certain drug therapies (e.g. isoniazid) can lead to niacin deficiency.
Overdosage signs of vitamin B3
Signs of an overdose may include body flush, nausea, diarrhea, weakness, lightheadedness, headache, fainting, high blood sugar, high uric acid, heart-rhythm disturbances, and Constipation. Large doses of niacin can cause liver damage, peptic ulcers , and skin rashes. Even normal doses can be associated with skin flushing. It can be prescribed as a treatment for elevated total cholesterol and other types of lipid disorders, but it should only be used with medical supervision due to its potential for severe side effects.
How to Store the Vitamin B3?
Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.
Vitamin B3 Deficiency