The Physiological Power of Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3)


Linus Pauling said of vitamin B3 (either niacin or niacinamide):

“What astonished me was the very low toxicity of a substance that has such very great physiological power. A little pinch, 5 mg, every day, is enough to keep a person from dying of pellagra, but it is so lacking in toxicity that ten thousand times as much can [sometimes] be taken without harm.”

There are various forms of nicotinic acid that have varying functions:

Inositol Hexanicotinate is a specific form of the Nicotinic Acid (Niacin) form of Vitamin B3 that does not cause the flushing (from Histamine release) that is normally associated with Nicotinic Acid ingestion.

Niacytin is a bound and unavailable form of Vitamin B3 present in some foods, especially Cereals and Grains.

Nicotinamide Riboside

Scientists at EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Switzerland, have discovered that a molecule called Nicotinamide riboside has impressive effects on fat burning, diabetes avoidance, stamina, cell aging, etc.

Carles Cantó is the first author to report on this new substance, nicotinamide riboside in an article published in Cell Metabolism on June 5th, 2012.
CanCarles Cantó, Riekelt H. Houtkooper, Eija Pirinen, Dou Y. Youn, Maaike H. Oosterveer, Yana Cen, Pablo J. Fernandez-Marcos, Hiroyasu Yamamoto, Pénélope A. Andreux, Philippe Cettour-Rose et al. The NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside enhances oxidative metabolism and protects against high-fat diet induced obesity. Cell Metabolism, 15(6); 6 June 2012

Nicotinic Acid (Niacin) is the acid form of Vitamin B3.

Xanthinol Nicotinate is a synthetic form of the Nicotinic Acid form of Vitamin B3 that can pass easily through Cell Membranes into Cells much more readily than Niacin

Niacinamide (also known as Nicotinamide) is the main form of Vitamin B3 present in dietary sources. Chemically, it is the Amide of Nicotinic Acid.

Niacinamide increases levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD).


Anderson, R. M., et al. Nicotinamide and PNC1 govern lifespan extension by calorie restriction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nature. 423(6936):181-185, 2003

Chong, Z. Z., et al. The sirtuin inhibitor nicotinamide enhances neuronal cell survival during acute anoxic injury through AKT, BAD, PARP, and mitochondrial associated “anti-apoptotic” pathways. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2(4):271-285, 2005

Kang, H. T., et al. Nicotinamide extends replicative lifespan of human cells. Aging Cell. 5(5):423-436, 2006

Imai, S. I., et al. Transcriptional silencing and longevity protein Sir2 is an NAD-dependent histone deacetylase. Nature. 403(6771):795-800, 2000

Cell Press (2012, June 5). Milk ingredient does a waistline good. ScienceDaily

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