Vitamin B3 (Niacin)


Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as niacin. The term niacin refers to both nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, both of which are used by the body to form the coenzymes nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotine adenine dinucleotide phospate (NADP).

The Roles of Niacin in the Body

As many as 200 enzymes require the niacin coenzymes, NAD and NADP. NAD functions most often in reactions involving the degradation (catabolism) of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and alcohol to produce energy. NADP functions more often in biosynthetic (anabolic) reactions, such as in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol.

Vitamin B3 is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates and for alcohol processing. It also plays a role in the regulation of cholesterol in the blood.

Food Sources of Niacin

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - Found in:

Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, Lamb, Grass-Fed Beef, Sardines, Shrimp, Brown Rice
Colletti RB, Neufeld EJ, Roff NK, et al. Niacin treatment of hypercholesterolemia in children. Pediatrics. 1993; 92:78-82.Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998.Elam MB, Hunninghake DB, Davis KB, et al. Effect of niacin on lipid and lipoprotein levels and glycemic control in patients with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease: The ADMIT Study: A randomized trial. JAMA. 2000; 284:1263-1270.Goldberg A, Alagona P Jr, Capuzzi DM, et al. Multiple-dose efficacy and safety of an extended-release form of niacin in the management of hyperlipidemia. Am J Cardiol. 2000; 85:1100-1105.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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