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Vitamins (cont.)

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is most commonly known as niacin. It has been shown to help turn carbohydrates into energy, assist with the proper functioning of the nervous and digestive systems, and help maintain healthy skin. There is also evidence that it can help increase HDL or "good" cholesterol levels. Niacin is found in animal products, nuts, green vegetables, legumes, and enriched and fortified cereals

The following is the RDA for niacin:

Age Males Females Pregnancy Lactation
1-3 years 6 mg 6 mg N/A N/A
4-8 years 8 mg 8 mg N/A N/A
9-13 years 12 mg 12 mg N/A N/A
14-18 years 16 mg 14 mg 18 mg 17 mg
19+ years 16 mg 14 mg 18 mg 17 mg

Pellagra is the disease that occurs due to a severe niacin deficiency. The symptoms of pellagra are known as the four Ds: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death. Prior to this, the symptoms of a niacin deficiency will involve the digestive system (diarrhea, vomiting, bright red tongue), the skin (dark pigmented rash that develops symmetrically in areas exposed to sunlight, thick and scaly skin), and the nervous system (fatigue, depression, headache, apathy, disorientation, and memory loss).



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