Niacin is one of a group of vitamins called the "B vitamins." Niacin works with other B vitamins to help your body use the energy you get from food. It is also important to help use protein from the diet to build new cells and tissues.
Most kinds of meat, poultry and fish are good sources of niacin. "Enriched" grains, like breads, rice, pasta, cereals and other baked products are also sources of niacin.
Like other B vitamins, niacin is easily lost when foods are cooked or processed. When you cook rice or pasta, some of the niacin goes into the water. When you rinse rice or pastas you rinse off some of the vitamin. So to keep the niacin you need from these foods, it is important not to rinse the rice or pasta after you have cooked it. When you buy breads, cereals and other baked products, read the label to be sure it is "enriched" with niacin and other B vitamins.
To find out more about other B vitamins, read the files for Thiamin, Riboflavin and B vitamins.
If you have other questions about these vitamins, you can go to "Ask the Nutritionist."
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