December 7, 2022

Lepet It Bistrot

Caring for Life

Niacin – Consumer

6 min read

A woman discussing supplements with a pharmacist.

This is a reader-pleasant overview of Niacin. For extra particulars, see our overall health specialist reality sheet on Niacin.

What is niacin and what does it do?

Niacin (also named vitamin B3) allows convert the foods you take in into the power you want. Niacin is significant for the improvement and functionality of the cells in your body.

How a great deal niacin do I want?

The total of niacin you want depends on your age and sex. Normal every day advised amounts are listed beneath in milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents (NE) (other than for infants in their to start with 6 months).

The mg NE evaluate is utilized since your body can also make niacin from tryptophan, an amino acid in proteins. For case in point, when you take in turkey, which is large in tryptophan, some of this amino acid is transformed to niacin in your liver. Using mg NE accounts for each the niacin you eat and the niacin your body makes from tryptophan. Infants in their to start with six months do not make a great deal niacin from tryptophan.

Lifetime Stage Encouraged Amount of money
Birth to 6 months 2 mg
Infants 7–12 months four mg NE
Kids 1–3 many years 6 mg NE
Kids 4–8 many years eight mg NE
Kids 9–13 many years 12 mg NE
Teen boys 14–18 many years 16 mg NE
Teen girls 14–18 many years 14 mg NE
Adult adult men 19+ many years 16 mg NE
Adult women 19+ many years 14 mg NE
Pregnant teenagers and women eighteen mg NE
Breastfeeding teenagers and women seventeen mg NE

What meals supply niacin?

Niacin is uncovered by natural means in several meals, and is added to some meals. You can get advised amounts of niacin by having a wide variety of meals, which include the subsequent:

  • Animal meals, these as poultry, beef, pork, and fish
  • Some types of nuts, legumes, and grains
  • Enriched and fortified meals, these as several breads and cereals

What kinds of niacin nutritional supplements are accessible?

Niacin is uncovered in multivitamin/multimineral supplements. It is also accessible in B-sophisticated nutritional supplements and supplements containing only niacin. The two key types of niacin in nutritional supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Niacin (in the sort of nicotinic acid) is also accessible as a prescription drugs utilized to handle large blood cholesterol levels.

Am I acquiring ample niacin?

Most men and women in the United States get ample niacin from the meals they take in. Niacin deficiency is pretty unusual in the United States. However, some men and women are extra likely than other individuals to have trouble acquiring ample niacin:

What transpires if I really do not get ample niacin?

You can develop niacin deficiency if you never get ample niacin or tryptophan from the meals you take in. Severe niacin deficiency qualified prospects to a ailment named pellagra. Pellagra, which is uncommon in formulated nations, can have these effects:

  • Rough pores and skin that turns red or brown in the solar
  • A dazzling red tongue
  • Vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Despair
  • Headaches
  • Extraordinary tiredness
  • Aggressive, paranoid, or suicidal habits
  • Hallucinations, apathy, reduction of memory

In its ultimate levels, pellagra qualified prospects to reduction of hunger followed by dying.

What are some effects of niacin on overall health?

Researchers are finding out niacin to better recognize how it has an effect on overall health. Listed here is an case in point of what this investigation has demonstrated.

Cardiovascular ailment
Researchers have studied the use of significant doses of niacin in the sort of nicotinic acid to assist minimize the hazard of heart attack and stroke in men and women with atherosclerosis. They uncovered that prescription-strength nicotinic acid (extra than a hundred moments the advised nutritional allowance) can decrease blood levels of LDL (poor) cholesterol, elevate levels of HDL (very good) cholesterol, and decrease levels of triglycerides. But these favorable effects on blood lipids (fats) really do not affect the hazard of acquiring a cardiovascular celebration, these as heart attack, sudden cardiac dying, or stroke. In addition, gurus do not advise large doses of nicotinic acid for men and women getting a statin medication.

Your healthcare supplier should approve and supervise any use of pretty large doses of nicotinic acid (in the countless numbers of milligrams) to handle atherosclerosis.

Can niacin be destructive?

The niacin that foods and beverages by natural means comprise is harmless. However, nutritional supplements with 30 mg or extra of nicotinic acid can make the pores and skin on your facial area, arms, and upper body convert red and melt away, tingle, and itch. These indications can also direct to complications, rashes, and dizziness.

If you consider nicotinic acid as a medication in doses of one,000 or extra mg/working day, it can bring about extra significant side effects. These include:

  • Very low blood force (which can maximize the hazard of falls)
  • Extraordinary tiredness
  • Substantial blood sugar levels
  • Nausea, heartburn, and belly pain
  • Blurred or impaired eyesight and fluid buildup in the eyes

Extensive-time period therapy, in particular with extended-release types of nicotinic acid, can bring about liver issues, which include hepatitis and liver failure.

Niacin in the sort of nicotinamide has fewer side effects than nicotinic acid. However, at large doses of five hundred mg/working day or extra, nicotinamide can bring about diarrhea, simple bruising, and can maximize bleeding from wounds. Even increased doses of 3,000 mg/working day or extra can bring about nausea, vomiting, and liver injury.

The every day upper limitations for niacin from nutritional supplements are listed beneath.

Ages Upper Restrict
Birth to 12 months Not proven
Kids 1–3 many years ten mg
Kids 4–8 many years fifteen mg
Kids 9–13 many years 20 mg
Teenagers 14–18 many years 30 mg
Adults 19+ many years 35 mg


Does niacin interact with drugs or other nutritional supplements?

Niacin nutritional supplements can interact or interfere with certain medications that you consider, and some medications can decrease niacin levels in your body. Listed here are some examples:

  • Tuberculosis medicines (these as isoniazid and pyrazinamide) interfere with the body’s potential to change tryptophan to niacin. This interference can decrease niacin levels in your body.
  • Substantial doses of nicotinic acid (one,five hundred mg/working day or extra) can elevate blood sugar levels and interfere with the effectiveness of diabetes drugs. These doses can even elevate blood sugar levels in men and women who really do not have diabetes.

Convey to your medical doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare vendors about any nutritional supplements and prescription or in excess of-the-counter medications you consider. They can convey to you if the nutritional supplements may interact with your medications. They can also convey to you if the medications may interfere with how your body absorbs, takes advantage of, or breaks down niacin and other vitamins and minerals.

Niacin and healthful having

People should get most of their vitamins and minerals from foods and beverages, according to the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Foodstuff comprise natural vitamins, minerals, nutritional fiber, and other components that advantage overall health. In some conditions, fortified meals and nutritional supplements are helpful when it is not attainable to satisfy demands for just one or extra vitamins and minerals (e.g., in the course of certain existence levels these as pregnancy). For extra info about developing a wholesome nutritional pattern, see the Dietary Guidelines for Americansexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Section of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

Wherever can I find out extra about niacin?

  • For typical info on niacin:
  • For extra info on foods sources of niacin:
  • For extra tips on choosing nutritional supplements:
  • For info about developing a wholesome nutritional pattern:


This reality sheet by the Office of Dietary Dietary supplements (ODS) offers info that should not consider the place of health care tips. We really encourage you to talk to your healthcare vendors (medical doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, and many others.) about your fascination in, inquiries about, or use of nutritional supplements and what may well be ideal for your general overall health. Any point out in this publication of a certain product or service or support, or advice from an organization or specialist modern society, does not represent an endorsement by ODS of that product or service, support, or expert tips.

Updated: March 22, 2021 Record of alterations to this reality sheet

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