Vitamin B3, also called niacin or vitamin PP, has a function in the breakdown of glucose and blood circulation. One of the main manifestations of a deficiency in this micronutrient is pellagra. This guide describes all the principles of this vitamin, but also the recommended intake and the different cases of deficiency.
What is vitamin B3?
Vitamin B3 is still one of the water-soluble vitamins. Niacin is divided into two large, fairly similar groups: nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. The latter also show the same biological activity. Formerly known as vitamin PP, this vitamin was administered to prevent pellagra. In addition, it is mainly found in food in the form of niacin, but it is also produced by the body itself. The source is the amino acid tryptophan.
The properties of vitamin PP
Vitamin B3 plays an important role in the liver. It is incorporated into the structure of two coenzymes namely NAD and NADP. These are essential for the proper functioning of many enzymes.
In these forms, the vitamin is jointly responsible for generating energy in the cells. It also guarantees the production of certain lipids and their derivatives. This is especially true of bile salts, which are necessary for the proper digestion of fats. The same goes for steroid hormones like corticosteroids or even estrogen and testosterone.
One of the properties of vitamin PP is its ability to repair damaged DNA. It also plays a role in the functioning of the nervous system. Finally, the latter interacts with the other B group vitamins, namely B1 and B2.
The recommended dietary allowances and dietary sources of the vitamin
This vitamin is found in large quantities, especially in foods of animal origin. Offal, poultry or oily fish are very interesting sources. Canned tuna in oil contains 17 mg/100 g. Cooked chicken breast 10.6 mg/100 g.
In addition, whole grain products are twice as rich in this micronutrient as refined products. Breakfast cereals are specially fortified. Wholemeal bread contains about 2.4 mg/100 g and fortified breakfast cereals 9 to 19.5 mg/100 g. Brewer’s yeast, for its part, can complement the contributions.
Finally, you should know that the recommended dietary intake for an infant is about 3 mg of niacin per day. It increases to 12 mg for a child aged 10-12 and reaches 17.4 mg for an adult.
How does a vitamin B deficiency manifest itself?
Vitamin B deficiency usually manifests itself as tingling, either in the hands or feet. Its deficit is also associated with restless legs syndrome. It is possible that loss of appetite appears, as well as fatigue or even headaches and dizziness.
Only when the deficiency is severe does pellagra appear. This is also seen in people with hereditary Hartnup disease.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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recommended dietary allowances vitamin B deficiency niacin vitamin B3 vitamin PP properties