Vitamin B-3 or Niacin or Niacinamide: Best Food Sources – Sesame seeds, eggs, sunflower seeds, and oat straw.
Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin whose derivatives such as NADH, NAD, NAD+, and NADP play essential roles in energy metabolism in the living cell and DNA repair. The designation vitamin B3 also includes the corresponding amide nicotinamide, or niacinamide, whose chemical formula is C6H6N2O.
Niacin is an organic compound with the formula C 6H 5NO 2 and depending on the definition used, one of the 20 to 80 essential human nutrients. This colorless, water-soluble solid is a derivative of pyridine, with a carboxyl group at the 3-position.
Having enough niacin, or vitamin B3, in the body is important for general good health. As a treatment, higher amounts of niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risks.
Why do people take niacin?
As a cholesterol treatment, niacin has strong evidence. Several studies have shown that it can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides as well or better than some prescription drugs. Niacin also modestly lowers bad LDL cholesterol. It’s often prescribed in combination with statins for cholesterol control, such as Crestor, Lescol, or Lipitor.
However, niacin is only effective as a cholesterol treatment at fairly high doses. These doses could pose risks, such as liver damage, gastrointestinal problems, or glucose intolerance. So don’t treat yourself with over-the-counter niacin supplements. Instead, get advice from your health care provider, who can prescribe FDA-approved doses of niacin instead.
Your diet is likely to have the recommended daily amount of B3 if you have multiple daily servings of whole, natural foods across a wide variety of food groups. The World’s Healthiest Foods list contains four excellent sources of niacin—tuna, chicken, turkey, and crimini mushrooms.