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Nutrition Resources

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Niacin

Nutrient description/background:
  • Discovered in 1873 during work with nicotine
  • Originally named nicotinic acid the name was later changed to separate the vitamin from the substance with which it was originally discovered

Nutrient function:
  • NAD, a niacin coenzyme, is involved in many oxidation-reduction reactions that the body uses to create energy
  • NAD is also a substrate for a number of enzymes in non-reduction reactions

DRI/RDA:
AgeRDA for Males (mg)RDA for Females (mg)
1-3 years66
4-8 years88
9-13 years1212
14-18 years1614
19 years and older1614

Food sources:
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Peanuts
  • Lentils

Indications/Health claims:
  • May help prevent cancer
  • May help protect Beta Cells of the pancreas and help prevent type I diabetes
  • Treatment of high cholesterol

Evidence for or against claims:
  • Lampeter and colleagues found that in vivo animal studies showed that vitamin B could protect the Beta Cells of the pancreas from a number of potential sources of damage including toxins, oxygen species, and white blood cells
  • May help prevent cancer by helping to repair damage to cellular DNA
  • Has been shown to lower cholesterol