Vitamin B3 // Niacin

Vitamin B3 Intake Recommendations

The optimum intake of vitamin B3 (niacin) for health promotion and chronic disease prevention is not yet known.

In 1993, the European Scientific Committee for Food set population reference intakes (PRI) for vitamin B3 (niacin) in milligrams (mg) per day (21)

Age    Males: mg/day Females: mg/day
 6–12 months 5 5
 1–3 years 9 9
 4–6 years 11 11
 7–10 years 13 13
 11–14 years 15 14
 15–17 years 18 14
 18 years and older 18 14
 Pregnant - 14
 Breast-feeding - 16

 

The actual daily requirement of vitamin B3 (niacin) depends on the quantity of the amino acid ‘tryptophan’ in the diet and the efficiency of tryptophan to niacin conversion. The conversion factor is 60 mg tryptophan to 1 mg niacin, which is referred to as 1 niacin equivalent (NE). This conversion factor is used for calculating both dietary contributions from tryptophan and recommended allowances of niacin.

In 1998, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board set recommended dietary allowance (RDA) values for vitamin B3 (niacin) in milligrams niacin equivalent (mg NE) per day that should prevent deficiency in most people (22):

 Life Stage   Age  Males: (mg NE*/day) Females: (mg NE/day)
 Infants 0–6 months 2 (AI) 2 (AI)
 Infants  7–12 months 4 (AI) 4 (AI)
 Children   1–3 years 6 6
 Children  4–8 years 8 8
 Children 9–13 years 12 12
 Adolescents 14–18 years 16 14
 Adults 19 years and older 16 14
 Pregnancy all ages - 18
 Breast-feeding all ages - 17

 

*NE, niacin equivalent: 1 mg NE = 60 mg of tryptophan = 1 mg niacin

For a detailed overview of recommended daily intakes (PRIs/RDAs) of vitamins and minerals for adults derived from different countries and organizations see PDF.

Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed by Giorgio La Fata on 06.06.2017