Vitamin B3 Benefits, Applications, and Food Sources

vitamin b3 benefits
Vitamin B3 Benefits, Applications, and Food Sources

Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an essential B complex vitamin that participates in various crucial metabolic processes in the body.

For example, it aids in the digestion of the food we ingest in order to provide energy. Furthermore, vitamin B3 regulates blood pressure and cholesterol, aids in the maintenance of healthy skin and brain, and so much more.

Niacin (vitamin B3) is found in a variety of foods. It is produced by animals and plants from the amino acid tryptophan. As a result, you can safely consume it on a daily basis. It is also good to patients who have diabetes, kidney disease, or cardiac difficulties.

Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause skin rashes, rough skin, enlarged mouth, and other flu-like symptoms. Non-vegetarian meals and fortified grains are often high in vitamin B3, which can help prevent deficiency.

Vitamin B3 complex is made up of three types of vitamin B3: nicotinic acid or niacin, nicotinamide riboside, and nicotinamide.

In the past, niacin was known as the “pellagra preventive factor.” It was because of its capacity to avoid pellagra and the four D’s that came with it: dementia, dermatitis, diarrhoea, and, in severe cases, death.

Vitamin B3 may be able to heal pellagra, according to later research. It is now possible to produce medications for high cholesterol since they have lipid-lowering effects.

Vitamin B3 Health Advantages

Lowering of Cholesterol

As we all know, dietary preferences change dramatically over time. Though it may appear to be innocuous at first, eating foods high in fats and oils can lead to elevated cholesterol levels in the long run. Furthermore, with age, it may lead to cardiac disorders such as artery blockage and stroke.

Vitamin B3 is well-known for its ability to decrease cholesterol or lipids. Niacin doses have been found in studies to generate a considerable reduction in bad cholesterol and a rise in good cholesterol in the body.

It accomplishes this by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. As a result, niacin may lower the risk of heart problems such atherosclerosis, stroke, and cardiac failure.

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It lowers the risk of diabetes.

Diabetes is a common condition caused by a sedentary lifestyle. It happens as a result of decreased insulin synthesis or injury or loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

If insulin levels are not properly managed, it can lead to a variety of additional disorders such as retinopathy, nephropathy, impaired wound healing, and so on.

Nicotinamide, a kind of vitamin B3, has been shown in studies to lessen the requirement for high insulin dosages in children with type 1 diabetes. It may also postpone the onset of type 1 diabetes.


Antioxidant Action

Every day, our bodies are subjected to a great deal of metabolic and physical stress. These daily pressures might lead the body to produce free radicals.

When there are too many free radicals in our bodies, they can harm our cells and organs. Oxidative damage can be damaging and lead to a variety of ailments.

The primary cause of liver disease is oxidative stress. Increased free radical levels can harm the liver. It has the potential to cause aberrant liver shape and function.

According to research, niacin may help prevent free radical-induced liver cell damage. It also aids in the absorption of zinc in the body.

It safeguards the brain and nerves.

Vitamin B3 aids in the utilisation of poor nutrients and ensures enough energy supply to the nerves and brain. Its shortage can cause nerve damage and lead to neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Several studies have revealed that nicotinamide may be effective in avoiding nerve and brain damage. This is because enough niacin consumption may aid in the smooth operation of the body’s metabolic systems.

Another type of vitamin B3, nicotinamide, has also been found in studies to lower anxiety and sadness.

Enhances the health of the skin and hair

Our skin is exposed to a variety of environmental variables, including dust and sunshine. Sun exposure and smoking can both harm our skin. Long-term exposure can cause skin elasticity loss, which can contribute to wrinkles and skin ageing.

Vitamin B3 or niacinamide may help to keep our skin moist and enhance collagen formation. According to research, using niacinamide to the skin can help reduce acne-related inflammation, enhance skin pigmentation, complexion, and diminish wrinkles.

It may help regulate our skin’s oiliness and minimise dryness, thereby minimising the size of our pores. Overall, vitamin B3 may help to slow the ageing process of the skin.

It also aids in the formation of keratin, which benefits hair health.

Helps to prevent bone diseases

Osteoarthritis is a bone disease caused by the wear and tear of the cartilage between the bone joints. Direct contact and bone rubbing may occur if this cartilage is injured.

According to one study, niacinamide may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, this form of vitamin B3 may increase bone joint flexibility and minimise inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory Action

Inflammation is our immune system’s reaction to invading invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Inflammation can cause swelling, redness, weariness, chills, fever, loss of appetite, and other symptoms. When inflammation persists for an extended period of time, it has the potential to destroy our organs and tissues.

According to research, nicotinamide may be advantageous in the later stages of pregnancy. It may lower the immune system’s inflammatory reaction in the mother’s body, assisting in the management of premature births.

Anticancer Activity

Cancer is typically caused by an unregulated growth of cells in the body. It can happen for a variety of reasons, including smoking, sun exposure, genetic factors, and so on. It can develop in a variety of tissues and organs and is extremely difficult to treat and cure.

