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Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Vitamin B3 helps lower cholesterol and also aids digestion

Fortified cornflakes in a cereal bowl
Fortified breakfast cereals contain vitamin B3 (niacin)

RDA is 18 mg.

Cooking does not break it down but the process of milling and refining grain causes most of the vitamin B3 content to be lost.

Where do you get vitamin B3?

Nuts, potatoes, chicken, fish, beans and fortified breakfast cereals all contain vitamin B3.


Vitamin B3 helps release energy from breaking down the food we eat. It helps lower cholesterol, and works to keep our brain, digestion and skin in good order.

Too much vitamin B3

Side effects are rare. Toxic reactions can happen if high doses are taken over a long period. More than 200 mg a day regularly can cause flushing of the skin, and more than that could cause your blood pressure to drop.

Too little vitamin B3

If you don’t eat enough protein or if you drink moderate to large amounts of alcohol, you will probably not be getting enough vitamin B3.

Lack of vitamin B3 can cause loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, poor memory and difficulty in sleeping.

Vitamin B3 upplements

Take supplements as part of a vitamin B complex.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.