Niacin Deficiency

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

There are a lot of common foods that contain B3 or niacin. It would be difficult to not get enough niacin into one’s diet. But it does happen and the results are not too pleasant. Vitamin B in any form is important for the human body to ingest. Apparently a niacin deficiency transpires when the body is unable to absorb niacin or its cousin amino acid-tryptophan. Niacin as was mentioned before is found in a wide variety of foods and belongs to the vitamin B complex.

Niacin deficiency is rare but it can happen in poverty-stricken areas of the world where there are shortages of food. If left unchecked niacin deficiency will lead to a disease called pellagra which is characterized by a skin condition called dermatitis, the very uncomfortable diarrhea, and mental disease. An unusual symptom of this disease is an unhealthy dependence on the staple corn. This condition is rare but its effects are real and serious. It will leave the recipient feeling very sick and miserable. How can you avoid this deficiency that is what we will find out.

Symptoms of Niacin Deficiency

Symptoms of Niacin Deficiency

The symptoms of niacin deficiency are not hard to detect once they manifest in the body. You would not be able to detect them on your own but if you went to a doctor he would be able to diagnose the condition for you.

Symptoms:

  • Indigestion which is marked by an acidic sick feeling in the pit of the stomach and the acid keeps coming back up through the esophagus to the mout. It leaves a burning sensation in throat.
  • Fatigue We all know that run down tired feeling ur brains are slow at processing information and every muscle in our body is tired. This niacin deficiency only amplifies those physical symptoms.
  • Canker Sores those ulcerated painful sores that sometimes develop on the mouth and on the lips. The deficiency multiplies those sores. They are blister like sores that have a white blister in the middle and a red spot around the blister. They look like you burned the tissue around the blister.
  • Vomiting  is a more serious side effect if you vomit too much you could become dehydrated. feeling of vomiting anyway. Niacin deficiency will cause you to have a very upset and churning stomach.
  • Depression this is a serious mental side effect of niacin deficiency it causes depression. It is a heavy load to baer when the mind becomes weighed down by fear and anxious thoughts.

It was briefly mentioned the symptoms of pellagra which is a severe form of niacin deficiency. It the deficiency gets to this stage then you could be in for trouble. The conditions be reversed but if it is snot treated it could lead to death. We never want to play around with diseases that can be fatal.

Symptoms of Pellagra

Symptoms of Pellagra

  • A bumpy and scaly colored rash develops on the skin as soon as the skin hits sunlight. The skin turns a dark red and in very severe cases it will turn black a deep black. It almost has the appearance of the skin having been burned. It will became bumpy and very scaly. It almost looks like human reptile skin.
  • Swollen mouth and bright  beet, red tongue that looks like the tongue has been burned and is extremely inflamed. The tongue looks very swollen like it fills your whole mouth. It is a very painful condition. It maybe the skin feels extremely itchy and that it will burst open. It has a very leathery look toit.It almost does not look like human skin anymore.
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea that could be more frequently than when the deficiency was in its earlier stages. You feel constantly nauseous and there is a good chance you can become dehydrated from all the vomiting. You are bound to lose weight.
  • Headache if you have a decent of any type of vitamin B you will get a headache. All the vomiting is another trigger for a headache to develop.
  • Apathy you develop a hopeless outlook on life because of all the pain you are experiencing and you will get very sick in the severest stages of pellagra. Basically you just do not care about yourself, others or anything. This is a very dangerous state of mind to be in. It runs hand-hand with depression.
  • Disorientation you just feel out of sync and your mind is not as sharp as it usually is. You don’t quite feel yourself and your thinking will become muddy and confused.
  • Memory Loss whenever there is a deficiency of vitamin B it will cause memory loss and your brain doesn’t function at peak performance. You became sluggish mentally.

If you ever develop pellagra you need to see a doctor as fast as you can. Actually you should see a doctor way deore the deficiency gets that severe. Like it was said before it could lead to death and yes it is that serious.

