USES:Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, plays an important role in the extraction of energy from food and metabolism.
Niacin is also an important component of two enzymes that are essential for energy production, metabolism and production of serotonin, which regulates mood, appetite and sleep, and glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which enhances insulin activity in taking glucose into cells to produce energy.
Severe deficiency leads to pellagra which includes the following symptoms: dermatitis, diarrhoea and dementia. Other symptoms of deficiency include acne, inflammation of the mouth, burning feeling in mouth, stomach or rectum, constipation, fatigue.
Diets high in refined carbohydrates, high exercise levels, smoking, high intake of tea, coffee and alcohol increase vitamin B3 needs.
Wholegrain cereals such as brown rice, barley and rye and unpeeled potatoes provide good levels of vitamin B3.
Meat, eggs, dairy and fish are also high in vitamin B3. Peas and nuts (walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds and peanuts) and seeds (sunflower and pumpkin seeds)