Vitamin B3 (pp, Niacin) – Role, Need, Excess, Deficiency

Vitamin PP, also known as niacin or vitamin B3, is produced in the body from tryptophan.

Vitamin PP is produced in the body, however, only in limited, small quantities, so our diet should be the most important source of it. Vitamin PP plays an important role in the human body, interacting in the synthesis and breakdown of fatty acids, amino acids and hydrocarbons, and many other processes. Vitamin PP also regulates cholesterol, and its deficiency has dire consequences.

1. The role of vitramine B3 in the body

Vitamin PP is a water-soluble vitamin. It is a substrate for the synthesis of coenzymes necessary for the proper functioning of cells. Vitamin PP determines the normal functioning of the nervous system, participates in the synthesis of steroid hormones (estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, hydrocortisol) and thyroid hormones – thyroxine, and the pancreas – insulin.

Vitamin B3 is one of the most persistent vitamins because it is not sensitive to high temperatures and the effects of oxygen and ultraviolet rays. The main sources of vitamin B3 are meat, fish, seeds of cereals and legumes, as well as milk, leafy greens (parsley, dill, lettuce, spinach, sorrel). Vitamin B3 is also found in small amounts in coffee and tea.

Vitamin PP is also involved in the breakdown and synthesis of fatty acids, carbohydrates and amino acids, and also affects the metabolism aimed at releasing energy. In addition, it participates in the formation of red blood cells, and in case of poisoning, it suppresses the toxic effect of certain chemical compounds and drugs.

1.1. The emergence of vitamin PP

Vitamin PP Mainly found in yeast, wheat bran and peanuts, vitamin PP is also found in large quantities in fish, especially smoked mackerel and salmon. Another source of vitamin PP can also be protein products of lean, animal and plant origin.

Lean meats containing vitamin PP are mainly veal (6.00-6.50 mg / 100 g), turkey (3.26 mg / 100 g) and chicken (2.78 mg / 100 g). In addition, we also find it in pork, organ meats, dairy products, soybeans, almonds, peas, and beans. In case of deficiency, it can be supplemented with vitamin supplements. Chromium increases the absorption of vitamin B3.

Vitamin B3 is found in these products (in mg / 100 g):

  • Yeast 40-50

  • Tomatoes 0.6

  • Wheat bran 30-35

  • Onion 0.7-1.8

  • Peanuts 17.2

  • Pork 0.8-8.8

  • Mushrooms 4.6

  • Veal 6.5-17

  • Potatoes 1.5

  • Beef 7.6-8.4

  • Cheese 1,2

  • Poultry 4.7-14.7

  • Milk 0.1

  • Saltwater fish 8.0

2. What is the need for vitamin B3?

The need for vitamin B3 increases during breastfeeding, in women taking contraceptives, in cancer patients, and in people with protein deficiencies.
The need for vitamin B3 varies depending on the sex and age of the person. Another also is the need for this vitamin for pregnant women.

Vitamin B3 should be used in the following doses:

6-10 mg per day for children 1-3 years old,
8-16 mg per day for children 4-9 years old,
14 mg per day for women
16 mg per day for men,
17-18 mg daily for pregnant women.

3. Excess vitamin B3

Appears when taking more than 35 mg of this vitamin per day. This usually happens when vitamin B3 is taken in pills.

Vitamin B3 gives the following symptoms of excess:

itching of the skin, redness of the skin, dry skin, rash, abdominal pain, nausea, liver failure, hyperglycemia, arrhythmia.

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4. Deficiency B3

The main cause of vitamin PP deficiency is malnutrition or a diet that lacks niacin or tryptophan. Another popular cause of vitamin PP deficiency is alcoholism.

Other reasons also include, among other things, long-term use of anti-tuberculosis drugs of the isoniazid group, impaired absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, the use of large amounts of sugars, which leads to an increase in the need for vitamin PP.

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The consequences of vitamin PP deficiency include a decrease in cold resistance, since in the case of a deficiency, niacin slows down the metabolism. Also a serious disease, pelagra, is a consequence of vitamin PP deficiency.

The characteristic symptoms of this disease are the so-called “syndrome 4d”, that is, dermatitis (dermatitis), diarrhea (diarrhea), dementia (dementia), death (death). Other symptoms of vitamin PP deficiency are mouth or tongue inflammation, cow tongue syndrome, and digestive disorders.

Mental symptoms include irritability, amnesia, delusions, hallucinations and hallucinations, bouts of medication, apathy, and depression.

4.1. Vitamin PP Deficiency Against Other Diseases

In addition, impaired vitamin B3 metabolism is found in many conditions such as schizophrenia, Hodkings disease, hypercholesterolemia, and depression. A carcinoid that increases serotonin production also causes vitamin B3 levels to be too low.

Initially, a slight deficiency of vitamin B3 only causes a slowdown in metabolism, which leads, for example, to a decrease in cold tolerance. If vitamin B3 is deficient, it leads to a condition called pelagra. Otherwise, this disease is called Lombard erythema. In the world, pelagra is often found in India, China and Africa, where corn is the main food source.

The typical symptoms of pelagra include:

rash that occurs on the skin not protected from sunlight, complaints from the digestive system – constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, bright red color of the tongue, complaints of the nervous system – depression, apathy, headaches, difficulty concentrating and remembering. caused by vitamin B3 is fatal if left untreated.

5. The use of vitamin B3 in medicine

In medicine, vitamin B3 is used in the treatment of lipid metabolism and lipoprotein disorders, which are the main cause of the development of atherosclerosis. In doses greater than 1 gram per day, it raises blood levels of HDL cholesterol and simultaneously lowers triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.

In addition, in fat cells, vitamin B3 increases the production of the hormone adiponectin, which has an anti-atherosclerotic effect. Clinical trials have also proven that vitamin B3 has anti-migraine properties. In addition, vitamin B3 helps relieve migraine symptoms.

However, if vitamin B3 is taken in too high doses (> 100 mg / day), it causes a number of side effects. These include sudden redness of the facial skin, a feeling of heat, tingling and itching of the skin of the face, hands, and chest. In addition, some people experience gastrointestinal complaints, including nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and may also experience the severity of peptic ulcer disease.

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