February 6

Vitamin B3: Health Benefits, Uses and Food Sources

By Fitness Blog

February 6, 2022

Vitamin B3: Health Benefits, Uses and Food Sources HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Vitamin B3, or niacin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an important B complicated vitamin concerned in a number of crucial metabolic processes within the physique. For instance, it helps digest the meals we eat to offer vitality. In addition, vitamin B3 regulates blood strain and ldl cholesterol, helps to keep up wholesome pores and skin and mind, and a lot extra. Niacin (vitamin B3) is usually current in lots of meals objects. Animals and crops produce it from an amino acid often called tryptophan. Therefore, you may safely devour it daily. In addition, it's helpful for folks with diabetes, kidney ailments and coronary heart issues. 

Deficiency of vitamin B3 can result in pores and skin rashes, tough pores and skin, swollen mouth and different flu-like signs. Non-vegetarian meals and fortified grains are typically wealthy in vitamin B3 and could be helpful in stopping its deficiency. 

Vitamin B3 complicated consists of three completely different types of vitamin B3: nicotinic acid or niacin, nicotinamide riboside, and Nicotinamide. 

Niacin was initially often called the “pellagra preventing factor” within the olden days. It was resulting from its potential to stop the incidence of pellagra and the 4 D's that got here together with it: dementia, dermatitis, diarrhoea and, in extreme circumstances, dying. According to later findings, Vitamin B3 might remedy pellagra. Now, it's useful to arrange medication for prime ldl cholesterol as they present lipid-lowering properties. 

Health Benefits of Vitamin B3

1. Cholesterol-lowering Effect

As we all know, because the years go by, meals habits change drastically. Though it might appear innocent at first, consuming meals excessive in fat and oils could in the end end in excessive levels of cholesterol. In addition, it might result in coronary heart ailments equivalent to blockage of arteries and stroke with age. 

Vitamin B3 is understood for its ldl cholesterol or lipid-lowering impact. Studies have proven that niacin doses could trigger a big discount in unhealthy ldl cholesterol and enhance the nice ldl cholesterol within the physique. It does so by decreasing complete ldl cholesterol, LDL and trigly decreasing complete ldl cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride ranges. Therefore, niacin could cut back the chance of coronary heart circumstances equivalent to atherosclerosis, stroke and cardiac failure.

2. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is a prevalent life-style illness. It happens resulting from much less insulin manufacturing or harm or destruction of the pancreas' insulin-producing cells. If you don't handle the insulin ranges appropriately, it can lead to a collection of different ailments equivalent to retinopathy, nephropathy, impaired wound therapeutic, and many others. 

Studies have discovered that nicotinamide, a type of vitamin B3 could cut back the necessity for prime insulin doses in kids with kind 1 diabetes. It may delay the onset of kind 1 diabetes mellitus. 

3. Antioxidant Effect

Our physique undergoes a whole lot of metabolic and bodily stress daily. These each day stresses may cause the formation of free radicals within the physique. When there are extreme free radicals in our physique, they will trigger harm to the cells and organs. Oxidative harm could be dangerous and trigger a number of ailments.

Oxidative stress is the principle causative issue of liver ailments. Increased ranges of free radicals can harm the liver. It could result in irregular liver construction and features. Studies have discovered that niacin could assist forestall free radical-induced harm to the liver cells. It additionally helps in enhancing the absorption of zinc within the physique.

4. Protects Brain and Nerves

Vitamin B3 helps inefficient vitamins and ensures an sufficient vitality provide to the nerves and mind. Its deficiency could harm the nerves and will end in neurodegenerative ailments equivalent to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's illness, and many others. 

Research studies have discovered that nicotinamide could have helpful results in stopping harm to the nerves and mind. This is as a result of sufficient consumption of niacin could assist to clean the functioning of the metabolic processes within the physique. 

Studies have additionally proven that nicotinamide, one other type of vitamin B3 could cut back anxiousness and depression.

5. Improves Skin and Hair Health

Our pores and skin undergoes publicity to many environmental components like mud and daylight. Sun publicity and smoke may cause harm to our pores and skin. Long time period publicity could end in lack of elasticity of the pores and skin, which can result in wrinkles and pores and skin ageing.

