Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Functions

  • Plays an important role in carbohydrate, protein and fat synthesis.
  • Needed to produce energy in cells and to form neurotransmitters.
  • Helps to maintain healthy skin and an efficient digestive system.
  • Helps in proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • Needed in formation of Red Blood Cells.
  • Important in lowering cholesterol.

Sources

  • Liver
  • Lean Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Yeast
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grains
  • Figs
  • Prunes
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Avocado

Deficiency

  • General fatigue
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Muscular weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Skin eruptions
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Pellagra – the symptoms are: Dermatitis,  Diarrhea, Dementia (3 D’s)

Toxicity

  • Avoid high doses as it may lead to ‘Niacin flush’ in some people.
  • Symptoms

o    Redness, warmth and itching of the skin.

o    Irritation of gastrointestinal tract of liver.

Recommended dietary allowances