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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Daily Menu >>  Vitamin B3 or Niacin


Niacin is soluble in water. It is one of the most stable vitamins and is resistant to heat. But alcohol, food processing, sleeping pills and sulphur drugs can destroy it. It is stored in all the tissues, after being absorbed from both the intestines and stomach. It is excreted in the urine.

Functions in the Body 

For proper blood circulation and the healthy functioning of the nervous system, niacin is very essential.

It helps to maintain healthy skin. For the synthesis of sex hormones this vitamin is a must. It maintains normal functions of the gastro-intestinal tract and is essential is for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins. Niacin dilates the blood vessels and increases the flow of blood.



Green vegetables like beet greens, leaves of carrots, celery and colocasia; vegetarian sources like almonds, chilgozas, groundnuts, rice, rice bran, sunflower seeds; Fish and meat are better sources of Niacin. Cows milk, lean meat, pork, prawns and sheep liver are other good sources of niacin.
(RDA – Men-17mg, Women- 13mg, Children – 15mg, Infants – 650mcg/kg body weight)

Deficiency Symptoms

Anemia, chronic headache, diarrhea, digestive disorders, forgetfulness, irritability, sleeplessness, nervousness, sores in the mouth and coated tongue are the result of mild deficiency of Niacin. Prolonged severe deficiency may cause depression, disorientation, mental disturbances and dullness and weakness of the nerves.

Healing and Therapeutic Properties

Large doses of niacin when taken with other B group vitamins provide immense relief from headache, high B.P., migraine and pellagra caused by high blood cholesterol, nervousness, arteriosclerosis and diarrhea.

1. Pellagra – Niacin helps to prevent and cure pellagra. Loss of appetite and weight, followed by general weakness, are early symptoms of pellagra, which can be relieved quickly.
2. Diarrhea – The administration of niacin in therapeutic doses along with other B vitamins can cure this.
3. High B.P. – Niacin is used to dilate blood vessels and to correct blood pressure changes. High Blood Pressure caused by nervousness can be effectively prevented and relieved.
4. High Blood Cholesterol – Continuous administration of niacin daily in the recommended dosage can reduce high blood cholesterol remarkably.
5. Heart related Disorders – Blood clots caused by blockage of the blood vessels in the brain can be treated by niacin, and it provides relief in angina pectoris.
6. Migraine – Large doses of niacin can provide immense relief to persons suffering from High B.P. and migraine.


Histamine is released when large doses of niacin are taken over a long period. This leads to gastro-intestinal disturbances, severe flushing and severe skin itching.

Submitted on January 16, 2014