According to research, niacinamide may have anticancer properties. It may, for example, minimise the risk of skin cancer by limiting unregulated cell development.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, is caused by increased blood pressure used to pump blood. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diabetes, obesity, poor eating habits, stress, and a variety of other variables can all contribute to high blood pressure.

The most common cause of hypertension, however, is artery constriction caused by high cholesterol levels in the body. In severe circumstances, it might result in a stroke or cardiac failure.

According to research, niacinamide lowers blood pressure in hypertensive persons. Furthermore, Niacinamide may dilate the arteries, making it easier for the heart to pump blood. As a result of its vasodilatory effect, it lowers the risk of stroke.


Helps to Reduce Birth Defects

There is a greater chance of developing difficulties during pregnancy due to underlying illnesses and deficits. These can have a negative impact on both the mother and the child’s health. Vitamin B3 can help prevent many of these issues in pregnant women.

According to research, niacinamide may play an important role in preventing and treating miscarriage, premature birth, high blood pressure, protein loss, and decreased foetal growth.

Vitamin B3 Applications

Food Enrichment

Niacin has been used for millennia in various nations to fortify foods in order to lessen the frequency of pellagra.

Pellagra causes lack of appetite, weakness, weariness, dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhoea, and in severe cases, it can be fatal.

Food fortification with niacin has made it easier to provide adequate amounts of the nutrient to a bigger population.

Food Supplement

Niacin pills may aid in the treatment of vitamin B3 insufficiency. It also treats other health issues such as high lipid or cholesterol levels.

However, it is critical to see a medical health professional and adhere to the recommended dosage. Excessive consumption may be hazardous to one’s health.

Lipid-lowering medication

It is used alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering medications such as statins.

Niacin works by lowering cholesterol production in the body. As a result, it lowers bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.

Skin Care Items

Most of the skincare products we use contain niacin. This is due to the fact that it has been demonstrated to have numerous skin-beneficial properties, such as lowering pore size, managing oil production, delaying skin ageing, and minimising wrinkles.

Dietary Allowance Recommendation

It would be beneficial if you took Vitamin B3 in accordance with the RDA. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, might result in negative health effects, and insufficient consumption can result in deficiency.

Vitamin B3 Food Sources

Chicken Liver

It is high in protein, vitamin B3, vitamin A, iron, folate, and many other nutrients that our bodies require. According to one study, consuming chicken liver on a regular basis can lessen the incidence of anaemia.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, 100g of chicken liver contains:

  • 119 kilocalories
  • Protein: 16.9 g Carbohydrates: 0.7 g Fat: 4.8 g
  • 8.99 mg iron
  • 9.73 mg niacin


Tuna is a high-protein, low-fat food. Furthermore, it includes adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, B complex vitamins, iron, and other minerals.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, 100g of tuna contains:

  • 109 kilocalories
  • 0.08g carbohydrate
  • 24.4 g protein, 0.9 g fat
  • 0.77 mg iron
  • 18.5mg niacin

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a delicious and creamy dip for toast and apples. Many of us rely on it as a protein source. They also contain a lot of niacin and zinc. However, because it is high in calories and fat, it is best consumed in moderation.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, 100g of peanut butter contains:

  • 597 kilocalories
  • 22.3 g carbohydrate, 22.5 g protein, 51.1 g fat
  • 1.7 mg iron
  • Niacin: 13.3 milligrammes

Brown Rice

Brown rice contains a variety of critical nutrients such as iron, selenium, calcium, and others. They are high in fibre and hence help in weight loss.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, 100g of brown rice contains:

  • 365 kilocalories
  • Protein: 7.1 g Carbohydrates: 75.5 g Fat: 3.8 g
  • 1.29 mg iron
  • 6.49 mg niacin


Mushrooms are high in iron, selenium, and B complex vitamins. They make an excellent low-calorie starter or side dish and have numerous health benefits, including cholesterol and blood pressure reduction.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, 100g of mushrooms contains:

  • 41 kilocalories
  • 6.9 g Carbohydrates, 2.9 g Protein, 0.19 g Fat
  • 0.7 mg iron
  • 5.7 mg niacin

The Effects of Vitamin B3 Deficiency


Inadequate consumption of vitamin B3-rich foods might result in vitamin B3 insufficiency. Pellagra is the medical term for this illness. This illness most usually affects adults above the age of 19. People suffering from pellagra may be prescribed niacin supplements by a medical expert.

Symptoms could include:

  • The tongue is red.
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Dermatitis\sDepression

If left untreated, it can deteriorate and even result in death.


Only ingest niacin in amounts that are less than the tolerated upper limits. Excessive consumption can be hazardous to one’s health.

The Peptic Ulcer

Niacin treatment may aggravate your peptic ulcer illness. As a result, persons with present or chronic gastrointestinal difficulties should use niacin with caution.

