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Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3, or Niacin, is an essential vitamin required for processing fat in the body, lowering cholesterol levels, and regulating blood sugar levels. A deficiency of niacin leads to pellagra, a condition characterized by diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, inflammation of the mouth, amnesia, delirium, and if left untreated, death. Even a slight deficiency of niacin can lead to irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, apathy, and depression. Niacin, Vitamin B3, is a water soluble vitamin that is well regulated by the body, thus overdose is rare, and only occurs when niacin is taken in the form of supplements. An overdose of niacin is seen in the form of skin rashes, dry skin, various digestive maladies. A long term overdose can lead to liver damage, elevated blood sugar levels and type II diabetes, as well as increased risk of birth defects. The current DV for Niacin (Vitamin B3) is 20mg, below is a list of niacin rich foods.

#1: Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)

Yeast extract spread is common in British cultures and is a good source of vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (ribovlain), B9 (folate), a good vegan source of vitamin B12, and a high protein food. In addition the spread is a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin) providing 97mg (485% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 5.8mg (29% DV) per teaspoon.
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#2: Bran (Rice and Wheat)

Crude rice and wheat bran are rich in vitamin B6 as well as vitamin B3 (niacin). Eat whole foods like brown rice, and whole wheat bread, which still contain the bran that has been taken out of refined foods. Rice bran contains the most niacin with 34mg (170% DV) per 100g serving, or 40.1mg (201% DV) per cup, 2.5mg (13% DV) per tablespoon. Wheat bran contains 13.6mg (65% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 7.9mg (39% DV) per cup, 0.493mg (2.4% DV) per tablespoon.
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#3: Fish (Anchovies, Tuna, Swordfish)

Fish is a heart healthy food, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12. Canned anchovies provide the most niacin with 19.9mg (100% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 9mg (45% DV) per 2 oz can, and 0.8mg (4% DV) per anchovy. Skip-Jack Tuna provides 18.8mg (94% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 15.9mg (80% DV) per 3 ounces, 28.9mg (144% DV) in half a filelt. It is followed by swordfish, king mackerel, and finally sturgeon with 10.1mg (51% DV) per 100 gram serving, 8.6mg (43% DV) per 3 ounce serving, and 13.7mg (65% DV) per cup.
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#4: Liver

The liver of most any animal is packed with niacin (vitamin B3). Often appearing on the culinary scene as pt, liver can also be eaten in sausage (liverwurst), and prepared steamed or fried with onions and herbs. Lamb liver provides the most niacin (B3) with 16.7mg per 100g serving or 83% of the DV. That is 14.2mg (71% DV) of vitamin B3 per 3oz serving. Click to see complete nutrition facts. #5: Paprika

Paprika is a common ingredient in pasta sauces and curries of all types and varieties and is also high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, K, and potassium. 100 grams of paprika provides 15.3mg (77% DV) of niacin, that is 1.1mg (5% DV) in a single tablespoon, or 0.31mg (2% DV) per teaspoon.
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#6: Peanuts

In addition to niacin peanuts are a great source of zinc, protein, vitamin E, folate (vitamin B9), magnesium, and copper. Peanuts are great as a snack, added to cereals, or crushed into butter. Peanuts provide 14.9mg (75% DV) in a 100 gram serving, that is 22mg (110% DV)

per cup, and 4.18mg (21% DV) per ounce (about 39 peanuts).
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#7: Veal (Lean)

The top round cut of pan fried lean veal provides 12mg (60% DV) of niacin per 100 gram serving, or 36.6mg (183% DV) per pound, and 10.2mg (51% DV)in a typical 3 ounce serving.
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#8: Chicken (Light Meat)

The light meat of chicken (breast, or tenders) provides 12.4mg (62% DV) of niacin per 100 gram serving, 13.3mg (66% DV) in half a chicken, and 17.4mg (87% DV) per cup.
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#9: Bacon

Despite being a high cholesterol food bacon is a good source of vitamin b3 (niacin). 100 grams of bacon will provide 11.6mg (58% DV) of niacin, or 0.93mg (5% DV) per slice.
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#10: Sun-dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are a high iron and potassium food. They are great in sauce, on pizza, and even in salads. 100 grams of sun-dried tomatoes provides 9.1mg (45% DV) of niacin, or 4.9mg (24% DV) per cup, and 0.18mg (1% DV) per piece.

Health Benefits of Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Protect Against Heart Disease - Niacin is prescribed pharmacologically to lower LDL fats and triglycerides by preventing the breakdown of fats into these individual components. Niacin consumed at such high levels can cause rashes, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea. Consult your doctor before taking niacin supplements in high doses.2,3 Regulation of Blood Sugar and Insulin Dependence (*Controversial) - Studies suggest that vitamin B3 (niacin) can help decrease insulin sensitivity,4 however, other studies find no difference.5 Niacin has also been shown to help alleviate some of the destructive autoimmune reactions of type I diabetes, and further studies are being conducted to asses its effectiveness.5 Reduced Cancer Risk - Studies show that niacin reduces cancer risk via ensuring DNA integrity and maintenance, and through proper regulation of the tumor suppressor gene: p53.6-8 Slow the progression of AIDS - An observational study has reported slowing the progression of AIDS and increasing survival with high doses of niacin.9

People at Risk of a Niacin (Vitamin B3) Deficiency

People with HIV/AIDS - The bodies immune system creates a specific cytokine, interferon gamma, which breaks down tryptophan, a precursor of niacin. Studies show that HIV patients who take increased levels of niacin slow the progression of AIDS.9-11 People who eat high amounts of refined foods - Bran is a high food in vitamin B3 which is typically lost during the refining process. Anyone who eats high amounts of white bread, white rice, corn syrup, or other refined products will not receive adequate amounts of niacin. Even though most of these foods are now fortified, it is still best to eat unrefined food products.