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Food Sources of Niacinamide

By J. Lucy Boyd

The body makes niacinamide from niacin in the diet. They are both considered to be forms of vitamin B3. This vitamin helps the body convert carbohydrates into fuel for energy, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. Adult women need 14 mg each day, while adult men require 16 mg, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have a larger daily requirement. Vitamin B3 deficiency is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of foods containing niacin. An amino acid, tryptophan, also becomes niacinamide in the body.

Proteins

Fish, such as swordfish, salmon and tuna, are good sources of vitamin B3. The white meat of poultry, such as turkey and chicken, provide high amounts of the vitamin. Organ meats including beef kidney and beef liver also contribute. Eggs and milk products are beneficial sources, explains the UMMC.

Vegetables and Legumes

Beets and green vegetables contain vitamin B3. The vitamin is also found in corn, but it is in a form that is difficult for the body to use. Legumes, such as lentils, lima beans and peanuts, are generally better sources than corn products.

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Grains

Wheat and unfortified cereals contribute a small amount of vitamin B3 to the diet but fortified cereals and breads are considered better sources. All forms of fortified pasta, such as spaghetti noodles and macaroni, provide a small amount of this nutrient as well.

Other Foods

Yeast, especially Brewer's yeast, is a good source of vitamin B3. Sunflower seeds also contribute to the body's daily requirement.

Considerations

Some individuals take niacin supplements to reduce high blood cholesterol. This should be done only under the guidance of a physician as some over-the-counter niacin products have severe side effects. High doses of niacin taken without physician supervision can also produce adverse effects. The Mayo Clinic recommends regular liver function tests while taking niacin as liver damage is possible.

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