Vitamin B3 or niacinamide could forestall the lack of moisture from our pores and skin and enhance collagen synthesis. Studies have discovered that making use of niacinamide on the pores and skin could assist in decreasing irritation related to zits, enhance pores and skin pigmentation, complexion and cut back wrinkles. It may regulate the oiliness of our pores and skin and cut back dryness, thus decreasing the scale of pores. As a complete, vitamin B3 could assist in delaying pores and skin ageing. 

It additionally helps within the manufacturing of keratin, thus enhancing hair well being.

6. Prevents Bone Diseases

Bone ailments equivalent to osteoarthritis can happen resulting from put on and tear of the cartilage between the bone joints. When this cartilage is broken, direct contact and bone rubbing could happen.

A study has discovered that niacinamide could largely contribute to the prevention and therapy of osteoarthritis. In addition, this type of vitamin B3 could enhance the flexibleness of bone joints and cut back irritation.

7. Anti-inflammatory Effect

Inflammation is our immune system's response to the entry of overseas our bodies like micro organism and viruses. Inflammation can lead to swelling, redness, fatigue, chills, fever, lack of urge for food, and many others. When irritation lasts for a very long time, it may well doubtlessly hurt our organs and tissues.

Research has proven that nicotinamide could also be helpful within the remaining phases of being pregnant. It could cut back the immune system's inflammatory response within the mom's physique, thereby serving to in managing the preterm deliveries.

8. Anticancer Effect

Cancer typically happens because of the uncontrollable multiplication of cells within the physique. It could happen resulting from many causes like smoking, solar publicity, genetic components, and many others. It can happen in a number of tissues and organs and could be very tough to deal with and remedy.

Research studies present that niacinamide could have anticancer results. For instance, it might cut back the chance of pores and skin most cancers by stopping the speedy and uncontrollable progress of cells.

9. Lowers Blood Pressure

Hypertension or hypertension happens resulting from elevated blood strain to pump blood. Smoking, alcohol, diabetes, weight problems, poor dietary habits, stress and plenty of different components can contribute to hypertension. However, probably the most prevalent reason behind hypertension is clogging of the arteries resulting from excessive levels of cholesterol within the physique. In extreme circumstances, it might result in stroke and coronary heart failure.

Studies have discovered that niacinamide reduces blood strain in hypertensive folks. In addition, Niacinamide could widen the arteries and make it simpler for the guts to pump blood. Thus by its vasodilatory impact, it reduces the chance of stroke.

10. Reduces Birth Defects

During being pregnant, there's a excessive threat for creating a number of problems resulting from underlying ailments and deficiencies. These could end in opposed well being outcomes in each the mom and youngster. Vitamin B3 is useful in stopping many such problems in pregnant moms.

Studies have proven that niacinamide could have a vital function in stopping and treating miscarriage, untimely start, hypertension, lack of protein, and impaired fetal progress.

Uses of Vitamin B3

1. Food Fortification

Niacin has been used for meals fortification in lots of nations for hundreds of years to scale back the prevalence of pellagra. Pellagra leads to lack of urge for food, weak spot, fatigue, dermatitis, dementia, diarrhoea and could be deadly in extreme circumstances. Food fortification utilizing niacin has made it simpler to ship the nutrient in sufficient quantities to a bigger inhabitants.

2. Dietary Supplement

Niacin dietary supplements could assist deal with folks with vitamin B3 deficiency. It additionally cures sure different well being circumstances equivalent to excessive lipid or levels of cholesterol. However, it's important to seek the advice of a medical well being skilled and comply with the prescribed dosage. Excessive consumption could also be dangerous to well being.

3. Lipid-lowering Drug

It is used individually or mixed with different lipid-lowering medication equivalent to statins. Niacin acts by decreasing the manufacturing of ldl cholesterol within the physique. As a consequence, it reduces unhealthy levels of cholesterol and will increase good levels of cholesterol. 

4. Skin Care Products

Niacin is current in many of the skincare merchandise that we use. This is as a result of it has been proven to have many helpful results on the pores and skin, equivalent to decreasing pore measurement, controlling oil manufacturing, delaying pores and skin ageing, and decreasing wrinkles.

It would assist when you consumed Vitamin B3 throughout the RDA. However, consumption in extra could result in opposed well being outcomes whereas, much less can result in deficiency.

