Vitamin B3 or PP (niacin) is a water-soluble vitamin very little of which is stored in the body, and must therefore be ingested every day through food.
Principal natural sources of Vitamin B3
Plant sources: It is found in peanuts, cereals (bread and whole cereals), leguminous vegetables, dry vegetables (beans), germinated grain (wheat, dried peas, soya, oats etc.), pollen, potatoes, fresh vegetables (mushrooms, avocados, peppers and leafy green vegetables such as cabbage) and fresh fruit. It is also found in yeast (especially brewer's yeast).
Animal sources: These include meat, fish (especially oily fish such as tuna and salmon), poultry (chicken and turkey), milk, eggs and liver.
Properties of Vitamin B3
Its action is essential for energy metabolism in cells. It also acts on our nervous system, skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin B3 contributes to normal psychological function, such as memory, reasoning and concentration.
Recommended Daily Intake
Recommended daily intake varies between 6 and 20 mg daily depending on the population; average recommended daily intake is set at 16 mg daily.
The need increases in pregnant and nursing women. During maternity, however, supplements should only be taken in cases of deficit and while breast-feeding; supplements are to be avoided as little is known about the passage of Vitamin B3 into milk. Requirements are considerably higher in sporting people.