Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin plays a critical role in the nervous system and helps it to function properly. It also is used in the energy metabolism in all cells. Niacin is actually part of a co-enzyme which combines with an enzyme to activate it. Enzymes facilitate chemical reactions in the body.

• Class of Vitamin: Water soluble (easily dissolves in water and is not stored in the body)

• What it does: part of co-enzymes needed in active energy metabolism

• Good Sources: chicken breast, pork chops, baked potato, tuna, enriched cereal, mushrooms

• What happens if you consume too much of it: painful flush hives and rash, excessive sweating, blurred vision, liver damage, impaired glucose tolerance
• How much is too much: exceeding 35 mg/day

• What happens if you don’t consume enough: pellagra, mental depression, apathy, fatigue, loss of memory, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, swollen smooth bright red or black tongue

• Daily Requirement Intake: Men= 16 mg/day

Women= 14 mg/day

This information can be found in any nutrition text book or on the National Institute of Health Website. This is only a basic description of vitamins and the amounts needed for an average adult diet of 2,000 calories. Some vitamins and foods may react with your body when on certain medications. Always consult your doctor before starting any supplements or diet. For further information consult with your Physician or a Registered Dietitian. Your way to excellent health starts with you.