Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

The importance of vitamin B3 (Niacin) has been made clear to the public since the early 1900's. The start of the eighteenth century was a period where corn was the main source of food in a majority of American diets. The lack of variety in diet, coupled with inadequate intakes of niacin, resulted in a high rates of pellagra (especially in the southern states). [1] Pellagra is a disease state which results from a deficiency of niacin and protein in the diet. It is characterized by skin eruptions, digestive and nervous system disturbances, and eventual mental deterioration.

A niacin-rich diet is important. Although it can be produced in the body, amounts are not sufficient enough to prevent deficiencies and provide for critical metabolic processes in the body. Vitamin B3 is important for the conversion of caloric intakes from fat, proteins, and carbohydrates, into usable energy.

Niacin is the term that encompasses the three forms of Vitamin B3; nicotinic acid, nicotinamide and inositol hexaniacinate. These three forms produce two coenzymes which provide for over 50 metabolic reactions in the body:

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) are important hydrogen carriers that function in oxidation-reduction reactions. Their main importance is glycolysis, or the ability to assist our bodies in obtaining energy from glucose via the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain. These compounds also assists us in the deamination of amino acids, fatty acid synthesis, and beta-oxidation of fatty acids which are all consumed in our diets.

It is important to note that our diets supply niacin in two separate ways:

  • Preformed - conversion of Vitamin B3 from selected nuts, meat, and poultry sources
  • Precursor - tryptophan, an essential amino acid, can be converted to niacin with the assistance of coenzymes found in Vitamin B6 (60mg tryptophan = 1mg niacin).

Products Containing Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
EndoRush Fruit Punch $39.99
$2.67 15 BSN
Exomine $34.95
$1.17 30 Progressive Health Osteoarthritis
Thyax $42.55
$1.42 30 Progressive Health Thyroid


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