Niacin defiency symptoms: How to test for Niacin Deficiency

Niacin Deficiency Symptoms: How to Test for Niacin Deficiency

Vitamin B3 is one of the eight components that make Vitamin B complex. Vitamin B3 deficiency has some severe and fatal consequences. Its Deficiency mainly results in a decline in cognitive ability, lack of stamina, anxiety, and other mental illness. 

Your body falls into a deficit of niacin mainly when you miss out on dietary sources of vitamin B3. In addition to that, it might happen when body absorption gets impaired or affected. 

This blog will explore the symptoms associated with vitamin B3 deficiency. By understanding these symptoms, you can better recognize if you might be lacking in vitamin B3 and take appropriate steps to address the Deficiency. So, let's uncover the signs of vitamin B3 deficiency and learn how it can impact our health.

What is Vitamin B3 (aka niacin) Deficiency? 

Niacin is one essential nutrient that your body needs to retain health. It is required by the body to convert food into cellular energy. In addition to this, vitamin B3 also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Since the body doesn't store it, it is necessary to be consumed via dietary sources daily; otherwise, you will fall prone to vitamin B3 deficiency, also known as Pellagra. 

Its Deficiency is most common in areas where food is scarce. Most people who are deficit of niacin also represents a low level of other vitamins, which include: 

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B 12 
  • Riboflavin 

Symptoms of Vitamin B3 Deficiency

Vitamin B3 deficiency was a rare condition initially. But gradually, with poor quality food and many other things, it has become one of the most common conditions. The most evident symptoms of vitamin B3 deficiency include the following: 

Skin Problems

The benefits of Niacinamide on the skin (Niacinamide Benefits on Skin: Your daily skincare regimen) are tremendous, But when niacin is deficient, your skin becomes extremely sensitive to UV damage. The skin generally loses its ability to withstand UV. Exposure. In addition, niacin deficiency also impairs collagen production, thus turning skin less youthful and fresh. The impaired production of collagen then results in delayed healing of dermal wounds. 

Niacin keeps up the moisture of the skin. Even a minor deficiency of vitamin B3 can turn you dry, patchy, and flaky. 

Hyperpigmentation is one other symptom of vitamin deficiency on the skin.  


If you are talking about Vitamin B3 deficiency, Pellagra will always be found to be most associated with this. It is a combination of skin, brain, and digestive system symptoms.   

Pellagra happens with an appearance of red rashes known as dermatitis on the neck, calf, legs, face, and feet. It is often accompanied by chronic diarrhea and dementia. 

Oral health Issues 

Insufficient levels of vitamin B3 also result in oral issues such as bleeding gums, mouth sores, and swollen gums. In some cases, vitamin B3 deficiency can contribute to halitosis or bad breath. In extreme cases, niacin deficiency also results in tooth enamel decay, thus exposing teeth to bacterial attack. 

Digestive Issues 

Just like other symptoms, vitamin B3 deficiency also accompanies specific digestive issues. The scarcity of Vitamin B3 results in the following common digestive disorders:  

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Altered Bowel Movements 
  • Reduced stomach acid 
  • Malabsorption 

It can be catered to by adding digestive relief supplements such as Gastric Relief.  

Muscles Weakness and Joint Pain

Vitamin B3 deficiency can manifest as muscle weakness, pain, and joint discomfort. Individuals may experience difficulty performing physical tasks and reduced muscle strength.

In extreme cases, niacin deficiency might result in neuromuscular symptoms such as cramps, spasms, and tremors. You might experience an affected gait or loss of balance during the walk. 

Mood Disorders 

Vitamin B3 deficiency may contribute to mood disorders, including depression and irritability. Individuals may experience frequent mood swings, heightened anxiety, and emotional instability.

What factors contribute to Vitamin B3 deficiency?

The four most common factors make a person prone to vitamin B3 deficiency.  

  1. Getting a diet deficient in tryptophan or any condition that would prevent tryptophan conversion in niacin, such as Hartnup disease
  2. Undernutrition 
  3. Faulty absorption of nutrients
  4. Low intake of vitamin B2, B6 and iron 

How to Prevent Vitamin B3 Deficiency? 

  • Incorporate Niacin rich food 
  • Maintain a balanced diet 
  • Add nmn supplement to routine 
  • Be mindful of alcohol consumption 
Deficiency side effect

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the food sources of vitamin B3? 

Vitamin B3 (niacin) can be obtained from various food sources, including lean meats like beef and poultry, fish such as salmon and tuna, legumes like lentils and chickpeas, whole grains, nuts and seeds, dairy products, and eggs. Incorporating these niacin-rich foods into your diet can help ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B3.

How can I increase vitamin B3 in my body?

The best way to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency or increase niacin levels in the blood; is to take a balanced diet. It is best if you pair your diet with a multivitamin supplement. If you are vegetarian, try to eat whole grains, peanuts, and mushrooms; if you are non-vegetarian, remember to add fish, meat, and poultry. 

Can vitamin B3 deficiency cause anxiety? 

Vitamin B3 deficiency can contribute to anxiety due to its impact on brain health and neurotransmitter function.


In conclusion, vitamin B3 deficiency, or niacin deficiency, can significantly affect overall health and well-being. The consequences of inadequate niacin levels are far-reaching, from its essential role in energy metabolism and cellular function to its impact on skin, digestion, muscles, and cognitive health. 

Recognizing the symptoms associated with vitamin B3 deficiency, such as fatigue, skin problems, digestive issues, and cognitive impairments, is crucial for early intervention and prevention. By incorporating niacin-rich foods into our diets or seeking appropriate supplementation, we can maintain optimal vitamin B3 levels and support our overall health and vitality. Consult healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis and guidance tailored to individual needs. 

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