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Vitamin B3 | Health Benefits | Symptoms of Deficiency

Basic characteristics of vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid (niacin) belongs to the group of vitamin B complex, which are soluble in water and are responsible for a number of metabolic and hormonal functions in the body.

In addition to niacin, there are two other forms with the different functional role than vitamin B3, which are nicotinamide and inositol hexaniacinat.

Niacin is also known as one of the more stable vitamins and successfully survives in spite of oxygen, heat and acidic environment.

The recommended daily dose of Niacin is range from 14mg in women to 16mg in men. Increased needs for niacin have pregnant and lactating women (18mg) as well alcoholics.

What are the main health benefits of niacin?

Niacin or vitamin B3 is essential for the running of metabolic processes in the breakdown of sugars, fats and proteins. It helps insulin to regulate the normal ratio of glucose in the blood, as well as to decompose complex carbon hydrate to simple sugars, such as glucose. In this way, the degradation of sugars obtained the required energy and enables the smooth cellular respiration and metabolism.

Vitamin B 3 as well as the entire group of B vitamins has a positive effect on the nervous system. This vitamin positively affect the mental state of man, improves mood, leaflets depression and mental condition stabilizes without oscillation in the mood.

Cardio vascular system can also be grateful to niacin because it prevents the deposition of bad cholesterol in the blood vessel walls thus preventing a condition called - atherosclerosis. The best effect niacin shows in promote the role of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol removal.

From hormonal role, vitamin B3 has found application in the synthesis of corticosteroids, hormones of adrenal glands, among which the most important cortisol, which protects us from stress.

Vitamin B3 also has a positive role in maintaining normal motor functions in the intestine, helping the work of the entire digestive tract and prevents gastrointestinal intestinal disorders.

Healthy and beautiful skin can be achieved only if we consume sufficient amounts of this valuable vitamin, niacin.

Lately, vitamin B3 is also used in the treatment of withdrawal from narcotics (LSD, and the like), in some cases, this vitamin is used for cleansing the body, even from heroin.

What are the best sources of vitamin B3 in food?

It can be said that a lack of vitamin B3 or niacin rarely comes, because it is widely represented in equal shares and in plant and animal foods.

Plant sources of niacin include:

- Sunflower seed
- Peanuts
- Peas
- Veggies
- Nuts (walnut, hazelnut, almond)
- Rice
- Whole grains
- Beer yeast
- Legumes

Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid (niacin) belongs to the group of vitamin B complex, which are soluble in water and are responsible for a number of metabolic and hormonal functions in the body.

Animal foods rich in vitamin B3 are:

- Offal (liver, kidneys)
- Fish (salmon, tuna, tuna)
- Milk and milk products
- Chicken meat

Deficit of vitamin B3 | Symptoms of deficiency

Better adoption of vitamin B 3 from other foods is beneficial affecting by vitamins B complex, vitamin C and then phosphorus, while the absorption of niacin interfere alcohol, coffee, much sugar and corn.

Why corn? Once upon a time in human nutrition was represented mainly corn as the main ingredients in making bread. Corn as a plant food does not contain tryptophan, from which it produces vitamin B3. Due to the prolonged consumption of corn, there is a characteristic disease for deficit of niacin - pellagra. After this disease, vitamin B3 called anti pellagra vitamin (vitamin PP - Pellagra Prevention)

Pellagra is more far forgotten disease, because the human consumption withered wheat as food in the making of bread, pasta, pastries, which is rich in the amino acid tryptophan.

Symptoms of vitamin B3 deficiency are:

In milder form:

- Fatigue
- Depression
- Los appetite, indigestion, vomiting

In serious cases of deficiency:

- Pellagra (manifested by stomatitis, dermatitis and diarrhea)
- Anemia
- Muscle cramps
- Swollen and red tongue
- Chronic fatigue, depression
- Insomnia, poor concentration

Does niacin have harmful effects?

Yes, only when taken in very large quantities over a long period. Niacin in high doses leads to dilation of blood vessels, which causes the accumulation of blood and redness, itching and heat. In large quantities can accelerate the development of ulcers.

In large doses of niacin can also cause damage to the liver and the occurrence of ulcers. People who have had gall bladder disease or gout should not take niacin.

Niacin interaction with drugs

Do not take Niacin if you are taking:

- Tetracycline - because niacin decreases their absorption

- Anticoagulants - niacin increases the permeability of blood vessels and may increase bleeding

- Alpha blockers in combination with niacin can lead to a greater decrease in blood pressure

- Diabetics should pay attention related to niacin because in combination with drugs used by diabetics, niacin can increase the level of sugar in the blood.


  1. With all the benefits of Vitamin B described here, it seems to me that doctors should be telling their patients what the advantages are, while making sure to watch themselves to not getting too much.
    I have so many of the symptoms described here, along with others in my family. It sounds like a game changer that I'd definitely welcome. As soon as I see my doctor, we will be discussing the health benefits of making sure I get the right amount of Vitamin B described.


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