Grandma's Vitamin B3 Niacin Guide

Vitamin B3 is needed for proper circulation and healthy skin. It aids in the functioning of the nervous system, in metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system.

Niacin is involved in the normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids, and in the synthesis of sex hormones. Vitamin B3 lowers cholesterol and improves circulation. It is helpful for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and is also a memory-enhancer.

Pellagra is a disease caused by niacin deficiency. Other symptoms of niacin deficiency include:

  • canker sores
  • dementia
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • halitosis
  • headaches
  • indigestion
  • insomnia
  • limb pains
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood sugar
  • muscular weakness
  • skin eruptions
  • inflammation

a photo of juicy red ripe tomatoes a natural source of vitamin B3 niacin a photo of a field of chamomile and wheat a natural source of vitamin B3 niacin photo of mullien growing in an herb garden a natural source of vitamin B3 niacin

Food and Herbal Sources of Niacin

Niacin and Niacinamide are found in Foods:

  • beef liver
  • brewer's yeast
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • cheese
  • corn flour
  • dandelion greens
  • dates
  • eggs
  • fish
  • milk
  • peanuts
  • pork
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • wheat germ
  • whole wheat products

Herbal Sources of Niacin

  • alfalfa
  • burdock root
  • catnip
  • cayenne
  • chamomile
  • chickweed
  • eyebright
  • fennel seed
  • hops
  • licorice
  • mullein
  • nettle
  • oat straw
  • parsely
  • peppermint
  • raspberry leaves
  • red clover
  • rose hips
  • slippery elm
  • yellow dock


A flush, usually harmless, may occur after the ingestion of niacin supplements; a red rash appears on the skin and a tingling sensation may be experienced as well.


People who are pregnant or who suffer from diabetes, glaucoma, gout, liver disease, or peptic ulcers should use niacin supplements with caution. Amounts over 500 milligrams daily may cause liver damage if taken for prolonged periods.


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