vitamin B3 – niacin

  • Brain and nerve function: vital for proper mental function
  • Energy production and fat, carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism
  • Manufacture of body compounds such as sex and adrenal hormones
  • Treatment of schizophrenia
  • 2 forms:
    • As nicotinic acid form, lowers blood cholesterol
    • As niacinamide form, treating arthritis
Sources notes
  • Can be made in the body from conversion of tryptophan
  • Best sources yeast, wheat bran, meat and fish
Vegetable Sources peppers, red chilli
Fruit Sources
Nut and seed sources peanuts; sesame seeds; sunflower seeds; pine nuts
Absorption and function notes
Deficiency factors Pellagra (dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea)
  • As nicotinic acid form, can induce flushing of skin
  • In either form, high doses can result in liver disorders, peptic ulcers and glucose intolerance

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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