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What Is Niacin & What Foods Can I Find It In?

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3D-model of Niacin (src)

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 .

Toxicity Of Niacin

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 )

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 )

Foods You Can Find Niacin In

You find Niacin mostly in spices and herbs, vegetables, breakfast cereal, and beverages.

Examples of food sources include

  • Yeast Extract Spread
  • Enriched Wheat Bran Flakes
  • Fruit-Flavored Drink
  • Kellogg's Product 19
  • General Mills Total

Foods That Contain Niacin In Our Nutrition Tool

You can find regularly updated top ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Niacin we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top ranked list of foods that contain Niacin.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator


Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.