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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Vitamin B3: Functions and Sources
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Vitamin B3

Alternate Names : Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide

Vitamin B3 | Functions and Sources

What food source is the nutrient found in?

Good sources of niacin include:

  • enriched and fortified grain products
  • legumes like peas and beans
  • meats, especially organ meats, like liver
  • poultry
  • fish
  • peanut butter
  • Niacin can be made in the body from the amino acid known as tryptophan. Another B vitamin, Vitamin B6, is needed to convert niacin to tryptophan. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. So, protein-rich foods can be good sources of niacin. Examples of these foods are:

  • 3 oz turkey = 4.5 mg of niacin
  • peanut butter 2 Tbsp. = 4 mg of niacin
  • 3 oz tuna = 11.8 mg of niacin
  • 1 cup wheat flour = 7.4 mg of niacin
  • 1 cup cheerios = 5.0 mg of niacin
  • How does the nutrient affect the body?

    Niacin works closely with vitamin B1, B2, B6, pantothenic acid, and biotin to break the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food down into energy. Without niacin, the body would not be able to convert the food we eat into energy. Niacin also helps enzymes function in the body. Enzymes are used by the body in many reactions. Niacin helps keep the skin, digestive tract, and nerves healthy.

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    Vitamin B3: Overview & Description


    Author: Clare Armstrong, MS, RD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/26/02

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