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What Is Niacin?

Niacin is one of the water-soluble B vitamins, also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid. It’s an essential nutrient. Niacin deficiency is rare in developed countries, and it is more typically associated with poverty and malnutrition.

Deficiency of niacin causes severe health problems, characterized by four Ds: depression, diarrhea, delirium, and dementia.

Niacin Is Essential

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble B vitamin that has multiple necessary biologic effects, particularly energy metabolism. (source 🗗)

Niacin is a coenzyme that is responsible for energy release from carbohydrates. (source 🗗)

Niacin possesses many health benefits, like its impact on decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you are interested, you can find them in Niacin: 9 Research-Backed Benefits & One Side-Effect .

Niacin In Foods

Protein foods, such as eggs, fish, meat, dairy milk, and poultry, are naturally rich in niacin. They are also plentiful in the amino acid tryptophan, which can be synthesized into niacin by the liver. (source 🗗)

Plant-based foods, such as nuts, legumes, and grains, also provide niacin. But they are not as bioavailable as protein-rich foods. (source 🗗)

If you are interested in a list of foods where you can find this nutrient. Go to our nutrition tool and check out niacin.

Toxicity OfNiacin

In large doses, niacin has been known to be toxic. It can lead to fatigue and even liver damage. Caution should therefore be used if one is taking niacin or B-complex supplements. (source 🗗)

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Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator


I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family. Nutrition is my passion. I have spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies. Nutrition is the foundation you build a healthy and fulfilling life upon!