Niacin (Vitamin B3): Deficiency & Supplements

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an essential requirement in the body for a variety of functions.

Some of the very important functions that niacin (vitamin B3) plays in the body includes metabolism, nervous system function and antioxidant protection

Niacin (Vitamin B3) also helps the body to release energy from the foods we eat. It keeps the nervous system and skin healthy.




There are two forms of niacin found in foods, namely; nicotinic acid and nicotinamide

Some good sources of niacin include:

  • Meat
  • Liver
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Wheat
  • Mushrooms 
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Avocado 




Lack of vitamin B3 (Niacin) causes Pellagra. Pellagra is a disease characterized by skin inflammation, stomach upset, memory decline, and sores in the mouth. 

Niacin deficiency can be triggered by poverty, malnutrition, and chronic alcoholism. People who are niacin deficient tend to have low tolerance to cold weather & environment.





As a drug, Niacin and niacinamide are used for prevention and treatment of pellagra.

Consuming adequate amount of vitamin B3 (niacin) helps improve the quality of your health.

Studies also suggest that higher amounts of niacin intake can improve cholesterol levels and lower your risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Although beneficial, niacin supplements can cause mild effects when you start taking it, like stomach upset and diarrhea, which eventually subsides within a few days.




Niacin is safe for everyone, however, toxic doses can cause liver problems, stomach ulcers, changes to glucose levels, muscle damage, low blood pressure, heart rhythm changes, and other issues.

Talk to you physician before taking vitamin B3 (niacin) supplements if you have any health condition such as, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, or other  cardiovascular problems.

Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and children should refrain  from excess intake of niacin supplements unless it is been recommended by a physician. 







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