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Vitamins B3 Supplements
Niacin or nicotinic acid is an important vitamin of the B group. It is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein. It is also essential for the normal functioning of the skin, intestinal and nervous systems. Like other B-vitamins it is also lost in excess of cooking water.
This vitamin differs from the other vitamins of the B-complex group in that an essential amino acid, trytophan serves as its precursor.
The nicotinic acid or Niacin in the body gets converted rapidly to nicotinamide (before it becomes active), which is a part of coenzymes essential for the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
It is absorbed both in stomach and intestine and stored in all tissues. It gets excreted as salts in urine (daily 2-4 mgm) and also as free Niacin in very small quantity.
Niacin can be formed from the essential amino acid Tryptophan. The amino acid Tryptophan gets converted into Niacin in the body. 60 mg of Tryptophan would give 1 mg of Niacin.
• It is vital for the proper functioning of the skin, intestinal tract and the nervous system.
• It provides for good memory and sound sleep.
• It helps in synthesis of the sex hormones, and also cortisone, thyroxin, and insulin.
• It is essential for growth, metabolism and tissue oxidation.
• It helps in formation of fats from carbohydrates.
• It may reduce plasma lipid concentration.
• It has stimulating effect on central nervous system.
• It produces pronounced transient vasodilatation with flushing of face on therapeutic doses.
• It helps in prevention of pellagral migraine, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood clots, and diarrhoea.
Natural Sources of Niacin
Niacin is found in both plant and animal foods. Important sources are groundnut, whole cereals, pulses, liver, meat and fish. Germinated pulses and cereals are rich in Niacin.
Daily Requirement of Niacin
Its daily requirement is 15-29 mg for men and 13-15 mg for women.
• The niacin deficiencies result in pellagra, a chronic wasting (three D’s) disease, which consists of dermatitis (skin eruptions), diarrhoea and dementia (mental depression).
• Its deficiency also leads to gastro-intestinal disorders.
• Its deficiency may also cause loss of appetite, loss of weight, coated tongue, and sores in the mouth, forgetfulness and anaemia.
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