Encyclopedia > Nicotinic acid

  Article Content


Redirected from Nicotinic acid

Niacin (vitamin B3) is the common name for nicotinic acid, and is sometimes applied to nicotinamide (niacinamide) as well. It is a water-soluble vitamin, and its derivatves such as NADH[?] play essential roles in energy metabolism in the the living cell. Severe lack of niacin causes the deficiency disease pellagra[?], while a mild deficiency slows down the metabolism, which in turn decreases cold tolerance and is a potential contributing factor towards obesity.

Nicotinic acid reacts with hemoglobin and myoglobin in meat to form a brightly coloured complex, and thus has been used as a food additive, typically to improve the colour of minced (ground) meat. However, sometimes excess niacin is added to the meat during processing. Though still licensed as a food colouring agent in some countries, it is not licensed as such in Europe.

Because niacin in large quantities is a vasodilator, large doses of niacin (either from vitamin B3 tablets or from treated meats) may cause harmless and short-lived but unpleasant symptoms such as extreme skin flushing resembling a sunburn, itching, gastric disturbances, and lowering of blood pressure. The amide form (strictly speaking a provitamin[?]) does not cause these side effects, but is also not as easily assimilated by the body.

Large doses of niacin are sometimes prescribed to combat high blood pressure.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Father Damien

... a farmer. He entered the novitiate of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary[?] at Louvain, and was admitted to the religious profession on October 7, 1860. ...

This page was created in 33.9 ms