Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide
Vitamin B3 plays an important role in the energy supply of cells and in the functioning of the nervous system. It is also important for a healthy skin. This vitamin is good for blood circulation and stimulates healthy cholesterol levels. Vitamin B3 is part of the vitamin B complex.
Vitamin B3 is found in meat, fish, cereals, potatoes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Peanuts are high in vitamin B3. The body can create vitamin B3 partly by itself from the amino acid tryptophan (building block of proteins).
The chance of shortage in Western society is very small. The diet includes a large amount of vitamin B3 there. In some parts of the world, where maize is the main food, a shortage can more easily occur. This may lead to pellagra, a disease accompanied by skin disorders, diarrhea and dementia.
An overdose of vitamin B3 doesn’t easily occur, but people should be careful with supplements that contain lots of vitamin B3. These may lead to blood vessel dilation in the skin (hot flushes). A very high dose of vitamin B3 can cause damage to the liver and the eyes.