Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, naicinamide, nicotinic acid, is, like all B vitamins is water soluble so it needs regular renewal. It can be manufactured by the body from tryptophane. Tryptophane is the chemical in diary products that make you feel sleepy. It is used cell respiration, carbohydrates, lipid (fats), protein and glucose breakdown (like all B vitamins), blood circulation, healthy skin, nervous system function, healthy creation of bile and hydrochloric acid (digestive juices). Used also to synthesis cortisone, insulin, and sex hormones. It is used to treat schizophrenia and other mental conditions. It is known as a memory enhancer and is reported to improve mental alertness. Nicotinic acid is used as a drug to treat bad cholesterol levels and to remove organic compound poisons (like insecticides).
Lack causes pellagra (bilateral dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia). Canker sores, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness, halitosis, headaches, insomnia, extremities (limb) pains, muscular weakness, low appetite, low blood sugar, inflammation, and skin eruptions.
Minimum 15mg for women, and 15-19mg for men.
High doses given (200 mg is very high) may produce hyperuricemia and produce hepatic abnormalities. Nicotinic acid larger 200mg causes flushing by diluting blood vessels, causing drops in blood pressure. Very large doses causes itching, elevated blood glucose, peptic ulcers and liver damage.
Niacin works best with others in the vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Zinc, manganese, and phosphorus help. Consuming alcohol or people on vegetarian/low meat diets, high corn diets, high refined sugar diets, need more niacin. Aspirin, contraceptives, estrogen hormones or sleeping tablets reduce your niacin.
Diabetics, glaucoma, liver disease, peptic ulcers, should BEWARE of niacin supplements.
Cooking foods in water leeches niacin. It is also light sensitive.
It is found in liver, lean meat, poultry, fish, rabbit, nuts, peanuts, yeast, cereals, (sunflower) seeds, legumes, milk, asparagus, green leafy vegetables, coffee, yeasts, wheatgerm and beans.