Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 (niocin or the outdated name PP) is water-soluble and easily absorbed in the body.

Niacin comes in two forms, niacin and niacin. For the first time nicotinic acid was obtained in 1867 as a derivative of nicotine, but then no one revealed the importance of this substance for the body. It was only in 1937 that the biological significance of niacin was established.

In animal products, niacin is found in the form of nicotinamide, and in plant products, it is in the form of nicotinic acid.

Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are very similar in their effect on the body. For nicotinic acid, a more pronounced vasodilator effect is characteristic.

Niacin can be formed in the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan. It is believed that 60 mg of niacin is synthesized from 1 mg of tryptophan. In this regard, a person’s daily need is expressed in niacin equivalents (NE). Thus, 1 niacin equivalent corresponds to 1 mg of niacin or 60 mg of tryptophan.

Vitamin B3 rich foods

Indicated approximate availability in 100 g of product

Daily requirement of vitamin B3

The daily requirement for vitamin B3 is: for men – 16-28 mg, for women – 14-20 mg.

The need for vitamin B3 increases with:

  • heavy physical exertion;
  • intense neuropsychic activity (pilots, dispatchers, telephone operators);
  • in the Far North;
  • work in hot climates or in hot workshops;
  • pregnancy and lactation;
  • low-protein diet and the predominance of plant proteins over animals (vegetarianism, fasting).

Useful properties and its effect on the body

Vitamin B3 is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats, for protein metabolism. It is part of the enzymes that provide cellular respiration. Niacin normalizes the stomach and pancreas.

Nicotinic acid has a beneficial effect on the nervous and cardiovascular systems; maintains healthy skin, intestinal mucosa and oral cavity; participates in the maintenance of normal vision, improves blood supply and reduces high blood pressure.

Scientists believe that niacin prevents normal cells from becoming cancerous.

Lack and excess of vitamin

Signs of Vitamin B3 Deficiency

  • lethargy, apathy, fatigue;
  • dizziness, headache;
  • irritability
  • insomnia;
  • decreased appetite, weight loss;
  • pallor and dryness of the skin;
  • palpitation;
  • constipation;
  • decrease in the body’s resistance to infections.

With prolonged vitamin B3 deficiency, pellagra disease can develop. Early symptoms of pellagra are:

  • diarrhea (stool 3-5 times or more a day, watery without blood and mucus);
  • loss of appetite, heaviness in the stomach;
  • heartburn, belching;
  • burning mouth, drooling;
  • redness of the mucous membrane;
  • swelling of the lips and the appearance of cracks on them;
  • the papillae of the tongue protrude as red dots, and then smooth out;
  • deep cracks are possible in the tongue;
  • red spots appear on the hands, face, neck, elbows;
  • swollen skin (it hurts, itches and blisters appear on it);
  • severe weakness, tinnitus, headaches;
  • sensations of numbness and creeping;
  • shaky gait;
  • arterial pressure.

Signs of an excess of Vitamin B3

  • skin rash;
  • itching;
  • fainting.

Factors affecting the content of Vitamin B3 in foods

Niacin is quite stable in the external environment – it can withstand long-term storage, freezing, drying, exposure to sunlight, alkaline and acidic solutions. But with conventional heat treatment (cooking, frying), the niacin content in products is reduced by 5-40%.

Why Vitamin B3 Deficiency Occurs

With a balanced diet, the need for vitamin PP is fully satisfied.

Vitamin PP can be present in foods in both readily available and tightly bound form. For example, in cereals, niacin is just in such a difficult-to-obtain form, which is why vitamin PP is poorly absorbed from cereals. An important case is corn, in which this vitamin is in a particularly unfortunate combination.

Elderly people may not have enough vitamin PP even with sufficient dietary intake. their assimilation is disturbed.

Read also about other vitamins:

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