Quick Tip: Niacin

Is your New Years resolution to lose weight and be more active? Try adding Niacin rich foods to your diet. You will feel great and look good too. Who doesn’t like that?

Niacin B3

Niacin (B3) is a coenzyme component that participates in at least 200 metabolic pathways. It provides energy during vigorous activities that push the body beyond its aerobic capacity. Niacin helps power glycolosis.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

The recommended dietary allowance of niacin for adult men of all ages is 16 milligrams per day, 14 milligrams per day for adult women of all ages, 18 milligrams per day for pregnant women and 17 milligrams per day for lactating women.


Niacin deficiency causes pellagra which is characterized by redness around the neck area, rough skin, dementia, diarrhea, dermatitis and ultimately death. Vitamin B6 and iron deficiencies contribute to pellagra. A protein in corn binds to niacin making the niacin only 30% bio-available but soaking corn in lime juice releases the bound niacin. Niacin deficiencies are common in people living in Southeast Asia and Africa.


Niacin toxicity causes flushing of the face, arms and chest. Itching, headache, rash, nausea, glucose intolerance and blurred vision are also symptoms of niacin toxicity. Liver abnormalities show up within one week of taking high doses of niacin supplements. The established upper lever for niacin is 35 milligrams per day from food, supplements or medications.


Yeast extract, rice and wheat bran, anchovies, tuna, swordfish, liver, veal, chicken, sun dried tomatoes are all good sources of niacin.













USDA.gov. United States Department of Agriculture, 27 Jan. 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. <http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/appendd.pdf&gt;.

Insel, Paul M., R. Elaine. Turner, and Don Ross. Nutrition. 3rd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2007. Print.


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