Niacin health

Niacin, which is also known as vitamin B3, is the common name for both nicotinic acid and nicotinamide (or niacinamide). The niacin deficiency disease, pellagra, was first recognized in the early 18th century but it was not until the 1930s that niacin was found to cure the disease. Niacin is a water soluble white powder and is more resistant to destruction than other B complex vitamins. The body can convert the amino acid tryptophan into niacin.



Like other B vitamins, niacin is essential for the manufacture of enzymes that provide cells with energy through tissue respiration and carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. These enzymes are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). Niacin is involved in over 200 enzyme reactions and is essential for healthy skin, tongue and digestive tract tissues and the formation of red blood cells.

Niacin healthHormones

Niacin is essential for the synthesis of various hormones including sex hormones, cortisone, thyroxin and insulin. Nicotinic acid is part of the glucose tolerance factor, a compound which enhances the body's response to insulin (the hormone responsible for transporting glucose into cells and storing it in the liver and muscles).

Protection of genetic material

The repair of the genetic damage that occurs when cells are exposed to viruses, drugs or other toxic substances requires niacin-dependent coenzymes.

Nervous system

Niacin is essential for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

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Niacin health
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Other Vitamins:

Vitamin A
Beta carotene
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Pantothenic acid
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K