Niacin Essay

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Niacin Research and Requirements Introduction Niacin, also commonly referred to as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, is a prevalent water-soluble vitamin that has become an intriguing research topic for scientists. The Institution of Medicine exploited a variety of sources focusing solely on niacin to compile a detailed DRI chapter for the vitamin. Throughout the course of this paper, information stemming from the DRI chapter itself along with alternate sources contributing to these recommendations will be presented. Nutrient Functions, Nutrient Sources, and Population At Risk Niacin functions largely in the coenzyme forms nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) to carry out many biological reactions within the body (Institute of Medicine, 1998, p. 124). More specifically, intracellular respiration is a prime function of NAD whereas NADP can be found functioning in reductive biosynthesis. Both coenzyme forms of Niacin also function as a codehydrogenase. Mixed dishes, that presents meat, fish, or poultry as the main entrée; enriched and whole grain breads and bread products; and fortified ready-to-eat cereals contribute the greatest to niacin intake of adults living in the United States according to the 1995 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes (IOM, 1998, p. 137). Pharmaceutical supplements can also be used as a niacin source. Supplements that contain up to 400 mg of niacin are available to the public over the counter (IOM, 1998, p. 138). Due to niacin contributing considerably to the normal function of the body, it is important for U.S. citizens to be aware of niacin sources in order to obtain the recommended amount and avoid become niacin deficient. Although today niacin ... ... middle of paper ... ...ergy intake and expenditure cannot be used to assist in setting the EAR and RDA due to the variance of energy utilization based on gender, size, pregnancy, and lactation. Rather, a 10% adjustment of niacin function in fuel molecule oxidation is acknowledged to represent these differences as a whole (IOM, 1998, p. 130). In order to produce and present reliable information, tediously sorting through resources is necessary to ensure that the science behind the set recommendations is of good quality. Review of Critical Article The Standing Committee of the Institute of Medicine used a broad range of research and studies in order to ensure upmost accuracy when compiling the DRI chapter for niacin. One reference, Grace A. Goldsmith M.D., presents information useful for setting the niacin DRI in her article “Niacin-Tryptophan Relationship in Man and Niacin Requirements.”

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