Causes Of Niacin Deficiency

Causes Of Niacin Deficiency

Back in the 1800’s there were a lot more cases of niacin deficiency. Because many Americans were too poor to get the right kinds of food that contained a lot of niacin. They mainly survived on corn, molasses and salt pork which are all very poor sources for niacin. In the Western world niacin deficiency is a ghost of a condition that does not attack people anymore. There are still some undeveloped countries that have outbreaks of niacin deficiency. Other causes can be extreme alcoholism, people whose bodies cannot absorb the amino acid tryptophan but these are rare cases. If a person has been treated too long with drugs to cure tuberculosis it can develop from that as well.

Niacin deficiency treatments

Niacin deficiency treatments

The proper amount of niacin for men and women vary. Women need 14 milligrams per day and men need slightly more at 16 milligrams per day. This is part of the treatment to recover from niacin deficiency is to get the right amounts everyday. This can also be preventive measures to take so a person will never get niacin deficiency.

If a person who has developed this deficiency receives the correct amount of niacin on a daily basis they will  make a full recovery. The key is to treat it in the early stages so the recovery time is a lot less. If it progresses to the pellagra stage it can be reversed but the healing time will take a long time. You will not be cured overnight. If you are unable to attain the right kind of foods to get niacin or if your body has trouble absorbing tryptophan to your doctor.He can prescribe supplements that contain 20 milligrams of niacin which will be enough to keep you clear of niacin deficiency. Another treatment is to get on diet strictly of foods that contain niacin. This is a very natural treatment to reverse this condition.It can ako treat pellagra.

Niacin Supplements that are prescribed can reverse niacin deficient. They can also reduce cholesterol which is a nice little advantage, if you are taking more than 100 milligrams of niacin a day your doctor should be monitoring signs of liver trouble You need to have a liver test done periodically. If you take an excessive amount of niacin supplementation could be in trouble. If the case then call your doctor. The FDA has approved niacin supplements which means they can be taken safely

You just do not want to leave niacin deficiencies  untreated. This condition if left untreated will reach the severe stage which is when pellagra sets in. You can die from pellagra it is not a fun disease to have. If you think you have the beginning stages of niacin deficiency consult a doctor right away. You should not dlya ingoing to the doctor. Literally it could be the difference between lies and death.

Niacin Food Recipes  

Niacin Food Recipes  

Beef Tenderloin

Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients;

  • Beef tenderloin
  • Separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, choice, raw
  • 3 lb
  • 4 kg
  • Soy sauce
  • Made from soy and wheat (shoyu)
  • 3/4 cup
  • 191 grams
  • Butter
  • Unsalted
  • 1/2 tbsp
  • 1 grams

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • 2 Place roast into a shallow, glass baking dish. Pour soy sauce and melted butter over the tenderloin.
  • 3 Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the roast over, and continue cooking 35 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally until the internal temperature of the roast is at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium. Or, cook to your desired degree of doneness. Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

African Chicken Peanut Stew Recipe

African Chicken Peanut Stew Recipe

  • Peanuts
    • All types, oil-roasted, with salt
    • 1 cup, halves and whole
    • 144 grams
  • Coriander seed
    • Spices
    • 1 tbsp
    • 5 grams
  • Onions
    • Raw
    • 1 cup, chopped
    • 160 grams
  • Ginger root
    • Raw
    • 3 cup slices (1″ dia)
    • 288 grams
  • Vegetable oil
    • Natreon canola, high stability, non trans, high oleic (70%)
    • 9 tsp
    • 42 grams
  • Chicken broth
    • Soup, canned, ready-to-serve
    • 4 cup
    • 960 grams
  • Tomatoes
    • Crushed, canned
    • 1 can (15 oz)
    • 425 grams
  • Sweet potato
    • Frozen, cooked, baked, with salt
    • 3 cup, cubes
    • 528 grams
  • Pepper
    • Spices, black
    • 1 dash
    • 10 grams
  • Peanut butter
    • Smooth style, without salt
    • 1 cup
    • 258 grams
  • Garlic
    • Raw
    • 6 cloves, minced
    • 18 grams
  • Fresh cilantro
    • Coriander leaves, raw
    • 9 sprigs
    • 20 grams
  • Salt
    • Table
    • 1 dash
    • 40 grams
  • Cayenne pepper
    • Spices, red or cayenne
    • 1 tsp
    • 8 grams
  • Chicken leg
    • Broilers or fryers, meat only, cooked, stewed
    • 8 leg, bone and skin removed
    • 808 grams