Toxicity of the Liver

The most serious side effect of niacin is hepatotoxicity. Furthermore, research indicates that hepatic enzyme levels can rise to double the upper limit of the normal range. As a result, you should utilise niacin pills with caution.


Insulin resistance develops as a result of decreased glucose tolerance. Following niacin intake, diabetics may experience hyperglycemia.

Unusual Heartbeat

Niacin supplementation may produce palpitations. As a result, those with heart disorders, such as arrhythmias, should be cautious.

Distorted Vision

Niacin supplementation may produce hazy vision in certain people. Furthermore, fluid collection within the eyes can occur in rare circumstances.

Elevated Uric Acid Levels

People who have a history of gout should exercise caution while commencing a niacin supplement. Niacin pills have been shown to raise uric acid levels in the body. As a result, it may aggravate the situation.

Toxicity and Potential Side Effects

While niacin is required for the normal functioning of our bodies’ metabolic functions, too much of it can have dangerous negative effects. The maximum daily dose of niacin is 30-35 mg.

There is a risk of bad health repercussions if one consumes more than the upper limit. Tissues and organs can be harmed by niacin poisoning. According to research, it can cause hypotension, multiple organ failure, hepatotoxicity, and a variety of other side effects.


  • Arm, chest, and neck skin flushing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Itching

Although no negative interactions have been discovered between vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 supplements, it is always best to consult with a medical health practitioner before beginning a new supplement.


Vitamin B3, often known as niacin, provides numerous health benefits for humans. They are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cholesterol-lowering. It also promotes brain health and protects against bone deformities and congenital impairments.

It is commonly found in my cosmetic goods, which we use to improve the texture and tone of our skin. It is, nevertheless, critical to consume it within the prescribed daily limits.

Excessive niacin use might cause negative effects and even death. Before using a niacin supplement, it is best to visit a medical health specialist if you are deficient in vitamin B3.

Also Read

  1. Folic Acid Benefits, Applications, Side Effects, and More
  2. Fish Oil Benefits, Types, and Precautions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the function of vitamin B3?

A. Vitamin B3 is useful for a variety of medicinal and aesthetic objectives. It aids in the maintenance of youthful and healthy skin.

Furthermore, vitamin B3 consumption aids in the prevention and treatment of a variety of ailments such as cancer, osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and others. It is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in nature.

Can you take vitamin B3 on a daily basis?

A. Yes, dietary forms of vitamin B3 can be consumed on a daily basis. However, if you require niacin supplements, it is best to follow the prescription and dose instructions provided by your medical healthcare professional.

What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin B3 deficiency?

A. Vitamin B3 is essential for metabolism and the creation of energy from meals. A lack of niacin can cause symptoms such as a red tongue, rashes, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and so on. Pellagra is caused by a niacin deficiency. It is distinguished by the 4Ds: dermatitis, dementia, diarrhoea, and, in severe cases, death.

Can vitamin B3 brighten the skin?

A. Vitamin B3, which is contained in many cosmetics, has been shown to improve skin pigmentation and texture. Consult your dermatologist to determine which products are best for your skin.

Is Vitamin B3 beneficial for anxiety?

A. Yes, vitamin B3 can help prevent and treat anxiety and sadness. Tryptophan is a kind of amino acid. Niacin is synthesised from tryptophan. Tryptophan regulates serotonin secretion, a hormone that regulates emotions.

Can Vitamins B3 and B12 be taken together?

A. No, there are no negative interactions between vitamin B3 and B12. However, before beginning a multi-supplement regimen, consult with your doctor and a dietician.

What are some foods high in vitamin B3?

A. Some of the best sources of vitamin B3 are brown rice, peanut butter, chicken liver, mushrooms, tuna, and salmon.

Is Vitamin B3 beneficial for high blood pressure?

A. Yes, niacin is well-known for its cholesterol-lowering effects. It also contributes in the regulation of blood pressure. It keeps lipids from blocking arteries and helps to expand arteries for easier blood flow.

Is Vitamin B3 healthy for your hair?

A. Yes, vitamin B3 is beneficial to both the skin and the hair. Niacin aids in the synthesis of collagen and keratin. Both of these are essential for having healthy hair.

Is vitamin B3 harmful to your heart?

A. No, niacin has a variety of heart-health benefits. It lowers cholesterol and protects against diseases such as atherosclerosis and stroke. Furthermore, it aids in the dilation of arteries, reducing high blood pressure.

Does vitamin B3 have an effect on sleep?

A. Tryptophan is the source of vitamin B3. It is a neurotransmitter that regulates the melatonin sleep hormone. However, there is insufficient data to support niacin’s direct effect on sleep.

Is vitamin B3 safe to use during pregnancy?

A. Yes, dietary forms of vitamin B3 are completely safe to consume throughout pregnancy. However, if you have a niacin shortage, you should seek the advice of a medical healthcare specialist. Consume no more than the amounts specified.

What are the risks of taking too much vitamin B3?

A. An excessive intake of vitamin B3 may result in toxicity. Furthermore, it may produce symptoms such as itching, skin flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and so on.

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