Basic facts about vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 has good resistance to cooking but can be lost in cooking water.

It plays a role in energy release, supporting normal energy metabolism, and in maintaining normal skin. It is also involved in healthy nervous system function.

Vitamin B3-rich foods, per 100 g*Vitamin B3 content
Nutritional yeast25 mg
Cooked calf’s liver13,7 mg
Preserved canned tuna, drained12,6 mg
Pork kidneys6,1 mg
Smoked mackerel8,42 mg
Chicken6,35 mg
Raw mushrooms3,61 mg
Roasted salted peanuts13,6 mg
Pear0,219 mg
Muesli with fruit or dried fruit fortified with vitamins and minerals13,6 mg
Wholemeal bread2,5 mg
Cooked lentils0,664 mg
Cooked white rice0,4 mg
Apple0,164 mg
Boiled potatoes1,38 mg
Cooked artichoke1 mg
Cooked spinach0,49 mg
Pasteurised skimmed milk0,09 mg
Soft-boiled eggs0,064 mg

Find out more about vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 or vitamin PP (Pellagra Preventing) or niacin is a water-soluble vitamin. This vitamin is not sensitive and is resistant to heat, oxidation and light. It is one of the rare vitamins produced by the body (by the gut flora and liver from tryptophan, an amino acid obtained from dietary sources). However, the amounts produced are insufficient to meet daily requirements; therefore, this vitamin is mainly obtained from dietary sources. It is readily absorbed in the small intestine, but very low levels of vitamin B3 are stored in the body, meaning that daily intake is necessary.

Roles of vitamin B3

The functions of vitamin B3 are based on its action as a coenzyme.
Source of energy: vitamin B3 supports normal energy metabolism. Vitamin PP supports normal psychological functions such as memory, reasoning and concentration. Vitamin B3 helps maintain normal skin.

Requirements in vitamin B3

Requirements are higher for pregnant women and breastfeeding women. However, during pregnancy, it is nonetheless recommended to only take supplements in the event of known deficiency and, when breastfeeding, supplementation should be avoided as no data is available on the transfer of vitamin B3 into breast milk.

Table of DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes) for vitamin B3:

Age / StatusDRI for vitamin B3
Infants3 mg
Children aged 1 to 3 years6 mg
Children aged 4 to 12 years8 à 10 mg
Teenagers aged 13 to 19 years11 à 14 mg
Women11 mg
Men14 mg
Pregnant women16 mg
Breastfeeding women15 mg
Elderly people11 à 14 mg
Product availability varies from country to country.

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