Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, nicotinic acid or vitamin PP (Pellagra preventer), is a vitamin which maintains the genetic processes in body cells and also has a role in processing body fats.
The niacin is indispensable in normal functioning of digestive system, nervous system, maintaining the integrity of skin and mucous, and also maintaining the normal synthesis of some hormones (testosterone, estrogen, insulin).
It is also recommended in the prevention and treatment of many diseases such as – pellagra, dermatitis, headaches, elevated cholesterol levels, depression and mental disorders.
The benefits of vitamin B3:
- It attenuates the risk of cardiovascular disorders
- reduces the harmful cholesterol level (LDL),
- increases the beneficial cholesterol level (HDL)
- lowers the blood triglyceride levels
- regulates blood pressure
- has a role in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates and lipids
- protects against atherosclerosis, migraine, dizziness
- prevents diarrhea
- relieves ulcerous pain
- combats halitosis (mouth odor)
The deficiency of vitamin B3 is manifested through:
- loss of appetite
- skin infections
- muscle weakness
- digestive disorders
In case of severe deficiency of vitamin PP (niacin) , pellagra may install, a disease characterized by major skin lesions, amnesia, depression, anxiety, delusional states and even death if left untreated.
The excess of vitamin B3 may result in allergic reactions on skin level, hepatic diseases, peptic ulcer and glucose intolerance.
The recommended daily dose of vitamin B3:
- 2 mg for children aged between 0-6
- 4 mg for children aged between 6-12 months
- 6 mg for children between 1-3 years old
- 8 mg for children aged between 4-8 years old
- 12 mg for boys and girls aged between 9-13 years old
- 14 mg for girls over 14 years old
- 16 mg for boys over 14 years old
- 18 mg for pregnant women and 17 mg for lactating women
The best sources of vitamin B3 are:
- fish (tuna and salmon)
- chicken or turkey meat
- beef organs
- dairy products
- vegetables (asparagus, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower)
- fruits (dates, figs, peanuts, peaches, almonds, avocado, nuts)
- fresh mushrooms
- whole grains
- wholemeal bread
Vitamin B3 is stable to light, heat and resilient to oxidation.