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Some Facts About Niacin

Updated on May 4, 2011

Some Facts About Niacin

Niacin is often greatly effective in reversing sensory dysperceptions  such as hallucinations, delusional minds and disturbance of mood and energy, Severe niacin deficiency is demonstrated by “four D’s “ namely diarrhea,  dermatitis or skin inflammation, dementia or madness and ultimately death.

Psychological Signs of Niacin Deficiency

The primary noticeable symptoms of niacin deficiency are completely psychological. Victims may experience feeling of fear, apprehensions, suspicions  and excessive worries with a gloomy, downcast, angry and depressed outflash. They may experience head aches,  insomnia, loss of strength and burning sensation all over the body. Their depression may range from “Blue Mondays”  to the wish to end it all. They may become alienated secluses who maintain a marginal existence by determinedly avoiding the stress of life.

In some cases of niacin deficiency may act to dull the moral responsibilities adversely affecting the individual’s behavior. In most people, niacin deficiency causes depression or inability to concentrate. In others it may be the underlying cause of thoughtless promiscuity, pathological lying or petty thievery.

Physical Signs of Niacin Deficiency 

In mild niacin deficiency, the tip of the tonque is usually reddened from engorgement with blood, and the taste buds on the tonque’s surface are enlarged, giving a stippled appearance, the characteristic “strawberry tip.”  Farther back, the tonque is coated white with bacterial growth and debris oftenly giving a foul mouth odor,  As the deficiency becomes chronic, deep midline cracks and crevices appear. Later, the tonque becomes red and swollen all over, accompanied by dental indentations of the margin, lending it a scalloped appearance.  Finally, the enlarged taste buds atrophy, with loss substance, and the tonque’s  surface develops a glossy,  bald appearance. The mouth becomes sore, the gums swollen and painful.

There is also a presence of digestive disturbance in early niacin deficiency. The stomach secretes little or no hydrochloric acid, absorption of nutrients is impaired, and the person has excessive gas and poorly formed, foul-smelling tool.  With niacin deficiency, food cannot be digested efficiently thus recovery is slow. Yogurt in copious quantities is at first helpful because it supplies predigested proteins along with acidophilus bacteria to restore the normal gut flora, which make niacin deficiency and other B Vitamins for us.

In more severe niacin deficiency, dermatitis or inflammation of skin develops symmetrically on exposed areas. At first, becoming slightly reddened, the skin itches and burns intensely, then becomes tense and swollen and eventually atrophies, its color fading to brown. Darkening of the skin which is often seen among the elderlies is partially due to niacin deficiency.

Conditions Wherein Niacin Should  Be Avoided

  • Persons taking medication for high blood pressure  cannot at the same time take niacin safely, as a full dose may cause a marked drop in blood pressure.
  • Nicotinic acid should also be avoided in active ulcer disease due to niacin’s acidity.
  • Because niacin raises the uric acid level in the body, it may bring  on  an attack in those suffering from gout. And since Niacin raises blood sugar, diabetics may need to increase their insulin. For the same reason, hypoglycemics or a condition pertaining to low blood sugar  are often helped by Niacin.
  • Person with active liver disease should avoid larger doses of Niacin.

Sources of Niacin

The recommended daily allowance for men is 18 milligrams, 13 milligrams for women, 9 to 16 milligrams for children.

Food which are rich sources of Niacin are as follows :

Lean meats (not pork)




Brewer’s yeast

Wheat germ

Dessicated liver






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    • Fraser Soul profile image

      Mildred Lucille Fraser 3 years ago from Bloomfield, CT

      Thanks for this very informative hug. I've learned a lot.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi vocalcoach I am glad to hear from you. Thank you for paying a visit and appreciating this hub. Your visit and comments are much appreciated. Blessings to you and regards.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      A very good and informative hub about niacin. I enjoy learning about health and I want to keep my body balanced with proper nutrition. I am a senior, but feel like a teenager :) Thank you and I voted UP +. vocalcoach

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi rorshak sobchak thank you for appreciating this hub. Blessings to you and regards.

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      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      Interesting write up cristina. I enjoyed your hub. Keep up the great work!!!

      rorshak sobchak

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi Tamarajo it is great to read your comment for this hub. Your visit and comments are great source of encouragement for me. Thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Blessings to you and best regards.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi WillSteinmetz thank you for dropping by. Regards.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi Dave Matthews Thank s for dropping by. Your visit and comments are much appreciated. Blessings and regards.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      Great information. I'm glad you listed the natural sources. I wonder how many people experiencing depression or anxiety may have a niacin deficiency. Interesting article.

    • WillSteinmetz profile image

      WillSteinmetz 6 years ago

      Great hub, Thanks for sharing.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Ate Cristina: I have always tried to maintan a constant in my food intake and I pay attention to what my body needs. My food choices may not be in agreeance with nutritionists but I eat what I feel I need.

      I pay little to no heed to what doctors or nutritionists or the likes say about what they think is good for me or not. My body tells me what it needs and I supply it.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi DeBorrah K. Ogans I am happy to hear from you again. I am glad you find this hub wonderful. I am greatly encouraged by your visit. Blessings to you and your family. Best regards.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi jayb23 it is great to hear from you again. Thank you for appreciating this hub. Your visit is much appreciated. Remain blessed always and best regards.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      Cristina, Wonderful and thorough hub on the benefits of Niacin in your diet! Very helpful suggestions! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 6 years ago from India

      Very informative hub cristina. Thanks for sharing it with us. Voted too. Keep up the good work.