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Niacin – Consumer

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This is a reader-friendly overview of Niacin. For much more particulars, see our overall health qualified point sheet on Niacin.

What is niacin and what does it do?

Niacin (also called vitamin B3) will help change the food items you consume into the vitality you need to have. Niacin is significant for the improvement and functionality of the cells in your physique.

How a great deal niacin do I need to have?

The volume of niacin you need to have relies upon on your age and sexual intercourse. Regular day by day encouraged amounts are stated beneath in milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents (NE) (except for infants in their 1st 6 months).

The mg NE evaluate is used since your physique can also make niacin from tryptophan, an amino acid in proteins. For instance, when you consume turkey, which is significant in tryptophan, some of this amino acid is converted to niacin in your liver. Utilizing mg NE accounts for the two the niacin you eat and the niacin your physique makes from tryptophan. Infants in their 1st 6 months do not make a great deal niacin from tryptophan.

Lifetime Stage Suggested Amount of money
Delivery to 6 months 2 mg
Infants 7–12 months four mg NE
Small children 1–3 yrs 6 mg NE
Small children 4–8 yrs eight mg NE
Small children 9–13 yrs 12 mg NE
Teenager boys 14–18 yrs sixteen mg NE
Teenager ladies 14–18 yrs fourteen mg NE
Adult males 19+ yrs sixteen mg NE
Adult ladies 19+ yrs fourteen mg NE
Pregnant teenagers and ladies eighteen mg NE
Breastfeeding teenagers and ladies seventeen mg NE

What foods give niacin?

Niacin is located the natural way in lots of foods, and is added to some foods. You can get encouraged amounts of niacin by ingesting a wide range of foods, which includes the next:

  • Animal foods, such as poultry, beef, pork, and fish
  • Some forms of nuts, legumes, and grains
  • Enriched and fortified foods, such as lots of breads and cereals

What kinds of niacin nutritional nutritional supplements are readily available?

Niacin is located in multivitamin/multimineral nutritional supplements. It is also readily available in B-complicated nutritional nutritional supplements and nutritional supplements made up of only niacin. The two main types of niacin in nutritional nutritional supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Niacin (in the sort of nicotinic acid) is also readily available as a prescription medication used to take care of significant blood cholesterol concentrations.

Am I acquiring adequate niacin?

Most people today in the United States get adequate niacin from the foods they consume. Niacin deficiency is quite uncommon in the United States. Nevertheless, some people today are much more likely than other people to have difficulties acquiring adequate niacin:

What comes about if I really do not get adequate niacin?

You can build niacin deficiency if you don’t get adequate niacin or tryptophan from the foods you consume. Critical niacin deficiency potential customers to a illness called pellagra. Pellagra, which is unheard of in formulated international locations, can have these effects:

  • Rough pores and skin that turns red or brown in the sun
  • A vibrant red tongue
  • Vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Despair
  • Problems
  • Severe tiredness
  • Intense, paranoid, or suicidal actions
  • Hallucinations, apathy, decline of memory

In its remaining levels, pellagra potential customers to decline of urge for food adopted by loss of life.

What are some effects of niacin on overall health?

Researchers are researching niacin to superior fully grasp how it influences overall health. Listed here is an instance of what this research has demonstrated.

Cardiovascular illness
Researchers have examined the use of massive doses of niacin in the sort of nicotinic acid to help cut down the risk of coronary heart attack and stroke in people today with atherosclerosis. They located that prescription-strength nicotinic acid (much more than one hundred occasions the encouraged nutritional allowance) can decreased blood concentrations of LDL (negative) cholesterol, elevate concentrations of HDL (very good) cholesterol, and decreased concentrations of triglycerides. But these favorable effects on blood lipids (fat) really do not have an effect on the risk of having a cardiovascular celebration, such as coronary heart attack, unexpected cardiac loss of life, or stroke. In addition, authorities do not endorse significant doses of nicotinic acid for people today using a statin medicine.

