Metabolism and Word Niacin

Topics: Niacin, Metabolism, Pellagra Pages: 3 (1070 words) Published: May 14, 2011
When you hear the word Niacin, what does it mean to you? What about Vitamin B3? You may have seen them on the back of cereal boxes, energy drinks or even in your daily multivitamin. Well they are in fact one in the same. However vitamin B3 comes in two different forms, nicotinic acid or Niacin and nicotinamide, while nicotinamide is a vitamin it does not have the same practical uses as Niacin.,,,, Today I am going to tell you a little about the history, biological uses, sources and the consequences of an overdose or deficiency in Niacin. As a Biology major I think it is vital to stress the importance of getting the suggested daily dose of Niacin. But first let’s discuss the history of Niacin.,,,,, According to, the structure of Niacin was first described by the Austrian chemist, Hugo Weidel in 1873 at the Vienna University of Technology, while studying the reaction of nicotine with nitric acid. Although the product of this reaction, Niacin, was already known Weidel was the first to person to isolate large enough quantities to determine the properties of the material.,,,,, In 1937 a Norwegian emigrant living in Wisconsin by the name of Conrad Elvehjem, extracted and identified a molecule found in the liver as a new vitamin now called niacin. He referred to this vitamin as the “pellagra-preventing factor”. His isolation of this vitamin directly lead to the cure of pellagra, a disease I will discuss a little later. Now because of nicotinic acid’s new found importance it was though appropriate to come up with a new name.,,,,, The name, as shown here, comes from combining specific letters in nicotinic acid and vitamin. Now that we've covered some history, I'd like to take a look at some of the uses of Niacin.,,,,, Niacin along with other B vitamins help our bodies metabolize fats and protein, as well as maintain healthy skin, eyes, hair and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.,,,,, Niacin is the precursor to...
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