A woman discussing supplements with a pharmacist.

This is a reader-welcoming overview of Niacin. For much more facts, see our overall health skilled actuality sheet on Niacin.

What is niacin and what does it do?

Niacin (also termed vitamin B3) can help transform the foodstuff you try to eat into the electrical power you require. Niacin is significant for the progress and function of the cells in your human body.

How substantially niacin do I require?

The total of niacin you require relies upon on your age and sexual intercourse. Average everyday recommended quantities are shown beneath in milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents (NE) (except for infants in their 1st 6 months).

The mg NE evaluate is applied simply because your human body can also make niacin from tryptophan, an amino acid in proteins. For instance, when you try to eat turkey, which is superior in tryptophan, some of this amino acid is transformed to niacin in your liver. Employing mg NE accounts for both the niacin you take in and the niacin your human body helps make from tryptophan. Infants in their 1st six months do not make substantially niacin from tryptophan.

Existence Stage Suggested Sum
Delivery to 6 months 2 mg
Infants 7–12 months four mg NE
Kids 1–3 decades 6 mg NE
Kids 4–8 decades eight mg NE
Kids 9–13 decades twelve mg NE
Teen boys 14–18 decades sixteen mg NE
Teen ladies 14–18 decades fourteen mg NE
Grownup adult males 19+ decades sixteen mg NE
Grownup girls 19+ decades fourteen mg NE
Expecting teenagers and girls 18 mg NE
Breastfeeding teenagers and girls 17 mg NE

What food items offer niacin?

Niacin is located naturally in lots of food items, and is added to some food items. You can get recommended quantities of niacin by feeding on a wide range of food items, such as the pursuing:

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

What forms of niacin nutritional health supplements are accessible?

Niacin is located in multivitamin/multimineral health supplements. It is also accessible in B-sophisticated nutritional health supplements and health supplements made up of only niacin. The two principal kinds of niacin in nutritional health supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Niacin (in the kind of nicotinic acid) is also accessible as a prescription drugs applied to take care of superior blood cholesterol amounts.

Am I receiving adequate niacin?

Most people today in the United States get adequate niacin from the food items they try to eat. Niacin deficiency is quite uncommon in the United States. On the other hand, some people today are much more probably than other individuals to have issues receiving adequate niacin:

What takes place if I really do not get adequate niacin?

You can create niacin deficiency if you do not get adequate niacin or tryptophan from the food items you try to eat. Critical niacin deficiency prospects to a disorder termed pellagra. Pellagra, which is unusual in produced international locations, can have these outcomes:

  • Rough skin that turns purple or brown in the sunlight
  • A dazzling purple tongue
  • Vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Despair
  • Head aches
  • Extraordinary tiredness
  • Intense, paranoid, or suicidal actions
  • Hallucinations, apathy, reduction of memory

In its closing phases, pellagra prospects to reduction of hunger followed by loss of life.

What are some outcomes of niacin on overall health?

Researchers are finding out niacin to greater realize how it affects overall health. Listed here is an instance of what this investigate has proven.

Cardiovascular disorder
Researchers have studied the use of substantial doses of niacin in the kind of nicotinic acid to assist reduce the possibility of coronary heart assault and stroke in people today with atherosclerosis. They located that prescription-power nicotinic acid (much more than a hundred times the recommended nutritional allowance) can lower blood amounts of LDL (negative) cholesterol, increase amounts of HDL (fantastic) cholesterol, and lower amounts of triglycerides. But these favorable outcomes on blood lipids (fat) really do not affect the possibility of possessing a cardiovascular celebration, these types of as coronary heart assault, unexpected cardiac loss of life, or stroke. In addition, industry experts do not suggest superior doses of nicotinic acid for people today having a statin medication.

Your health care provider should approve and supervise any use of quite superior doses of nicotinic acid (in the 1000’s of milligrams) to take care of atherosclerosis.

Can niacin be damaging?

The niacin that foodstuff and beverages naturally have is secure. On the other hand, nutritional health supplements with 30 mg or much more of nicotinic acid can make the skin on your confront, arms, and chest transform purple and burn, tingle, and itch. These signs or symptoms can also lead to complications, rashes, and dizziness.

If you take nicotinic acid as a medication in doses of 1,000 or much more mg/working day, it can bring about much more significant side outcomes. These involve:

  • Very low blood tension (which can boost the possibility of falls)
  • Extraordinary tiredness
  • Significant blood sugar amounts
  • Nausea, heartburn, and belly ache
  • Blurred or impaired eyesight and fluid buildup in the eyes

Long-term remedy, specifically with extended-release kinds of nicotinic acid, can bring about liver problems, such as hepatitis and liver failure.

Niacin in the kind of nicotinamide has fewer side outcomes than nicotinic acid. On the other hand, at superior doses of 500 mg/working day or much more, nicotinamide can bring about diarrhea, simple bruising, and can boost bleeding from wounds. Even higher doses of three,000 mg/working day or much more can bring about nausea, vomiting, and liver damage.

The everyday upper boundaries for niacin from nutritional health supplements are shown beneath.

Ages Higher Limit
Delivery to twelve months Not founded
Kids 1–3 decades ten mg
Kids 4–8 decades fifteen mg
Kids 9–13 decades twenty mg
Teenagers 14–18 decades 30 mg
Grown ups 19+ decades 35 mg

 

Does niacin interact with medications or other nutritional health supplements?

Niacin nutritional health supplements can interact or interfere with sure medicines that you take, and some medicines can lower niacin amounts in your human body. Listed here are some illustrations:

  • Tuberculosis medication (these types of as isoniazid and pyrazinamide) interfere with the body’s capability to transform tryptophan to niacin. This interference can lower niacin amounts in your human body.
  • Significant doses of nicotinic acid (1,500 mg/working day or much more) can increase blood sugar amounts and interfere with the efficiency of diabetic issues medications. These doses can even increase blood sugar amounts in people today who really do not have diabetic issues.

Explain to your medical doctor, pharmacist, and other health care companies about any nutritional health supplements and prescription or around-the-counter medicines you take. They can explain to you if the nutritional health supplements may possibly interact with your medicines. They can also explain to you if the medicines may possibly interfere with how your human body absorbs, employs, or breaks down niacin and other nutrition.

Niacin and healthful feeding on

Individuals should get most of their nutrition from foodstuff and beverages, in accordance to the federal government’s Dietary Rules for Individuals. Foodstuff have vitamins, minerals, nutritional fiber, and other elements that profit overall health. In some situations, fortified food items and nutritional health supplements are valuable when it is not feasible to meet up with needs for one particular or much more nutrition (e.g., all through particular daily life phases these types of as pregnancy). For much more information and facts about making a healthier nutritional pattern, see the Dietary Rules for Individualsexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

Exactly where can I locate out much more about niacin?

  • For standard information and facts on niacin:
  • For much more information and facts on foodstuff sources of niacin:
  • For much more advice on picking out nutritional health supplements:
  • For information and facts about making a healthier nutritional pattern:

Disclaimer

This actuality sheet by the Office environment of Dietary Dietary supplements (ODS) offers information and facts that should not take the area of healthcare advice. We encourage you to talk to your health care companies (medical doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, and many others.) about your interest in, queries about, or use of nutritional health supplements and what could be ideal for your in general overall health. Any point out in this publication of a particular product or service or company, or suggestion from an organization or skilled culture, does not characterize an endorsement by ODS of that product or service, company, or professional advice.

Up to date: March 22, 2021 Record of alterations to this actuality sheet