Age RDA (mg)
0-6 months 2
7-12 months 4
1-3 years 6
4-8 years 8
9-13 years 12
14 years and older 16
Pregnancy and lactation 18

Food Sources of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3: Health Benefits and Food Sources- HealthifyMe

1. Chicken Liver

It is wealthy in protein, vitamin B3, Vitamin A, iron, folate and plenty of different vitamins important for our physique. According to a analysis study, repeatedly together with hen liver can cut back anaemia threat.

Nutritional Values 

As per USDA, 100g of hen liver accommodates:

  • Calories: 119 kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 16.9 g
  • Fat: 4.8 g
  • Iron: 8.99 mg
  • Niacin: 9.73 mg

2. Tuna

Tuna is a superb low-fat, excessive protein meals. In addition, it accommodates cheap quantities of omega-three fatty acids, B complicated nutritional vitamins, iron and different vitamins.

Nutritional Values 

As per USDA, 100g of tuna accommodates:

  • Calories: 109 kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 0.08g
  • Protein: 24.4 g
  • Fat: 0.9 g
  • Iron: 0.77 mg
  • Niacin: 18.5mg

3. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a tasty and creamy dip in your toast and apples. It is a go-to protein supply for many people. They are additionally wealthy in niacin and zinc. However, it's advisable to devour it sparsely as it's excessive in energy and fats.

Nutritional Values 

As per USDA, 100g of peanut butter accommodates:

  • Calories: 597 kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 22.3 g
  • Protein: 22.5 g
  • Fat: 51.1 g
  • Iron: 1.7 mg
  • Niacin: 13.3 mg

4. Brown Rice

Brown rice is wealthy in lots of important vitamins like iron, selenium, calcium, and many others. They are an excellent supply of fibre and due to this fact assist in weight reduction.

Nutritional Values 

As per USDA, 100g of brown rice accommodates:

  • Calories: 365 kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 75.5 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Fat: 3.8 g
  • Iron: 1.29 mg
  • Niacin: 6.49 mg

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are an amazing supply of iron, selenium and B complicated nutritional vitamins. They make an amazing low-calorie starter or facet dish and have a number of well being advantages, equivalent to reducing ldl cholesterol and decreasing blood strain.

Nutritional Values 

As per USDA, 100g of mushrooms comprise:

  • Calories: 41 kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 6.9 g
  • Protein: 2.9 g
  • Fat: 0.19 g
  • Iron: 0.7 mg
  • Niacin: 5.7 mg

Results of Vitamin B3 Deficiency


Inadequate inclusion of vitamin B3 wealthy meals within the eating regimen can result in vitamin B3 deficiency. This situation is called pellagra. This situation generally happens in folks over the age of 19.  A medical well being skilled could prescribe niacin dietary supplements for folks with pellagra. 

Symptoms could embrace:

  • Red tongue
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Dermatitis
  • Depression

If left untreated, it might worsen and result in outcomes as extreme as dying.


You ought to devour niacin beneath the tolerable higher limits solely. Taking them in extra could be doubtlessly dangerous to well being.

Age Tolerable Upper Limit (mg)
1-3 years 10
4-8 years 15
9-13 years 20
14 years and older 30
Pregnancy and lactation 35

1. Peptic Ulcer

Your peptic ulcer illness can grow to be worse by niacin therapy. Therefore, you must have niacin with warning in these with present or power gastrointestinal issues.

2. Liver Toxicity

Hepatotoxicity is probably the most important facet impact of niacin. In addition, studies present that hepatic enzyme ranges could rise to twice the higher restrict of the conventional vary. Hence, you must use niacin dietary supplements cautiously.

3. Hyperglycemia

Insulin resistance outcomes from decreased glucose tolerance. Hyperglycemia could happen in folks with diabetes after niacin supplementation.

4. Irregular Heartbeat

Supplementing with niacin could trigger palpitations. Thus folks with coronary heart ailments equivalent to arrhythmias ought to train warning.

5. Blurred Vision

Supplementation with niacin could trigger blurred imaginative and prescient in some people. In addition, in uncommon circumstances, fluid accumulation can happen throughout the eyes.

6. High Uric Acid Levels

People with a historical past of gout ought to be cautious whereas beginning a niacin complement. Niacin dietary supplements could enhance uric acid ranges within the physique. Thereby, it might worsen the situation.

