niacin foods high in
Medically reviewed by Sara Osman,RD,PT


Niacin (vitamin B3) is a water-soluble B vitamin and like other B vitamins, it helps to increase energy.

Niacin acts as a coenzyme and more than 400 enzymes are involved in the various reactions and are dependent on it. [1,2]

It comes in two forms in food and supplements, being nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Plant-based foods provide less niacin per serving than animal-based foods.[1]

In some grain products especially, bioavailability reduces due to the presence of certain anti-nutrients and only 30 % of niacin becomes available, hence many of the bread, cereals and flours are fortified with niacin. [3]

  • Niacin is absorbed primarily in the small intestine, but some are absorbed in the stomach, even at high doses of 3–4 g. [1]
  • The absorption rate varies between 23  and 70 %; it is lowest from cereals and highest from animal products. [5,6]
  • Excess niacin might be taken up by red blood cells to form a circulating reserve pool. [1]
  • Being a water-soluble vitamin, only essential levels of niacin are stored in various body tissues. [2]
  • Excess or unmetabolised niacin is excreted in the urine. [1]
  • Excretion rates in adults of more than 17.5 micromol/day reflect adequate niacin status and when excretion rates are less than 5.8 micromol/day it indicates niacin deficiency. [1,3]

Body Functions

Recommended Daily Intake

how much vitamin b3 niacin is recommended daily

Deficiency Symptoms

Niacin deficiency leads to a disease called pellagra that has the following symptoms –

Niacin Food Sources

foods high in vitamin b3 niacin vegan

Excessive Intake/ Toxicity Side Effects

Groups At Risk of Riboflavin Deficiency

Niacin Interaction With Other Nutrients

  • Iron As with the vitamin B2 and B6, inadequate intake can also impact niacin levels [2,3].
  • Certain B-vitamins – Inadequate intake of vitamin b2 and vitamin b6 may impact niacin status as the enzymes used to convert tryptophan to niacin depend on these nutrients [1,2].

Nutrient Profiles For Food Groups

Fruits ( i )

Raw or frozen – 0.60 mg
Dried 0.57 mg
Canned – 0.48 mg
Juice – 0.58 mg

Legumes ( i )

Flour – 7.29 mg
Raw- 2.75 mg
Cooked – 0.61 mg
Canned – 0.39 mg
Dry – 0 mg

Nuts & Seeds ( i )

Nuts – 1.96 mg
Seeds – 3.38 mg

Veggies ( i )

Dried – 2.16 mg
Raw or frozen – 1.40 mg
Cooked – 1.26 mg
Canned – 1.12 mg

Cereal grains & Flour ( i )

Flour – 2.80 mg
Raw grains – 4.24 mg
Cooked – 1.15 mg

Oils ( i )

Cooking oil – 0 mg
Other edible oils – 0 mg


Medically reviewed by Sara Osman,RD,PT

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