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Niacin – Consumer

This is a reader-welcoming overview of Niacin. For a lot more facts, see our overall health specialist simple fact sheet on Niacin.

What is niacin and what does it do?

Niacin (also called vitamin B3) allows transform the meals you try to eat into the electricity you need. Niacin is crucial for the enhancement and perform of the cells in your system.

How a lot niacin do I need?

The amount of money of niacin you need relies upon on your age and sexual intercourse. Regular every day advisable amounts are stated under in milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalents (NE) (apart from for infants in their 1st six months).

The mg NE measure is employed because your system can also make niacin from tryptophan, an amino acid in proteins. For case in point, when you try to eat turkey, which is high in tryptophan, some of this amino acid is converted to niacin in your liver. Utilizing mg NE accounts for the two the niacin you take in and the niacin your system makes from tryptophan. Infants in their 1st six months do not make a lot niacin from tryptophan.

Lifetime Phase Advised Total
Delivery to six months two mg
Infants 7–12 months four mg NE
Youngsters 1–3 years six mg NE
Youngsters 4–8 years 8 mg NE
Youngsters 9–13 years twelve mg NE
Teen boys 14–18 years sixteen mg NE
Teen women 14–18 years fourteen mg NE
Grownup males 19+ years sixteen mg NE
Grownup ladies 19+ years fourteen mg NE
Pregnant teenagers and ladies 18 mg NE
Breastfeeding teenagers and ladies seventeen mg NE

What meals supply niacin?

Niacin is found naturally in lots of meals, and is additional to some meals. You can get advisable amounts of niacin by taking in a wide range of meals, such as the subsequent:

  • Animal meals, these as poultry, beef, pork, and fish
  • Some varieties of nuts, legumes, and grains
  • Enriched and fortified meals, these as lots of breads and cereals

What forms of niacin nutritional supplements are readily available?

Niacin is found in multivitamin/multimineral supplements. It is also readily available in B-advanced nutritional supplements and supplements that contains only niacin. The two principal types of niacin in nutritional supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Niacin (in the variety of nicotinic acid) is also readily available as a prescription drugs employed to treat high blood cholesterol amounts.

Am I having ample niacin?

Most persons in the United States get ample niacin from the meals they try to eat. Niacin deficiency is really uncommon in the United States. Even so, some persons are a lot more possible than other people to have problems having ample niacin:

What comes about if I don’t get ample niacin?

You can acquire niacin deficiency if you never get ample niacin or tryptophan from the meals you try to eat. Intense niacin deficiency qualified prospects to a ailment called pellagra. Pellagra, which is uncommon in developed nations around the world, can have these effects:

  • Tough pores and skin that turns crimson or brown in the solar
  • A bright crimson tongue
  • Vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Despair
  • Head aches
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Aggressive, paranoid, or suicidal habits
  • Hallucinations, apathy, loss of memory

In its final stages, pellagra qualified prospects to loss of appetite followed by loss of life.

What are some effects of niacin on overall health?

Experts are researching niacin to superior have an understanding of how it influences overall health. Here is an case in point of what this research has revealed.

Cardiovascular ailment
Experts have researched the use of substantial doses of niacin in the variety of nicotinic acid to aid lower the possibility of coronary heart assault and stroke in persons with atherosclerosis. They found that prescription-energy nicotinic acid (a lot more than 100 instances the advisable nutritional allowance) can reduce blood amounts of LDL (undesirable) cholesterol, raise amounts of HDL (excellent) cholesterol, and reduce amounts of triglycerides. But these favorable effects on blood lipids (fat) don’t have an impact on the possibility of having a cardiovascular event, these as coronary heart assault, unexpected cardiac loss of life, or stroke. In addition, industry experts do not suggest high doses of nicotinic acid for persons getting a statin treatment.

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

Can niacin be unsafe?

The niacin that meals and beverages naturally comprise is risk-free. Even so, nutritional supplements with 30 mg or a lot more of nicotinic acid can make the pores and skin on your encounter, arms, and upper body transform crimson and burn up, tingle, and itch. These signs and symptoms can also direct to complications, rashes, and dizziness.

If you acquire nicotinic acid as a treatment in doses of one,000 or a lot more mg/day, it can bring about a lot more critical aspect effects. These contain:

  • Lower blood stress (which can improve the possibility of falls)
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Significant blood sugar amounts
  • Nausea, heartburn, and stomach soreness
  • Blurred or impaired eyesight and fluid buildup in the eyes

Long-time period procedure, specifically with prolonged-launch types of nicotinic acid, can bring about liver troubles, such as hepatitis and liver failure.

Niacin in the variety of nicotinamide has fewer aspect effects than nicotinic acid. Even so, at high doses of five hundred mg/day or a lot more, nicotinamide can bring about diarrhea, easy bruising, and can improve bleeding from wounds. Even higher doses of three,000 mg/day or a lot more can bring about nausea, vomiting, and liver harm.

The every day higher restrictions for niacin from nutritional supplements are stated under.

Ages Higher Restrict
Delivery to twelve months Not recognized
Youngsters 1–3 years ten mg
Youngsters 4–8 years fifteen mg
Youngsters 9–13 years 20 mg
Teens 14–18 years 30 mg
Older people 19+ years 35 mg


Does niacin interact with medicines or other nutritional supplements?

Niacin nutritional supplements can interact or interfere with sure medications that you acquire, and some medications can reduce niacin amounts in your system. Here are some illustrations:

  • Tuberculosis medications (these as isoniazid and pyrazinamide) interfere with the body’s potential to convert tryptophan to niacin. This interference can reduce niacin amounts in your system.
  • Significant doses of nicotinic acid (one,five hundred mg/day or a lot more) can raise blood sugar amounts and interfere with the effectiveness of diabetes medicines. These doses can even raise blood sugar amounts in persons who don’t have diabetes.

Inform your health care provider, pharmacist, and other health care vendors about any nutritional supplements and prescription or more than-the-counter medications you acquire. They can tell you if the nutritional supplements may well interact with your medications. They can also tell you if the medications may well interfere with how your system absorbs, works by using, or breaks down niacin and other nutrition.

Niacin and healthful taking in

Individuals ought to get most of their nutrition from meals and beverages, in accordance to the federal government’s Nutritional Suggestions for Us citizens. Food items comprise natural vitamins, minerals, nutritional fiber, and other components that benefit overall health. In some circumstances, fortified meals and nutritional supplements are valuable when it is not possible to fulfill requires for a single or a lot more nutrition (e.g., throughout specific lifetime stages these as being pregnant). For a lot more information about making a nutritious nutritional sample, see the Nutritional Suggestions for Us citizensexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Section of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

In which can I obtain out a lot more about niacin?

  • For normal information on niacin:
  • For a lot more information on meals resources of niacin:
  • For a lot more assistance on selecting nutritional supplements:
  • For information about making a nutritious nutritional sample:


This simple fact sheet by the Business office of Nutritional Supplements (ODS) offers information that ought to not acquire the position of clinical assistance. We really encourage you to chat to your health care vendors (health care provider, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your fascination in, queries about, or use of nutritional supplements and what may be greatest for your general overall health. Any mention in this publication of a specific solution or assistance, or advice from an organization or specialist modern society, does not represent an endorsement by ODS of that solution, assistance, or skilled assistance.

Updated: March 22, 2021 Heritage of adjustments to this simple fact sheet