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Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Interesting facts about vitamin B3 (niacin):

  • Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin
    Vitamin B3 (niacin) is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is easily absorbed in the body (as most of the body is made of water and so are most of the foods eaten), but some of it may be lost in cooking.
  • Vitamin B3 comes in two forms
    Vitamin B3 (niacin) comes in two forms - niacin (or nicotinic acid) and niacinamide.
  • Vitamin B3 can be made in the body by tryptophan
    The body can create niacinamide from the amino acid tryptophan, but the body's conversion is only a small part of the vitamin B3 the body uses. Niacin is also converted into niacinamide through normal metabolism.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) acts as an antioxidant when it is releasing energy from the cells
  • Vitamin B3 acts as an antioxidant, where required
    Vitamin B3 (niacin) acts as an antioxidant when it is releasing energy from the cells, by removing the free radicals that may be created and ensuring the cells are healthy and functioning correctly without damage.
  • Vitamin B3 works closely with vitamin B2 and vitamin B6
    Vitamin B3 (niacin) works very closely with two B vitamins - vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - to ensure the good health of the digestive and nervous systems as well as the skin.
  • Vitamin B3 is heat-resistant
    Vitamin B3 (niacin) is one of the heat-resistant vitamins, which means it does not get destroyed when food is cooked, but since it is a water-soluble vitamin, it does dissolve in water, so when foods rich in vitamin B3 (niacin) are cooked, the water should not be thrown away.

References

  1. Brown BG, Zhao XQ, Chalt A, et al. Simvastatin and niacin, antioxidant vitamins, or the combination for the prevention of coronary disease. N Engl J Med. 2001;345(22):1583-1592
  2. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Pantothenic acid. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1998:357-373
  3. Griffith HW. Minerals, Supplements and Vitamins - The Essential Guide. 2000 Fisher Books, USA
  4. Jonas WB, Rapoza CP, Blair WF. The effect of niacinamide on osteoarthritis: A pilot study. Inflammation Research 1996; Vol 5(7); 330-334
  5. Lieberman S, Bruning N. The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book - Using Supplements for Optimal Health. 3rd Edition. Avery Publishing, New York, 2003
  6. Mills E, et al. The safety of over-the-counter niacin. A randomized placebo-controlled trial. BMC Clinical Pharmacology 2003, 3:4
  7. Osiecki, Henry, The Nutrient Bible 2002, BioConcepts Publishing

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