B3-Niacin

This one is for a friend of mine who requested some interesting info on B3…Niacin.  Niacin is a blanket term for a family of compounds with vitamin B3 activity. The terms “niacin” and “vitamin B3” can be used interchangeably.

You may have heard the term “pellagra,” and if you associate this term with diet- and nutrition-related problems, you are correct. Pellagra is the name of a disease that is characterized by nutrient deficiency, and primarily deficiency of vitamin B3. It took a long time for healthcare community—both in the U.S. and worldwide—to recognize that dietary changes as simple as adding animal foods and legumes to a meal plan could help prevent pellagra.  It was a primary reason for steps taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1938 to authorize the enrichment of wheat flour with niacin.

The World’s Healthiest Foods list contains four excellent sources of niacin—tuna, chicken, turkey, and crimini mushrooms.

So, here is another option.  The sea urchin…yum!  Sea Urchins are usually found in and around kelp beds upon which they feed.  The eggs of the Sea Urchin , referred to as sea eggs, are considered a delicacy.

Historically, they were harvested by women and children during low tide.  Sea Urchins should only be harvested in areas where the water is NOT polluted as they may easily become contaminated by bacterial pathogens or disease –causing organisms.

Sea Urchins contain 77% of our daily need for folate, and contains B3, B6, B12 and pantothenic acid.

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