Potential Side Effects and Toxicity

Niacin Toxicity

While niacin is important for the conventional functioning of the metabolic processes in our physique, the surplus could trigger critical unwanted side effects. The higher restrict of niacin is 30-35 mg per day. If one consumes greater than the higher restrict, there are adjustments for opposed well being outcomes. Niacin toxicity can harm tissues and organs. Studies have discovered that it might trigger hypotension, a number of organ failure, hepatotoxicity and plenty of extra. 


  • Skin flushing of arms, chest and neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal ache
  • Itching

Although there are not any dangerous interactions discovered between vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 dietary supplements, it's at all times higher to speak to a medical well being skilled earlier than beginning a brand new complement.


Vitamin B3, or niacin, has many helpful roles for people. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, cholesterol-lowering properties. It additionally improves mind well being, prevents bone defects and congenital disabilities. It is broadly current in my beauty merchandise that we use to enhance the feel and complexion of our pores and skin. However, it's important to devour it throughout the really useful each day limits. Taking niacin in extra can result in unwanted side effects and even could be deadly. In case of vitamin B3 deficiency, it's preferable to seek the advice of a medical well being skilled earlier than beginning a niacin complement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is vitamin B3 good for?

A. Vitamin B3 is useful for a lot of therapeutic and beauty functions. It helps to maintain pores and skin younger and wholesome. Additionally, consumption of vitamin B3 aids in stopping and treating a number of ailments like most cancers, osteoarthritis, coronary heart ailments, diabetes, and many others. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

2. Can you're taking vitamin B3 daily?

A. Yes, dietary sources of vitamin B3 could be taken each day. Although, when you require niacin dietary supplements, it's advisable to comply with the prescription and dosage given by your medical healthcare skilled.

3. What are the signs of vitamin B3 deficiency?

A. Vitamin B3 performs a big function in metabolism and vitality manufacturing from meals. Niacin deficiency can result in signs equivalent to pink tongue, rashes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and many others. Deficiency of niacin causes pellagra. It is marked by the 4D's, dermatitis, dementia, diarrhoea and dying in extreme circumstances.

4. Does vitamin B3 lighten pores and skin?

A. Yes, vitamin B3 utilized in many cosmetics have been discovered to enhance pores and skin pigmentation and texture. Talk to your dermatologist and discover out which merchandise fit your pores and skin greatest. 

5. Is Vitamin B3 good for anxiousness?

A. Yes, vitamin B3 is useful in stopping and treating anxiousness and despair. Tryptophan is an amino acid. Niacin is produced from tryptophan. Tryptophan regulates the secretion of serotonin, a hormone that controls feelings.

6. Can you're taking Vitamin B3 and B12 collectively?

A. Yes, there are not any dangerous interactions discovered between vitamin B3 and B12. However, it's higher to speak to your doctor and dietitian earlier than beginning on a number of dietary supplements.

7. Which meals are wealthy in vitamin B3?

A. Brown rice, peanut butter, hen liver, mushrooms, tuna and salmon are among the highest sources of vitamin B3.

8. Is Vitamin B3 good for hypertension?

A. Yes, niacin is understood for its lipid-lowering properties. In addition, it additionally aids in regulating blood strain. It prevents the clogging of arteries by lipids and helps to widen the arteries for extra easy blood move.

9. Is Vitamin B3 good for hair?

A. Yes, vitamin B3 is appropriate for each pores and skin and hair. Niacin helps in collagen formation and keratin formation. Both of those are essential for wholesome hair.

10. Is vitamin B3 protected throughout being pregnant?

A. Yes, dietary sources of vitamin B3 are completely protected throughout being pregnant. However, in case you have niacin deficiency, it's strongly advisable to seek the advice of a medical healthcare skilled. Consume solely the prescribed quantities and less.

11. What are the unwanted side effects of an excessive amount of vitamin B3?

A. A excessive consumption of vitamin B3 could result in toxicity. In addition, it might trigger signs equivalent to itching, flushing of pores and skin, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache, and many others. 

12. Is vitamin B3 unhealthy in your coronary heart?

A. No, niacin has a number of advantages on the subject of coronary heart well being. It lowers ldl cholesterol and prevents ailments like atherosclerosis and stroke. Furthermore, it additionally helps to dilate arteries, thereby stopping hypertension.

13. Does vitamin B3 have an effect on sleep?

A. Vitamin B3 is produced from tryptophan. It is a neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep hormone melatonin. However, there isn't enough proof for niacin's direct affect on sleep.

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