Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B3 (Niacin)


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, Vitamin B3, 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, 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. The current DV for Niacin (Vitamin B3) is 20mg. Below are the top 10 foods highest in vitamin B3 (Niacin) by common serving sizes, click here for high vitamin B3 (Niacin) foods by nutrient density, here for an extended list of vitamin B3 (Niacin) rich foods, and here for other foods high in vitamin B.

#1: Fish (Cooked Yellowfin Tuna)
Niacin in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per ounce (28g)
22.1mg (110% DV)18.8mg (94% DV)6.3mg (31% DV)
Other Fish High in Niacin (%DV per 3oz cooked): Skipjack Tuna (80%), Mackerel and Bluefin Tuna (45%), Wild Salmon (43%), Swordfish (39%), Farmed Salmon and Halibut (34%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Chicken & Turkey (Cooked Chicken Breast)
Niacin in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per 1/2 Breast (86g)
14.8mg (74% DV)12.6mg (63% DV)12.7mg (64% DV)
Turkey is also High in Niacin: Roasted light meat contains (50% DV) per 3oz cooked. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Pork (Cooked Lean Chop)
Niacin in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per chop (142g)
10.9mg (54% DV)9.2mg (46% DV)15.4mg (77% DV)
Other Pork Cuts High in Niacin (%DV per 3oz cooked): Lean mince (44%), and Sirloin (35%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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#4: Liver (Cooked Lamb Liver)
Niacin in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per Liver (332g)
16.7mg (83% DV)14.2mg (71% DV)53.7mg (269% DV)
Other Livers High in Niacin (%DV per 3oz cooked): Beef (75%), Veal (61%), Chicken (57%), and Pork (36%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Peanuts (Oil Roasted)
Niacin in 100g Per cup chopped (144g)Per ounce (28g)
13.8mg (69% DV)19.9mg (100% DV)3.9mg (19% DV)
Peanuts (botanically legumes) contain 168 calories per ounce. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Beef (Cooked Lean Rib)
Niacin in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per pound (454g)
9.0mg (45% DV)7.6mg (39% DV)41.0mg (205% DV)
Other Beef Cuts High in Niacin (%DV per 3oz cooked): Lean Sirloin Steak (38%), Beef Fillet (37%), and Tenderloin (36%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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#7: Mushrooms (Grilled Portobello)
Niacin in 100gPer cup (121g)Per cup raw (86g)
6.3mg (31% DV)7.6mg (38% DV)3.9mg (19% DV)
Other Mushrooms High in Niacin (%DV per cup, sliced): Cooked White (35%), Oyster (Raw) (21%), Brown (Raw) (14%), and Chanterelle (Raw) (11%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#8: Green Peas (Fresh)
Niacin in 100gPer cup (145g)Per cup (160g)
2.1mg (10% DV)3.0mg (15% DV)3.2mg (16% DV)
A cup of cooked frozen peas contains (12% DV) and a cup of cooked canned peas contains (8% DV):. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Sunflower Seeds
Niacin in 100g Per cup (140g)Per ounce (28g)
8.3mg (42% DV)11.7mg (58% DV)2.3mg (12% DV)
Other Seeds High in Niacin (%DV per ounce): Chia Seeds (12%), Sesame (8%), Pumpkin & Squash (7%), and Sunflower (6%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Avocado
Niacin in 100gPer cup cubed (150g)Per fruit (201g)
1.7mg (9% DV)2.6mg (13% DV)3.5mg (17% DV)
Half an average avocado provides 160 calories. Click to see complete nutrition facts.






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Top 10 High Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Foods by Nutrient Density (Vitamin B3 per Gram)
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#1: Yeast Extract 127.5mg (638% DV) per 100 grams7.7mg (38% DV) per teaspoon (6 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Yeast Extract
#2: Bran (Rice) 34.0mg (170% DV) per 100 grams40.1mg (201% DV) per cup (118 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bran
#3: Liver (Lambís) 16.7mg (83% DV) per 100 grams14.2mg (71% DV) per 3oz (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver
#4: Fish (Tuna) 22.1mg (110% DV) per 100 grams18.8mg (94% DV) per 3oz (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fish
#5: Chicken (Breast, cooked) 14.8mg (74% DV) per 100 grams12.7mg (64% DV) per 1/2 breast (86 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Chicken
#6: Veal (Cooked) 12.6mg (63% DV) per 100 grams10.7mg (54% DV) per 3oz (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Veal
#7: Peanuts (Roasted) 13.8mg (69% DV) per 100 grams3.9mg (19% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Peanuts
#8: Spices (Chili Powder) 11.6mg (58% DV) per 100 grams0.4mg (2% DV) per teaspoon (3 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Chili Powder
#9: Bacon (Cooked) 11.1mg (55% DV) per 100 grams0.9mg (4% DV) per rasher (8 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bacon
#10: Sun Dried Tomatoes 9.1mg (45% DV) per 100 grams4.9mg (24% DV) per cup (54 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sun Dried Tomatoes

