Vitamin B3(Niacin), Benefits and more

vitamina b3

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What is vitamin B3?

Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin, is a fragile, water-soluble substance, which is important for its role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

It is made up of two coenzymes, which are: nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, which are responsible for synthesizing and breaking down fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates and oxygen exchange in tissues.

vitamin B3

What are the functions of vitamin B3?

Niacin participates in the Krebs cycle, which is the process by which mitochondria convert food into energy that your body needs to live:

  • Facilitates the maintenance of nerves along with healthy skin.
  • It keeps cholesterol at bay.
  • Collaborates in the synthesis of glycogen.
  • Produces steroid hormones.
  • Helps to eliminate toxins.
  • It has a cholesterol-lowering effect.
  • It is part of molecules of the cellular respiratory chain.
  • Participates in reactions to obtain energy.
  • Vitamin B3 helps the functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves.
  • Helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis.

What are the functions of vitamin B3

What problem occurs due to a lack of vitamin B3?

The low intake of vitamin b3 can develop a deficiency of Niacin and if severely causes a disease known as Pellagra, this disease is rare in developed countries, and can cause the following symptoms in the body:

  • Rough skin that turns red or brown in the sun.
  • A bright red tongue.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Depression.
  • Headache.
  • Exhausted.
  • Aggressive, paranoid or suicidal behaviour.
  • Hallucinations, memory loss.
  • In the final stages, Pellagra causes loss of appetite and death.

problem occurs due to a lack of vitamin B3

In what foods is vitamin B3 found?

It is found naturally in many foods and you can get the recommended amounts from either:

  • Animal origin, such as poultry, beef or pork, and fish.
  • Variety of types of nuts, legumes and grains.
  • Enriched and fortified foods, such as many breads and cereals.

But among all this wide variety of foods that contain vitamin B3, there are 10 that stand out above the rest and those are:

  • Yeast extract: It is a superfood that has a variety of vitamins; among them are vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B12.
  • Rice and wheat bran: These are also high in vitamin B6 and fiber. They have beneficial properties for cholesterol, constipation, control of blood levels and stomach acidity.
  • Fish: Fish contain high levels of omega 3 and vitamin B3, but of the wide variety of fish, the ones with the highest amounts are: Canned anchovies, Tuna, Mackerel. Swordfish and Sturgeon.
  • Liver: Apart from having high levels of Niacin, it is also rich in vitamin A and B2. It can be eaten as pate or liverwurst.
  • Paprika: Also known as paprika, it is rich in various beneficial nutrients for the body and health such as vitamin E, A and Iron among others.
  • Peanuts: Also known in some countries as peanuts, they have antioxidant properties thanks to their resveratrol content, they help produce dopamine and help in the body’s defenses due to their zinc content.

In what foods is vitamin B3 found

Is the excessive consumption of Niacin negative for the body?

  • Currently, there is no scientifically confirmed risk of consuming foods that naturally contain Niacin.
  • However, dietary supplements with 30 mg or more of nicotic acid may cause the skin on the face, arms, and chest to become red and cause a burning, tingling, or itching sensation. It can also cause headache, rash, and dizziness.
  • If you take as medication in doses of 1000 mg or more per day, it can cause serious side effects such as:
    • Low blood pressure.
    • Exhausted.
    • High blood sugar concentrations.
    • Blurred or altered vision.
    • Accumulation of fluid in the eyes.

Recommended daily consumption of Niacin:

  • Babies up to 12 months: Not established
  • Children: *1 to 3 years = 10 mg/day *4 to 8 years = 5 mg/day *9 to 13 years = 20 mg/day
  • Adolescents and adults: *14 to 18 years = 30 mg/day *Over 19 years 35 mg

Is the excessive consumption of Niacin negative for the body


If you are severely deficient in vitamin B3, it is recommended that you visit your GP who can prescribe vitamin supplements that contain high concentrations of these and other vitamins. At XTRALIFE we have a range of products that contain varieties of vitamins, these will help you recover and reach optimal levels in the body again.