Vitamin B3, or niacin, is an essential vitamin required for processing fat in the body, lowering cholesterol levels, and regulating blood sugar levels.
A deficiency of niacin leads to pellagra, a condition characterized by diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, inflammation of the mouth, amnesia, delirium, and if left untreated, death. Even a slight deficiency of niacin can lead to irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, apathy, and depression.
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin that is well regulated by the body, thus overdose is rare, and only occurs when niacin is taken in the form of supplements. An overdose of niacin is seen in the form of skin rashes (flush), dry skin, and various digestive maladies. A long-term overdose can lead to liver damage, elevated blood sugar levels, and type II diabetes, as well as increased risk of birth defects.
High niacin foods include fish, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, mushrooms, brown rice, peanuts, avocados, green peas, and avocados. The current daily value (% DV) for niacin is 16mg.
Below are the top 10 foods highest in niacin ranked by common serving sizes, for more see the complete list of 200 foods high in niacin, and lists of other foods high in B vitamins.