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Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Test

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About Our Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Test

This blood test is used to determine Vitamin B3 (Niacin) deficiencies.

Like all B vitamins, niacin (vitamin B3, also known as nicotinic acid) plays a role in converting carbohydrates into glucose, metabolizing fats and proteins, and keeping the nervous system working properly. Niacin also helps the body make sex-related and stress-related hormones and improves circulation and cholesterol levels.

Your liver can convert tryptophan, an amino acid from high-protein foods like meats and milk, into niacin.

Symptoms of mild niacin/vitamin B3 deficiency include:

  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Canker sores
  • Vomiting
  • Depression

Serious deficiency of vitamin B3 is called pellegra and can result in death. Pellegra includes more serious symptoms like:

  • Thick, scaly pigmented rash on skin exposed to sunlight
  • Swollen mouth and bright red tongue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Apathy and/or depression
  • Fatigue
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss

Good sources of niacin include:

  • Red meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Fortified breads and cereals
  • Enriched pasta
  • Peanuts

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