Niacin – Consumer

This is a reader-friendly overview of Niacin. For more aspects, see our health expert simple fact sheet on Niacin.

What is niacin and what does it do?

Niacin (also referred to as vitamin B3) aids change the foods you eat into the vitality you need to have. Niacin is significant for the improvement and purpose of the cells in your entire body.

How a great deal niacin do I need to have?

The total of niacin you need to have depends on your age and sexual intercourse. Regular daily advised quantities are outlined underneath in milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents (NE) (apart from for infants in their initial 6 months).

The mg NE evaluate is applied for the reason that your entire body can also make niacin from tryptophan, an amino acid in proteins. For instance, when you eat turkey, which is substantial in tryptophan, some of this amino acid is converted to niacin in your liver. Utilizing mg NE accounts for both equally the niacin you consume and the niacin your entire body will make from tryptophan. Infants in their initial 6 months do not make a great deal niacin from tryptophan.

Life Stage Suggested Total
Beginning to 6 months two mg
Infants 7–12 months 4 mg NE
Small children 1–3 years 6 mg NE
Small children 4–8 years 8 mg NE
Small children 9–13 years twelve mg NE
Teenager boys 14–18 years 16 mg NE
Teenager ladies 14–18 years fourteen mg NE
Adult males 19+ years 16 mg NE
Adult girls 19+ years fourteen mg NE
Pregnant teens and girls 18 mg NE
Breastfeeding teens and girls seventeen mg NE

What foodstuff give niacin?

Niacin is uncovered naturally in numerous foodstuff, and is included to some foodstuff. You can get advised quantities of niacin by having a range of foodstuff, which include the following:

  • Animal foodstuff, these as poultry, beef, pork, and fish
  • Some styles of nuts, legumes, and grains
  • Enriched and fortified foodstuff, these as numerous breads and cereals

What varieties of niacin dietary supplements are accessible?

Niacin is uncovered in multivitamin/multimineral supplements. It is also accessible in B-complex dietary supplements and supplements that contains only niacin. The two key varieties of niacin in dietary supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

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

Am I finding plenty of niacin?

Most people in the United States get plenty of niacin from the foodstuff they eat. Niacin deficiency is extremely uncommon in the United States. However, some people are more very likely than some others to have issues finding plenty of niacin:

What occurs if I never get plenty of niacin?

You can produce niacin deficiency if you really don’t get plenty of niacin or tryptophan from the foodstuff you eat. Critical niacin deficiency qualified prospects to a sickness referred to as pellagra. Pellagra, which is unheard of in designed countries, can have these results:

  • Rough pores and skin that turns purple or brown in the sunlight
  • A brilliant purple tongue
  • Vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Despair
  • Headaches
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Aggressive, paranoid, or suicidal behavior
  • Hallucinations, apathy, decline of memory

In its ultimate levels, pellagra qualified prospects to decline of urge for food followed by loss of life.

What are some results of niacin on health?

Scientists are learning niacin to superior realize how it impacts health. Right here is an instance of what this exploration has demonstrated.

Cardiovascular sickness
Scientists have researched the use of large doses of niacin in the kind of nicotinic acid to enable cut down the hazard of heart assault and stroke in people with atherosclerosis. They uncovered that prescription-energy nicotinic acid (more than a hundred times the advised dietary allowance) can decrease blood amounts of LDL (poor) cholesterol, raise amounts of HDL (great) cholesterol, and decrease amounts of triglycerides. But these favorable results on blood lipids (fats) never affect the hazard of getting a cardiovascular event, these as heart assault, unexpected cardiac loss of life, or stroke. In addition, industry experts do not recommend substantial doses of nicotinic acid for people taking a statin medication.

Your health care supplier must approve and supervise any use of extremely substantial doses of nicotinic acid (in the countless numbers of milligrams) to treat atherosclerosis.

Can niacin be destructive?

The niacin that foods and drinks naturally have is harmless. However, dietary supplements with 30 mg or more of nicotinic acid can make the pores and skin on your face, arms, and upper body change purple and burn, tingle, and itch. These indicators can also guide to problems, rashes, and dizziness.

If you choose nicotinic acid as a medication in doses of one,000 or more mg/working day, it can result in more severe facet results. These incorporate:

  • Low blood pressure (which can raise the hazard of falls)
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Substantial blood sugar amounts
  • Nausea, heartburn, and stomach ache
  • Blurred or impaired vision and fluid buildup in the eyes

Lengthy-phrase therapy, specifically with extended-launch varieties of nicotinic acid, can result in liver problems, which include hepatitis and liver failure.

Niacin in the kind of nicotinamide has less facet results than nicotinic acid. However, at substantial doses of five hundred mg/working day or more, nicotinamide can result in diarrhea, effortless bruising, and can raise bleeding from wounds. Even better doses of three,000 mg/working day or more can result in nausea, vomiting, and liver destruction.

The daily upper restrictions for niacin from dietary supplements are outlined underneath.

Ages Upper Restrict
Beginning to twelve months Not founded
Small children 1–3 years ten mg
Small children 4–8 years 15 mg
Small children 9–13 years twenty mg
Teens 14–18 years 30 mg
Older people 19+ years 35 mg


Does niacin interact with drugs or other dietary supplements?

Niacin dietary supplements can interact or interfere with particular medicines that you choose, and some medicines can decrease niacin amounts in your entire body. Right here are some examples:

  • Tuberculosis drugs (these as isoniazid and pyrazinamide) interfere with the body’s potential to change tryptophan to niacin. This interference can decrease niacin amounts in your entire body.
  • Substantial doses of nicotinic acid (one,five hundred mg/working day or more) can raise blood sugar amounts and interfere with the success of diabetic issues drugs. These doses can even raise blood sugar amounts in people who never have diabetic issues.

Explain to your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care suppliers about any dietary supplements and prescription or over-the-counter medicines you choose. They can inform you if the dietary supplements could interact with your medicines. They can also inform you if the medicines could interfere with how your entire body absorbs, uses, or breaks down niacin and other nutrition.

Niacin and healthful having

Folks must get most of their nutrition from foods and drinks, according to the federal government’s Nutritional Tips for Us residents. Food items have natural vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other components that reward health. In some instances, fortified foodstuff and dietary supplements are helpful when it is not achievable to fulfill demands for a single or more nutrition (e.g., all through precise lifestyle levels these as being pregnant). For more details about building a healthful dietary sample, see the Nutritional Tips for Us residentsexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

The place can I discover out more about niacin?

  • For typical details on niacin:
  • For more details on foods resources of niacin:
  • For more advice on deciding upon dietary supplements:
  • For details about building a healthful dietary sample:


This simple fact sheet by the Business office of Nutritional Nutritional supplements (ODS) presents details that must not choose the location of healthcare advice. We really encourage you to chat to your health care suppliers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your desire in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what could be very best for your general health. Any mention in this publication of a precise product or support, or suggestion from an firm or expert culture, does not characterize an endorsement by ODS of that product, support, or expert advice.

Current: March 22, 2021 Record of changes to this simple fact sheet

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