Other Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Rich Foods
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Bakerís Yeast 40.2mg (201% DV) per 100 gram serving 2.8mg (14% DV) per packet (7 grams) 1.6mg (8% DV) per teaspoon (4 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bakerís Yeast
Paprika 10mg (50% DV) per 100 gram serving 0.7mg (4% DV) per packet (7 grams) 0.2mg (1% DV) per teaspoon (2 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bakerís Yeast
Instant Coffee 28.2mg (141% DV) per 100 gram serving 0.6mg (3% DV) per packet (2 grams) 0.3mg (1% DV) per teaspoon (1 gram) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Instant Coffee
Coffee (Espresso) 5.2mg (26% DV) per 100 gram serving 1.6mg (8% DV) per fluid ounce (30 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Espresso Coffee
Canned Anchovies 19.9mg (100% DV) per 100 gram serving 9.0mg (45% DV) per can (45 grams) 4.0mg (20% DV) per 5 anchovies (20 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Anchovies
Canned Tuna 13.3mg (66% DV) per 100 gram serving 21.9mg (110% DV) per can (165 grams) 11.3mg (56% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Tuna
Spirulina Seaweed 12.8mg (64% DV) per 100 gram serving 14.4mg (72% DV) per cup (112 grams) 0.9mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (7 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spirulina Seaweed
Venison (Cooked) 10.8mg (54% DV) per 100 gram serving 5.8mg (29% DV) per steak (54 grams) 9.1mg (46% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Venison
Duck (Cooked) 10.4mg (52% DV) per 100 gram serving 9.8mg (49% DV) per 1/2 Breast (95 grams) 8.8mg (44% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Duck
Shiitake Mushrooms (Dried) 14.1mg (71% DV) per 100 gram serving 2.1mg (11% DV) per 4 mushrooms (15 grams) 0.6mg (3% DV) per mushroom (4 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Shiitake Mushrooms
Soy Sauce 4.0mg (20% DV) per 100 gram serving 0.7mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (18 grams) 0.2mg (1% DV) per teaspoon (6 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Soy Sauce
Fortified Cereals (Bran Flakes) 90.6mg (453% DV) per 100 gram serving 38.0mg (190% DV) per cup (42 grams) 26.3mg (131% DV) per NLEA serving (29 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
Chia Seeds 8.8mg (44% DV) per 100 gram serving 2.5mg (12% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Chia Seeds
Sprouted Beans (Kidney) 2.9mg (15% DV) per 100 gram serving 5.4mg (27% DV) per cup (184 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sprouted Kidney Beans
Peanut Butter 24.6mg (73% DV) per 100 gram serving 5.3mg (26% DV) per 2 tablespoons (36 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Peanut Butter
To find even more high vitamin B3 (Niacin) foods use the nutrient ranking tool.

▼ Health Benefits of Niacin (Vitamin B3)
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  • Protect Against Heart Disease - Niacin is prescribed pharmacologically to lower LDL fats and triglycerides by preventing the breakdown of fats into these individual components. Niacin consumed at such high levels can cause rashes, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea. Consult your doctor before taking niacin supplements in high doses.2,3
  • Regulation of Blood Sugar and Insulin Dependence (*Controversial) - Studies suggest that vitamin B3 (niacin) can help decrease insulin sensitivity,4 however, other studies find no difference.5 Niacin has also been shown to help alleviate some of the destructive autoimmune reactions of type I diabetes, and further studies are being conducted to asses its effectiveness.5
  • Reduced Cancer Risk - Studies show that niacin reduces cancer risk via ensuring DNA integrity and maintenance, and through proper regulation of the tumor suppressor gene: p53.6-8
  • Slow the progression of AIDS - An observational study has reported slowing the progression of AIDS and increasing survival with high doses of niacin.9

▼ People at Risk of a Niacin (Vitamin B3) Deficiency
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  • People with HIV/AIDS - The bodies immune system creates a specific cytokine, interferon gamma, which breaks down tryptophan, a precursor of niacin. Studies show that HIV patients who take increased levels of niacin slow the progression of AIDS.9-11
  • People who eat high amounts of refined foods - Bran is a high food in vitamin B3 which is typically lost during the refining process. Anyone who eats high amounts of white bread, white rice, corn syrup, or other refined products will not receive adequate amounts of niacin. Even though most of these foods are now fortified, it is still best to eat unrefined food products.

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▼ References
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  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20-26.
  2. "Guidelines for Niacin Therapy For the Treatment of Elevated Lipoprotein a (Lpa)". Rush Hemophilia & Thrombophilia Center. August 15, 2002, Revised July 27, 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2009. "facial flushing is a common side effect of niacin therapy that usually subsides after several weeks of consistent niacin use"
  3. Katzung, Bertram G. (2006). Basic and clinical pharmacology. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division. ISBN 0071451536.
  4. Greenbaum CJ, Kahn SE, Palmer JP. Nicotinamide's effects on glucose metabolism in subjects at risk for IDDM. Diabetes. 1996;45(11):1631-1634.
  5. Lampeter EF, Klinghammer A, Scherbaum WA, et al. The Deutsche Nicotinamide Intervention Study: an attempt to prevent type 1 diabetes. DENIS Group. Diabetes. 1998;47(6):980-984.
  6. Hageman GJ, Stierum RH. Niacin, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 and genomic stability. Mutat Res. 2001;475(1-2):45-56.
  7. Jacobson EL, Shieh WM, Huang AC. Mapping the role of NAD metabolism in prevention and treatment of carcinogenesis. Mol Cell Biochem. 1999;193(1-2):69-74.
  8. Weitberg AB. Effect of nicotinic acid supplementation in vivo on oxygen radical-induced genetic damage in human lymphocytes. Mutat Res. 1989;216(4):197-201.
  9. Tang AM, Graham NM, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol. 1996;143(12):1244-1256.
  10. Brown RR, Ozaki Y, Datta SP, Borden EC, Sondel PM, Malone DG. Implications of interferon-induced tryptophan catabolism in cancer, auto-immune diseases and AIDS. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1991;294:425-435.
  11. Murray MF, Langan M, MacGregor RR. Increased plasma tryptophan in HIV-infected patients treated with pharmacologic doses of nicotinamide. Nutrition. 2001;17(7-8):654-656.