Niacin is one of 8 types of B vitamins important for every part of your body. You can get them from meat, fish, and nuts. Supplements are sometimes an option, but you should consult your doctor first.

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an important nutrient. In fact, every part of your body needs it to function properly.

As a supplement, niacin may help lower cholesterol, ease arthritis, and boost brain function, among other benefits.



There are two main chemical forms of niacin:

nicotinic acid
niacinamide (sometimes called nicotinamide)
Both forms are found in foods as well as supplements (1Trusted Source).

The key role of niacin in your body is to synthesize the coenzymes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), which are involved in over 400 biochemical reactions in your body — mainly related to obtaining energy from the food you eat (1Trusted Source).

Niacin is water-soluble, so your body does not store it. This also means that your body can excrete excess amounts of the vitamin through urine if they are not needed (1Trusted Source).

Your body gets niacin through food, but it also makes small amounts from the amino acid tryptophan, which can be found in protein sources like turkey and other animal foods (1Trusted Source).