Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. Since these vitamins are soluble in water they are dispersed throughout the body dissolved in fluid. They are not stored in the body to any appreciable extent and must be replenished every day. Their influence on the body lasts for 14-18 hours after ingestion after which their potency decreases. An excessive intake of water-soluble vitamins is typically passed out through the urine. If the diet contains less than 50% RDA of water-soluble vitamins, symptoms from deficiencies may be displayed in as little as 4 weeks; much quicker than for fat-soluble vitamins.

All B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, assist and regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. These are essential mechanisms which produce energy for the body. They also contribute to hemoglobin synthesis and red blood cell production which carries oxygen around the body. Furthermore, B complex vitamins help maintain muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, mouth, liver and nervous system.

Niacin plays an important role in removing toxic and harmful chemicals from the body. It also helps the body make various sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands and other parts of the body. Niacin helps to maintain the central nervous system and is also effective in improving circulation and reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. It also helps maintain a healthy skin, tongue and digestive system and prevents pellagra. Pellagra is the name given to the medical condition that results from a lack of niacin and symptoms include weakness, sore mouth and irritability. Niacin requirements can be partially met by eating foods containing protein because the human body is able to convert tryptophan, an amino acid, into niacin.

Niacin RDA


children 1-3 yrs, RDA = 6 mg
children 4-8 yrs, RDA = 8 mg
children 9-13 yrs, RDA = 12 mg
Males 14-70 yrs, RDA = 16 mg
Females 14-70 yrs, RDA = 14 mg
Pregnancy 19-50 yrs, RDA = 18 mg
Lactation 19-50 yrs, RDA = 17 mg

For further information on nutrients RDA see our complete list for recommended dietary allowance.

Good sources of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) are:
chicken, peanuts, pork, sardines, tuna

We have sorted our nutrition database by foods high in niacin so you can easily see how much Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the Vitamin B3 (Niacin) content by food category.

Search for Niacin content in Food

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Niacin in foods - by food category

Baby Food      Baked Products
Beef Products    Breakfast Cereals
Cereal Grains and Pasta    Dairy Products
Drinks    Ethnic Foods
Fast Foods    Fats and Oils
Fish    Fruits
Lamb, Veal, and Game Products    Legumes and Legume Products
Meals, Entrees, and Sidedishes    Nuts
Pork    Poultry Products
Sausages and Luncheon Meats    Snacks
Soups    Spices and Herbs
Sweets    Vegetables
Cakes    Fruit Juices
Soy Products      Sauces
Shellfish      Candy
Spreads      Soda
Dried Fruits      Soups



3D picture of Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Different forms or alternative names for Vitamin B3 (Niacin):
niacin
nicotinic acid
niacinamide
nicotinamide

Importance of Vitamin B3 (Niacin):
key role in metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein
assists production of energy within the body
improves circulation and reduces the cholesterol level in the blood
helps maintain the nervous system
reduces high blood pressure
increases energy through proper utilization of food
prevents pellagra
helps maintain a healthy skin, tongue and digestive system

Deficiency of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) may cause:
pellagra
gastrointestinal disturbance
nervousness
headaches
fatigue
mental depression
vague aches and pains
irritability
loss of appetite
insomnia
skin disorders
muscular weakness
indigestion
bad breath
canker sores




niacin and Nutritional Values - Top 221 Foods

Vegetables

leeks, turnip greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, yams, fennel, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, sweet potato, a potato, carrots, lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, celery, salad, mushrooms, potatoes, baked potato, onions, asparagus, pumpkin, radishes, taro, turnips, okra, rhubarb, sweet corn, cowpeas, seaweed, broadbeans

Fruits

a banana, an apple, an orange, a peach, apricots, butternut squash, lemon, grapes, watermelon, strawberries, green grapes, kiwi, blueberries, zucchini, figs, honeydew, eggplant, dates, olives, a pear, coconut, cranberries, pomegranate, a mango, pineapple, cherries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tangerine, nectarines, raisins, plums, tomatoes, chili peppers, chilis, peppers, avocado, cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, papaya, prunes, fruit salad, persimmons

Seafood

salmon, cod, sardines, shrimp, tuna, fish, tuna salad, halibut, sea bass, scallops, crab, lobster, oysters, herring, haddock, halibut, mackerel, pike, pollock, trout

Drinks

coffee, apple juice, cranberry juice, red wine, skim milk, white wine, wine, milk, beer, alcohol, coke, soy milk, whole milk, prune juice, tea, a shake, coconut milk, orange juice, energy drinks, soft drinks, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lemonade

Nuts and Seeds

chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, chestnuts, coconut meat, ginkgo nuts, mixed nuts, macadamia nuts

Beans and Lentils

soybeans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, lima beans, navy beans, beets, beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans

Meat

beef, steak, deer, bacon, chicken, fried chicken, turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, meatloaf, ham, lamb, sausages, chicken light meat, chicken dark meat, chicken leg, fried chicken, roasted chicken, chicken thigh, chicken wings, duck, goose, pheasant, quail, pigeon, turkey light meat, turkey dark meat, turkey breast, turkey leg, turkey wing, emu, ostrich, frankfurter, pate, pork sausage, salami, bratwurst, pork loin, ground pork, lamb shank, veal, bison, beef liver, beef ribs

Fast Foods

french fries, pizza, a slice of pizza, hot dog, hamburger, a cheeseburger, a big mac

Dairy and Cheese

ricotta, yogurt, cottage cheese, an egg, egg whites, goats cheese, cheddar, cheddar cheese, cheese, hard boiled egg, feta cheese, mozzarella, low fat yogurt

Bread, Rice, Grains and Pasta

rye, millet, flaxseed, barley, buckwheat, whole wheat bread, a bagel, white bread, bread, quinoa, corn, spaghetti, rice, pasta, brown rice, white rice, cooked egg, mexican cheese, fruit yogurt

Spreads, Sauces and Herbs

hummus, mayonnaise, butter, peanut butter, soy sauce, thyme, basil, rosemary, pepper, coriander, dill, parsley, spices, chili sauce

Sweets, Desserts and Snacks

popcorn, chips, nachos, a granola bar, saltine crackers, cheesecake, jello, ice cream, doughnuts, chocolate, puddings, frozen yogurt, a snickers bar, croissants, danish pastry, english muffins, blueberry muffins, pie, pop tarts, coffeecake, crackers, potato chips, rice cakes, tortilla chips, fudge, puddings, syrups, dark chocolate, sundae, pretzels, pop tarts

Breakfast Cereal

granola, cheerios, oatmeal, kelloggs cereals, general mills cereals

Miscellaneous

spirulina, honey, sugar, brown sugar, tofu, olive oil, garlic, tempeh, oats, salad dressing, tomato soup, mushroom soup, chicken soup, vegetable soup, infant formula, cooking oil, shortening, fish oil, soybean oil, soy protein, gravy, raisins, currants, balsam pear, succotash, macaroni, egg noodles, japanese noodles, macaroni and cheese, burrito



Nutrition Facts

calories, fat, carbohydrate, high protein foods, high fiber foods, low carb foods, calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, chloride, potassium, sodium, fluoride, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamins and minerals, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, biotin (vitamin B7), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, vitamin B13, vitamin B15, vitamin B17, vitamin K, folic acid, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, trans fat, saturated fat, recommended daily allowance