Micro-nutrients: Vitamin B3

description of vitamin B3, functions, sources, deficiency and excess.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 (niacin):

- Sometimes referred to as nicotinic acid.

- water-soluble vitamin.

Sources of vitamin B3:

- found in a wide range of foods: poultry, lean meat, peanuts, pulses, potatoes, milk, eggs, broccoli, carrots, avocados, tomatoes, dates, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.

- Significant amounts of niacin is lost in the milling process to convert grains to flour.

-Niacin can also be made in the body, by the amino acid Tryptophan.

- Foods containing Tryptopahn include eggs, milk and cheese.

Functions of vitamin B3:

- essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to produce energy for body growth.

- maintains a healthy skin.

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- keeps digestive and nervous system functioning correctly.

- essential to production of hormones.

Symptoms of deficiency:

- definiciency is low in developed countries, however in severe conditions conditions PELLAGRA can develop, the symptoms are known the 3 D's:

*Dermatitis - rough red skin.

* Dementia - memory loss


- increased intake is required when pregnant.

Symptoms of excess:

- excessive use can lead to liver damage and peptic ulcers.

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