Vitamin B3, Niacin, nicotinic acid, helps to convert food into energy and is essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system. It is one of 8 B vitamins. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. It has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects.
Niacin occurs naturally in food and can also be made by your body from the amino acid tryptophan, with the help of B6.
It is rare for anyone in the developed world to have a Vitamin B3 deficiency; alcoholism is the main cause of it in the US.
Recommended daily amount: 14 - 16 mg.
Example sources: whole grains, mushrooms, peanuts and other legumes.
Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition. (Malnutrition also includes overnutrition).
Undernutrition can result from:
inadequate ingestion of nutrients,
loss of nutrients due to diarrhea,
increased nutritional requirements.
Undernutrition progresses in stages: it may develop slowly when it is due to anorexia or very rapidly. First, nutrient levels in blood and tissues change, followed by intracellular changes in biochemical functions and structure. Ultimately, symptoms and signs appear. Diagnosis is by history, physical examination, body composition analysis, and sometimes laboratory tests.
Undernutrition from micronutrient deficiencies, or "hidden hunger", affects over 2 billion people globally and can lead to reduced growth and cognitive development, birth defects, blindness, and overall poor health. Vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency anaemia and iodine deficiency disorders are among the most common forms of micronutrient malnutrition.