Your healthcare service provider ought to approve and supervise any use of quite significant doses of nicotinic acid (in the thousands of milligrams) to take care of atherosclerosis.

Can niacin be harmful?

The niacin that food items and beverages the natural way comprise is secure. Nevertheless, nutritional nutritional supplements with 30 mg or much more of nicotinic acid can make the pores and skin on your face, arms, and chest change red and burn off, tingle, and itch. These indications can also lead to problems, rashes, and dizziness.

If you choose nicotinic acid as a medicine in doses of 1,000 or much more mg/working day, it can lead to much more intense facet effects. These incorporate:

  • Low blood force (which can raise the risk of falls)
  • Severe tiredness
  • Large blood sugar concentrations
  • Nausea, heartburn, and abdominal suffering
  • Blurred or impaired vision and fluid buildup in the eyes

Extended-term remedy, in particular with extended-launch types of nicotinic acid, can lead to liver issues, which includes hepatitis and liver failure.

Niacin in the sort of nicotinamide has less facet effects than nicotinic acid. Nevertheless, at significant doses of 500 mg/working day or much more, nicotinamide can lead to diarrhea, quick bruising, and can raise bleeding from wounds. Even increased doses of three,000 mg/working day or much more can lead to nausea, vomiting, and liver destruction.

The day by day higher limits for niacin from nutritional nutritional supplements are stated beneath.

Ages Higher Restrict
Delivery to 12 months Not set up
Small children 1–3 yrs ten mg
Small children 4–8 yrs fifteen mg
Small children 9–13 yrs 20 mg
Teenagers 14–18 yrs 30 mg
Grownups 19+ yrs 35 mg


Does niacin interact with drugs or other nutritional nutritional supplements?

Niacin nutritional nutritional supplements can interact or interfere with sure medications that you choose, and some medications can decreased niacin concentrations in your physique. Listed here are some examples:

  • Tuberculosis prescription drugs (such as isoniazid and pyrazinamide) interfere with the body’s skill to change tryptophan to niacin. This interference can decreased niacin concentrations in your physique.
  • Large doses of nicotinic acid (1,500 mg/working day or much more) can elevate blood sugar concentrations and interfere with the efficiency of diabetic issues drugs. These doses can even elevate blood sugar concentrations in people today who really do not have diabetic issues.

Inform your physician, pharmacist, and other healthcare companies about any nutritional nutritional supplements and prescription or above-the-counter medications you choose. They can tell you if the nutritional nutritional supplements could possibly interact with your medications. They can also tell you if the medications could possibly interfere with how your physique absorbs, takes advantage of, or breaks down niacin and other nutrition.

Niacin and healthful ingesting

Individuals ought to get most of their nutrition from food items and beverages, according to the federal government’s Nutritional Rules for People. Foods comprise nutritional vitamins, minerals, nutritional fiber, and other parts that gain overall health. In some situations, fortified foods and nutritional nutritional supplements are practical when it is not possible to meet needs for one particular or much more nutrition (e.g., through particular daily life levels such as being pregnant). For much more facts about building a healthier nutritional sample, see the Nutritional Rules for Peopleexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Section of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

Exactly where can I come across out much more about niacin?

  • For common facts on niacin:
  • For much more facts on food items sources of niacin:
  • For much more tips on deciding on nutritional nutritional supplements:
  • For facts about building a healthier nutritional sample:


This point sheet by the Workplace of Nutritional Health supplements (ODS) supplies facts that ought to not choose the spot of health-related tips. We stimulate you to speak to your healthcare companies (physician, registered dietitian, pharmacist, and many others.) about your interest in, issues about, or use of nutritional nutritional supplements and what may possibly be very best for your total overall health. Any point out in this publication of a particular product or service or services, or suggestion from an organization or qualified society, does not stand for an endorsement by ODS of that product or service, services, or professional tips.

Updated: March 22, 2021 Background of changes to this point sheet