Directions:

  • Slice white onion coarsely. Peel and mince ginger. Roughly chop garlic cloves. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks. Chop cilantro coarsely.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don’t crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown.
  • Saut the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and saut another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.
  • Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander and cayenne and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.
  • Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl to cool, until cool enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin if you want, or chop it and put it back into the pot. Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot.
  • Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve by itself, or with simple steamed rice.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • Avocados
    • Raw, All commercial varieties
    • 1 fruit
    • 201 grams
    • Limes
    • Raw
    • 2 fruit (2″ dia)
    • 134 grams
  • Pepper
    • Spices, black
    • 1/4 tsp
    • 53 grams
  • Salt
    • Table
    • 1/2 tsp
    • 3 grams
  • Chicken breast
    • Broilers or fryers, meat only, raw
    • 4 breast, bone and skin removed
    • 944 grams
  • Fresh cilantro
    • Coriander leaves, raw
    • 6 sprigs
    • 3 grams
    • Fresh cilantro
    • Coriander leaves, raw
    • Per 6 sprigs
  • Carbs 5g
  • Fat 1g
  • Protein 3g
  • Calories 1
  • Fresh cilantro
    • Coriander leaves, raw
    • 3 tbsp
    • 3 grams
  • Limes
    • Raw
    • 2 fruit (2″ dia)
    • 134 grams
  • Olive oil
    • Salad or cooking
    • 2 tbsp
    • 27 grams
  • Lime juice
    • Raw
    • 2 lime yields
    • 88 grams
  • Sugar
    • White, granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp`
    • 1 grams

Directions:

  • Place the chicken breasts between two piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound to an even thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
  • Mix the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, sugar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and massage the marinade into the chicken. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes, and up to 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the grill for medium high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the refrigerator. Remove them from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken breasts with some olive oil.Soak a paper towel in a little more oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. When the grill is hot, place the chicken breasts on the grill. Grill for a few minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Pasta
    • Corn, dry
    • 16 oz
    • 454 grams
  • Tomatoes
    • Crushed, canned
    • 2 can (15 oz)
    • 850 grams
  • Butter
    • Unsalted
    • 4 tbsp
    • 8 grams
  • Parmesan cheese
    • Grated
    • 1/2 cup
    • 50 grams
  • Tuna
    • Fish, light, canned in oil, drained solids
    • 6 oz
    • 170 grams
  • Ricotta cheese
    • Whole milk
    • 1/2 cup
    • 124 grams
  • Salt
    • Table
    • 1 dash
    • 40 grams
  • Basil
    • Fresh
    • 1/4 cup leaves, whole
    • 6 grams

Directions:

  • Chop or tear fresh basil.
  • Melt the butter in a medium pot on medium heat and add the can of tomatoes, including the juice. If you are using whole canned tomatoes (or fresh ones) crush them with your (clean) fingers as you put them in the pot. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Once the sauce is cooking, heat a large pot of well salted water to a strong boil. Add the shell pasta to the boiling water and cook at a vigorous boil, uncovered, until al dente, cooked through but still a bit firm to the bite, which is usually whatever the time specified on the pasta package minus about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Pour off the excess oil from the tuna can and stir the tuna into the tomato sauce. Add the ricotta cheese, and add salt to taste. Turn off the heat. Mix the sauce with the pasta in a large bowl. Mix in the basal.
  • Pour the pasta into a 2 to 3-quart casserole dish and top with the parmesan cheese. Put under a hot broiler for 4-6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Conclusion:

We have explored what niacin deficiency is and what the symptoms of it are as far a the conditions in the beginning stages. If left untreated it could progress to pellagra which is the severest level of niacin deficiency. The symptoms at this level seem to be more frequent and just as miserable as the symptoms in the beginning sages. The most severest case of niacin deficiency can be reversed with proper treatment. The treatment can include either taking the niacin supplement which has its own side effects or eating foods with a lot of niacin in their composition.

Remember to that pellagra is left untreated and it progresses to the final stage it will be fatal. Take care of the condition as soon as you suspect something is really wrong with you. Or even if things seem slightly off get to the doctor. Check out the recipes listed above that are a rich source of niacin.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.