Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin and Nicotinic Acid, is very necessary for energy production in the body. Get information on the health benefits, sources, functions and deficiency of Vitamin B3.

Vitamin B3 Benefits

Vitamin B3 is classified under the category of water-soluble vitamins. It is also known by the name of Niacin as well as Nicotinic Acid. Vitamin B3 plays a very important role in the energy production in the body and is also necessary for maintaining the health of the digestive as well as nervous system. In the following lines, we have provided information on the health benefits, sources, functions and deficiency of Vitamin B3.
  • It helps maintain healthy skin and also ensures proper circulation of blood.
  • Studies have revealed that it can help lower high blood pressure.
  • It boosts the level of HDL, the 'good' cholesterol, in the body.
  • It regulates energy levels in the body, by making enzymes that turn carbohydrates into energy.
  • It controls the level of glucose in the blood.
  • It aids normal functioning of nerves and brain.
  • It promotes a normal appetite and helps in the formation of red blood cells.
  • It has been found useful in the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
  • It serves as a memory booster.
  • It is believed to have a soothing effect on patients suffering from arthritis.
Recommended Daily Intake
Age Group
Male (mg NE/day)
Female (mg NE/day)
0-6 months 
2 (AI) 
2 (AI)
7-12 months 
4 (AI) 
4 (AI)
1-3 years 
4-8 years 
9-13 years   
14-18 years
19 years and above
  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • Peanuts
  • Yeast
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Green vegetables
  • Cereal grains
  • Prawns
  • Rice bran
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Groundnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Chilgozas
  • Leaves of carrots, colocasia and celery 
  • Used for converting calories from proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy
  • Aids the functioning of digestive system and promotes a normal appetite
  • Regulates glucose and hydrochloric acid
  • Necessary for proper blood circulation in the body
  • Helps healthy functioning of the nervous system
  • Dilates the blood capillary system
  • Essential for synthesis of sex hormones, namely oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone
  • Maintains mental and emotional well-being 
The following symptoms will be seen in case of deficiency of Vitamin B3. 
  • Anemia
  • Canker sores
  • Chronic headaches
  • Coated tongue
  • Dementia
  • Depression, from severe deficiency
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Headaches
  • Inability to eat
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Muscular weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Neurasthenia, from severe deficiency
  • Pain in the extremities
  • Pellagra, from severe deficiency
  • Reduced appetite
  • Skin eruptions and inflammation
  • Skin lesions

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