Niacin Vitamin B

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Niacin exists in two forms, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Both forms are readily absorbed from the stomach and the small intestine. Niacin is stored in small amounts in the liver and transported to tissues, where it is converted to coenzyme forms. Any excess is excreted in urine. Niacin is one of the most stable of the B vitamins. It is resistant to heat and light, and to both acid and alkali environments. The human body is capable of converting the amino acid tryptophan to niacin when needed. However, when both tryptophan and niacin are deficient, tryptophan is used for protein synthesis.

amino acid: building block of proteins, necessary dietary nutrient protein: complex molecule composed of amino acids that performs vital functions in the cell; necessary part of the diet






daily intake




Beri Beri: anorexia, weight loss,

Infants: 0.2 - 0.3 mg

Pork/pork products, beef,

None reported

(Vitamin BJ

weakness, peripheral neuropathy

Children: 0.5 - 0.6 mg

liver, yeast/baked products,

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome:

Adolescents: 0.9 - 1.2 mg

enriched and whole grain

staggered gait, cross eyes,

Men: 1.2 mg

cereals, nuts, and seeds

dementia, disorientation,

Women: 1.1 mg

memory loss


Women: 1.4 mg


Ariboflavinosis: inflammation of

Infants: 0.3 - 0.4 mg

Milk, eggs, mushrooms,

None reported

tongue (glossitis), cracks at

Children: 0.5 - 0.6 mg

whole grains, enriched grains,

corners of mouth (cheilosis),

Adolescents: 0.9 - 1.3 mg

green leafy vegetables, yeast,

dermatitis, growth retardation,

Men: 1.3 mg

liver, and oily fish

conjunctivitis, nerve damage

Women: 1.1 mg

Pregnant Women: 1.4 mg

Lactating Women: 1.6 mg


Pellagra: diarrhea, dematitis,

Infants: 2 - 4 mg NE

Meat, poultry, fish, yeast,

Flushing of skin, itching,

dementia, and death

Children: 6 - 8 mg NE

enriched and whole grain

nausea & vomiting, and

Adolescents: 12 - 16 mg NE

breads and cereals, peanuts,

liver damage occurs at

Men: 16 mg NE

mushrooms, milk, and eggs

intake over 35 mg/day

Women: 14 mg NE


from supplements

Pregnant Women: 18 mg NE

Lactating Women: 17 mg NE

Pantothenic acid


Infants: 1.7 - 1.8 mg

Widely distributed in foods

None reported

(Vitamin B5)

Children: 2 - 3 mg

Adolescents: 4 - 5 mg

Men & Women: 5 mg

Pregnant Women: 6 mg

Lactating Women: 7 mg


Infants: Dermatitis, convulsions,

Infants: 5 - 6 |ig

Whole grains, eggs, nuts

Not known

(Vitamin B8)

hair loss (alopecia), neurological

Children: 8 - 12 |g

and seeds, widely distributed

disorders, impaired growth

Adolescents: 20 - 25 |g

in small amounts

Men & Women: 30 | g

Pregnant Women: 30 | g

Lactating Women: 35 |g

Vitamin B6

Dermatitis, anemia, convulsion,

Infants: 0.1 - 0.3 mg

Meat, fish, poultry, spinach,

None from foods, excess

depression, confusion, decline

Children: 0.5 - 0.6 mg

potatoes, bananas, avocados,

intake above 100 mg/day

in immune function

Adolescents: 1.0 -1.3 mg

sunflower seeds

from supplements causes

Men & Women (19 - 50 years):

neuropathy (nerve

1.3 mg

destruction) and skin

Men over 50 years: 1.4 mg


Women over 50 years: 1.3 mg

Pregnant Women: 1.9 mg

Lactating Women: 1.2 mg


Megaoblastic (macrocytic) anemia,

Infants: 65 - 80 | g

Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals,

None (up to 5 mg/day);

abdominal pain, diarrhea, birth

Children: 150 - 200|g

enriched grain products, green

intake from fortified food


Adolescents: 300 - 400 |g

vegetables, liver, legumes,

and supplements over

Men & Women: 400 |g/day

oranges. The use of fortified foods

1000 |ig/day, not

Pregnant Women: 600 | g

are encouraged for all women of

including food; folate

Lactating Women: 500 |g

child bearing age (15-45 years).

masks vitamin B12

deficiency allowing

progression of neurological

damage. Supplements

containing > 400 |g

available by prescription


There are two coenzyme forms of niacin: nicotinamide adenine dinu-cleotide (NAD+) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phophate (NADP+). They both help break down and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for hormone: molecules produced by one energy. Niacin is essential for growth and is involved in hormone synthesis. set of cells that influence the function of another set of cells Pellagra results from a combined deficiency of niacin and tryptophan.

Long-term deficiency leads to central nervous system dysfunction manifested as confusion, apathy, disorientation, and eventually coma and death.







daily intake



Vitamin B12

Pernicious Anemia: macrocytic

Infants: 0.4 - 0.5 |ig

Meat, fish, poultry, ready-to-eat

None reported

anemia, nervous system

Children: 0.9 - 1.2 |g

fortified breakfast cereals, eggs,

disturbances; paresthesia (tingling

Adolescents: 1.8 |g

fermented dairy products (cheese,

and numbness in limbs), difficulty

Men & Women: 2.4 |g

yogurt, etc).The use of fortified

walking, loss of bowel and bladder

Pregnant Women: 2.6 |g

foods and supplements are recom

control, dementia

Lactating Women: 2.8 |g

mended for adults 51 and over.

Vitamin C

Scurvy: fatigue, poor wound healing,

Infants: 40 - 50 mg

Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli,

Megadoses over 2 g/day

pinpoint hemorrhages around hair

Children: 15 - 25 mg


causes nausea,

follicles on back of arms & legs,

Adolescents: 45 - 75 mg

abdominal cramps, and

bleeding gums & joints

Men: 90 mg


Women: 75 mg

Pregnant Women: 80 - 85 mg

Lactating Women: 115 -120 mg

Smokers: + 35 mg

Pellagra is rarely seen in industrialized countries, where it may be observed in people with rare disorder of tryptophan metabolism (Hartnup's disease), alcoholics, and those with diseases that affect food intake.

Recommended intake is expressed as milligrams of niacin equivalents (NE) to account for niacin synthesized from tryptophan. High doses taken orally as nicotinic acid at 1.5 to 2 grams per day can decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and along with diet and exercise can slow or reverse the progression of heart disease. The nicotinamide form of niacin in multivitamin and B-complex tablets do not work for this purpose. Supplementation should be under a physician's guidance.

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