Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Food sources of vitamin B3

Niacin, commonly known as vitamin B3, was the third water-soluble vitamin to be discovered. It encompasses both nicotinic acid (pyridine 3-carboxylic acid) and nicotinamide (nicotinic acid amide). These compounds are essential in forming coenzymes known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), which play crucial roles in the development and proper functioning of living cells in the human body.

Naturally, niacin can be found in a variety of foods and is also added to specific food products, including:
1.Poultry, beef, pork, anchovies, and fish
2.Certain types of peanuts, nuts, legumes, and grains
3.Enriched and fortified foods, such as various breads and cereals
4.Whole grains and whole meal wheat flour

In general, foods rich in protein, except for tryptophan-poor grains like corn and wheat, can partially fulfill the body's niacin requirements. Key dietary sources of tryptophan include meat, milk, and eggs.

Tryptophan, an amino acid, significantly contributes, accounting for up to two-thirds of the niacin activity needed by adults in their typical diets.

Peanut butter stands out as an excellent source of niacin, while fruits and vegetables can also provide valuable amounts depending on dietary intake. Additionally, whole grain cereals, bread, tea, and coffee serve as useful sources.

Human milk contains a higher concentration of niacin compared to cow's milk. In plants, especially in mature cereal grains like corn and wheat, niacin may combine with sugar molecules in the form of glycosides, leading to a notable reduction in niacin's bioavailability.

The importance of B3 (niacin) lies in its role in the body's processes to:
1.Convert food into glucose, which is utilized to produce energy
2.Generate macromolecules, including fatty acids and cholesterol
3.Facilitate DNA repair and manage stress responses.

For the majority of people in the United States, their dietary intake provides sufficient niacin, and instances of niacin deficiency are exceedingly rare in the country.
Food sources of vitamin B3

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