Vitamin B3 - Niacin Information and Sources


Niacin is a water soluble B vitamin which includes nicotinic acid (niacinic acid) and nicotinamide (niacinamide). This vitamin functions in metabolism as a coenzyme in providing energy through NAD and NADP.

Deficiency of niacin is pellagra which is characterised by severe skin lesions in areas exposed to sunlight and pressure (eg knees), diarrhoea and dementia; eventually it is fatal.

The essential amino acid tryptophan can be converted to niacin where 60mg tryptophan = 1mg niacin. As niacin is linked to energy production, requirements increase with calorie consumption. Adults should aim for 6.6mg niacin equivalent per 1,000kcal of dietary energy.

Niacin, like other B vitamins, is quite a labile vitamin and can be lost in food preparation. Brown rice is a significant contributor to niacin intakes in some parts of developing Asia, and where the rice is polished (to white rice) pellagra incidence rises dramatically.

Good sources of niacin include:

  • Liver, cooked (90g) – 18.1mg
  • Kidney, cooked (75g) – 11.2mg
  • Beef (85g) – 9.2mg
  • Lamb (85g) – 9.4mg
  • Pork (85g) – 10.4mg
  • Gammon (120g) – 15.6mg
  • Chicken (85g) – 13.0mg
  • Turkey (85g) – 13.3mg
  • Cod (130g) – 7.5mg
  • Plaice (120g) – 8.0mg
  • Kipper fillets (130g) – 11.4mg
  • Mackerel (110g) – 14.0mg
  • Salmon (135g) – 11.7mg
  • Tuna, canned in oil, drained (70g) – 8.8mg
  • Bacon (45g) – 5.4mg
  • Bovril (5g) – 4.3mg
  • Marmite (5g) – 3.4mg
  • Malted milk drink (4 tsp – 20g) – 3.6mg
  • Cheese, Cheddar (40g) – 2.4mg
  • Cheese, Edam (40g) – 2.5mg
  • Eggs (1 medium) – 2.3g
  • Bread, wholemeal (medium slice) – 4.1mg
  • All-Bran (45g) – 8.6mg
  • Bran Flakes (45g) – 8.3mg
  • Muesli (95g) – 8.4mg
  • Shreddies (55g) – 12.7mg
  • Weetabix (2 biscuits) – 4.8mg
  • Cornflakes (40g) – 4.2mg
  • Peanuts (30g) – 6.4mg
  • Pasta, wholewheat, cooked (150g) – 3.5mg
  • Brown rice, boiled (165g) – 3.1mg
  • Broad beans, boiled (75g) – 2.8mg
  • Peas, boiled (75g) – 2.2mg
  • Spinach, boiled (130g) – 2.3mg