Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Molecule

Image Caption : Niacin is a water-soluble nutrient also known as nicotinic acid, or Vitamin B3. Nicotinamide, a derivative of niacin, is used to form coenzymes that are necessary for the functioning of about 200 different enzymes in the body. Inositol hexaniotinate, an inactive form of niacin, is sometimes sold as niacin in the form of a supplement.

Rich dietary sources of niacin include beets, brewer`s yeast, beef organs, fish such as salmon, swordfish, and tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. In the U.S., breads and cereals are also commonly fortified with niacin.

In this model, carbon atoms are dark gray, hydrogen atoms are white, nitrogen atoms are blue, and oxygen atoms are red.


A water-soluble vitamin of the B complex occurring in various animal and plant tissues. It is required by the body for the formation of coenzymes NAD and NADP. It has PELLAGRA-curative, vasodilating, and antilipemic properties.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

B Vitamins

The B vitamins are

  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6
  • B7 (biotin)
  • B12
  • Folic acid

These vitamins help the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. They also help form red blood cells. You can get B vitamins from proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas also have B vitamins. Many cereals and some breads have added B vitamins.

Not getting enough of certain B vitamins can cause diseases. A lack of B12 or B6 can cause anemia.

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