Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinic acid) is part of the vitamin complex B, which plays a significant role in the metabolic processes of the body. More than 400 enzymes require vitamin B3 for the purpose of smooth metabolic reactions, through which the energy is stored and stored in the body. In addition, vitamin complex B is indispensable for healthy skin, hair and eyes, healthy liver, and helps in the normal functioning of the nervous system.


What are the causes of the deficit?

Lack of vitamin B3 is most commonly due to an inadequate diet, which is poor with niacin and tryptophan (an amino acid from which the niacin is obtained by means of the liver).

The reasons that can lead to vitamin B3 deficiency are:

  • Insufficient intake of vitamin B3 or tryptophan;
  • Carcinoid syndrome;
  • Prolonged treatment with drugs against tuberculosis;
  • Chronic alcohol consumption;
  • Persons on dialysis;
  • Consuming certain drugs – antidepressants, fluorouracil, carbidopa, etc.
  • Persons with malignant diseases;
  • People with HIV.

How to recognize vitamin B3 deficiency?

A mild vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to:

  • Fatigue;
  • Vomiting;
  • Problems with digestion;
  • Depression;
  • Oral ulceration (aphthae).

In the slower stage of severe deficiency of vitamin B3, also known as pelagra, the following organic systems are involved:

Gastrointestinal system. Diarrhea is a major gastrointestinal symptom, which may be accompanied by problems with digestion, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Skin. In pelagras, the appearance of dermatitis is characteristic. It is a skin rash that affects the face, neck, hands, joints of the feet and hands, elbows and knees. Changes that occur on the skin can be caused by exposure to sunlight. It is possible to swallow the tongue and appear on the lips of the lips. Skin changes are often accompanied by itching and a burning sensation.

CNS. Neurological symptomatology is diverse and may include insomnia, tremor, tingling, irritability, stiffness, paralysis, psychiatric disorders, disturbance in equilibrium, dementia.


The best way to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency is good nutrition. Include in your daily vitamin B3-rich products. With this you will not only contribute to improving your health, but in the long term you put on solid and shiny hair and a healthy, fresh look on your skin.

Foods rich in vitamin B3

Food Product Quantity (g) Energy value (cal) Vitamin B3 (mg)
Tuna 100 198 12,4
Chicken breasts 100 165 14,8
Turkey meat 100 104 11,7
Mushrooms 100 22   3.7
Lamb 100 320   7,6
Peanuts 100 585 13,4
Salomon 100 146   7,9


Depending on age and sex, the following daily doses of vitamin B3 are recommended:

  • Children (1-13 years old) – 2-12mg depending on age
  • Teenagers (14-18 years old) – 14mg
  • Teenagers (14-18 years old) – 16mg
  • Adult women over 19 years of age – 14mg
  • Adult men over 19 years – 16mg
  • Pregnant women – 18mg


Vitamin B3 can help with:

Greed “bad” cholesterol. Studies show that vitamin B3 increases the level of “good” cholesterol, which leads to a decrease in the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

Diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system by mistake attacks and destroys the insulin-producing pancreas cells. It is thought that vitamin B3 can protect cells for a certain period. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, the effect of niacin is more complicated. People who suffer from this disease often have high levels of cholesterol. Vitamin B3 helps to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol, but it may increase the level of sugar. Therefore, before the use of vitamin B3-based supplements, a consultation with a doctor is needed.

Cardiac disorders. In people suffering from atherosclerosis and having an increased risk of developing infarction, vitamin B3 reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol, which slows down the progression of the disease.

Although still in the testing phase, in addition to the above health conditions, vitamin B3 can help people with Alzheimer’s disease, cataract, osteoarthritis, acne, etc.

Attention! Excessive dosing with vitamin B3 can lead to headache, dizziness, eye blur, gastrointestinal problems, liver toxicity, and so on. Therefore, prior to the use of vitamin B3-based supplements, consultation with a doctor is necessary.

News Reporter

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