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This is a reader-pleasant overview of Niacin. For more particulars, see our overall health qualified actuality sheet on Niacin.

What is niacin and what does it do?

Niacin (also identified as vitamin B3) will help turn the food you eat into the electrical power you need. Niacin is crucial for the growth and perform of the cells in your body.

How considerably niacin do I need?

The quantity of niacin you need is dependent on your age and intercourse. Regular everyday proposed quantities are shown beneath in milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents (NE) (besides for infants in their to start with 6 months).

The mg NE measure is made use of since your body can also make niacin from tryptophan, an amino acid in proteins. For illustration, when you eat turkey, which is superior in tryptophan, some of this amino acid is transformed to niacin in your liver. Applying mg NE accounts for each the niacin you take in and the niacin your body can make from tryptophan. Infants in their to start with six months do not make considerably niacin from tryptophan.

Existence Stage Advised Volume
Start to 6 months two mg
Infants 7–12 months four mg NE
Kids 1–3 years 6 mg NE
Kids 4–8 years 8 mg NE
Kids 9–13 years twelve mg NE
Teenager boys 14–18 years sixteen mg NE
Teenager women 14–18 years 14 mg NE
Grownup males 19+ years sixteen mg NE
Grownup girls 19+ years 14 mg NE
Pregnant teens and girls 18 mg NE
Breastfeeding teens and girls seventeen mg NE

What foodstuff present niacin?

Niacin is found naturally in several foodstuff, and is additional to some foodstuff. You can get proposed quantities of niacin by having a variety of foodstuff, together with the following:

  • Animal foodstuff, such as poultry, beef, pork, and fish
  • Some varieties of nuts, legumes, and grains
  • Enriched and fortified foodstuff, such as several breads and cereals

What kinds of niacin dietary dietary supplements are offered?

Niacin is found in multivitamin/multimineral dietary supplements. It is also offered in B-advanced dietary dietary supplements and dietary supplements made up of only niacin. The two key varieties of niacin in dietary dietary supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Niacin (in the form of nicotinic acid) is also offered as a prescription medication made use of to take care of superior blood cholesterol levels.

Am I acquiring ample niacin?

Most individuals in the United States get ample niacin from the foodstuff they eat. Niacin deficiency is very unusual in the United States. However, some individuals are more possible than others to have trouble acquiring ample niacin:

What happens if I don’t get ample niacin?

You can build niacin deficiency if you will not get ample niacin or tryptophan from the foodstuff you eat. Serious niacin deficiency qualified prospects to a illness identified as pellagra. Pellagra, which is uncommon in designed international locations, can have these results:

  • Tough skin that turns pink or brown in the sun
  • A bright pink tongue
  • Vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Despair
  • Complications
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Intense, paranoid, or suicidal conduct
  • Hallucinations, apathy, reduction of memory

In its closing phases, pellagra qualified prospects to reduction of urge for food followed by dying.

What are some results of niacin on overall health?

Scientists are finding out niacin to improved realize how it has an effect on overall health. Here is an illustration of what this research has shown.

Cardiovascular illness
Scientists have researched the use of significant doses of niacin in the form of nicotinic acid to enable cut down the danger of coronary heart attack and stroke in individuals with atherosclerosis. They found that prescription-energy nicotinic acid (more than 100 instances the proposed dietary allowance) can reduce blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, elevate levels of HDL (excellent) cholesterol, and reduce levels of triglycerides. But these favorable results on blood lipids (fat) don’t influence the danger of acquiring a cardiovascular celebration, such as coronary heart attack, unexpected cardiac dying, or stroke. In addition, experts do not advise superior doses of nicotinic acid for individuals taking a statin medication.

Your healthcare provider should really approve and supervise any use of very superior doses of nicotinic acid (in the countless numbers of milligrams) to take care of atherosclerosis.

Can niacin be hazardous?

The niacin that food and drinks naturally have is safe. However, dietary dietary supplements with 30 mg or more of nicotinic acid can make the skin on your face, arms, and upper body turn pink and melt away, tingle, and itch. These indications can also lead to problems, rashes, and dizziness.

If you acquire nicotinic acid as a medication in doses of one,000 or more mg/working day, it can induce more severe facet results. These include things like:

  • Reduced blood strain (which can maximize the danger of falls)
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Superior blood sugar levels
  • Nausea, heartburn, and stomach pain
  • Blurred or impaired eyesight and fluid buildup in the eyes

Prolonged-time period treatment method, primarily with extended-release varieties of nicotinic acid, can induce liver troubles, together with hepatitis and liver failure.

Niacin in the form of nicotinamide has less facet results than nicotinic acid. However, at superior doses of five hundred mg/working day or more, nicotinamide can induce diarrhea, uncomplicated bruising, and can maximize bleeding from wounds. Even bigger doses of 3,000 mg/working day or more can induce nausea, vomiting, and liver damage.

The everyday upper limitations for niacin from dietary dietary supplements are shown beneath.

Ages Upper Limit
Start to twelve months Not proven
Kids 1–3 years ten mg
Kids 4–8 years fifteen mg
Kids 9–13 years 20 mg
Teenagers 14–18 years 30 mg
Older people 19+ years 35 mg


Does niacin interact with medicines or other dietary dietary supplements?

Niacin dietary dietary supplements can interact or interfere with specific medicines that you acquire, and some medicines can reduce niacin levels in your body. Here are some examples:

  • Tuberculosis drugs (such as isoniazid and pyrazinamide) interfere with the body’s ability to convert tryptophan to niacin. This interference can reduce niacin levels in your body.
  • Superior doses of nicotinic acid (one,five hundred mg/working day or more) can elevate blood sugar levels and interfere with the performance of diabetes medicines. These doses can even elevate blood sugar levels in individuals who don’t have diabetes.

Convey to your health practitioner, pharmacist, and other healthcare vendors about any dietary dietary supplements and prescription or more than-the-counter medicines you acquire. They can explain to you if the dietary dietary supplements could interact with your medicines. They can also explain to you if the medicines could interfere with how your body absorbs, utilizes, or breaks down niacin and other vitamins and minerals.

Niacin and healthful having

People today should really get most of their vitamins and minerals from food and drinks, according to the federal government’s Dietary Rules for Individuals. Meals have vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other parts that reward overall health. In some situations, fortified foodstuff and dietary dietary supplements are helpful when it is not probable to meet requires for 1 or more vitamins and minerals (e.g., for the duration of unique life phases such as pregnancy). For more information and facts about building a wholesome dietary pattern, see the Dietary Rules for Individualsexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Office of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

Exactly where can I find out more about niacin?

  • For normal information and facts on niacin:
  • For more information and facts on food sources of niacin:
  • For more guidance on choosing dietary dietary supplements:
  • For information and facts about building a wholesome dietary pattern:


This actuality sheet by the Workplace of Dietary Supplements (ODS) provides information and facts that should really not acquire the put of medical guidance. We stimulate you to communicate to your healthcare vendors (health practitioner, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, thoughts about, or use of dietary dietary supplements and what could be ideal for your over-all overall health. Any mention in this publication of a unique product or company, or recommendation from an firm or qualified society, does not characterize an endorsement by ODS of that product, company, or skilled guidance.

Up to date: March 22, 2021 History of variations to this actuality sheet