Difference Between Niacin and Niacinamide

Vitamins are a very important micronutrient that helps in the metabolism of the human body. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized by human beings. So it is needed in the diet. Vitamins are related to other molecules as well called Vitamers. Vitamin helps in the growth of the tissue and cells.

There are thirteen types of vitamins. There are various sources through which Vitamins can be taken. Before 1935, the only source was food. If the body doesn’t get the required amount of Vitamin, then it may lead to deficiency diseases. After 1950, there was the production of different vitamin supplements, and in staple food also vitamin was added. Niacin and Niacinamide are the two forms of vitamins.

Niacin vs Niacinamide

The main difference between Niacin and niacinamide is that Niacin is also called Nictonic acid. Niacinamide is also called Nicotinamide. Niacin is an organic compound and is a very important nutrient for humans. It can be manufactured by both plants and animals. Niacinamide is found in food and is used for medication and dietary supplements. Niacin is used for the treatment of high cholesterol. But Niacinamide cannot be used. The human body is capable of converting Niacin into niacinamide, but the reverse is not possible.

Niacin and Niacinamide

Niacin is an essential nutrient that can be manufactured from plants and animals from the amino acid tryptophan. Niacin can be obtained in the diet by eating whole processed food or packaged foods that include meat, poultry, redfish such as tuna and salmon, lesser amounts in nuts, legumes and seeds. Niacin works both as a medication as well as a dietary supplement. Deficiency of Niacin can cause several diseases like diarrhoea, Pellagra, dermatitis, inflammation of tongue and mouth, dementia, delirium etc. If it is left untreated, then it can cause death.

Niacinamide is used to treat the disease named Pellagra that is caused by the deficiency of Niacin. Niacinamide has the benefit over Niacin in that it doesn’t cause skin flushing. It is also used for the treatment of acne. Niacinamide is very helpful as it contains anti-inflammatory properties that benefit people from anti-inflammatory skin conditions. If the dose of Niacinamide is given at 500 or 1000 mg per day, then it decreases the chance of having skin cancer. It has almost no side effects. Niacinamide is considered safe during pregnancy.

Comparison Table Between Niacin and Niacinamide

Parameters of ComparisonNiacinNiacinamide
Known asVitamin B3, Nicotinic acid, Bionic, Vitamin PP etc.3-pyridine carboxamide, nicotinic acid amide, nicotinic amide etc.
Chemical formulaC6H5NO2C6H6N2O
Melting point237 °C129.5 °C
SourcesFish, meat, eggs, milk, yeast, nuts, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains.Grains, Vitamins B complex supplements etc.
BenefitsTreats cholesterol problems.Prevents various skin ailments such as wrinkles, acne, and skin pigmentation.

What is Niacin?

Niacin is a type of Vitamin that is also an important nutrient. It is marked as a very essential dietary supplement. In the USA, Niacin is used as prescription medicine. Niacin is a precursor for two of the enzymes, namely nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). These two enzymes help in the catabolism and anabolism reaction in the body. Niacin is used for the treatment of various cholesterol problems and a deficiency disease called Pellagra. When Niacin is given to a patient for treating triglycerides and high cholesterol, it has a great impact on it due to its high doses given every day.

Deficiency of Niacin can cause various problems besides Pellagra like diarrhoea, dermatitis, thickening of the skin, hyperpigmentation, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, delirium, dementia, and death. The absence of Niacin includes some of the most common symptoms like irritability, fatigue, apathy, memory loss, restlessness, poor concentration, anxiety, and depression. Niacin deficiency is seen in poor countries and not developed countries. It is often related to malnutrition, alcoholism, poverty etc.

People who eat maize as their staple food can also suffer from the deficiency of Niacin. Because it is the only food that constraints a low level of Niacin. There is a genetic disease related to Niacin called Hartnup disease that fails to accept amino acid tryptophan.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is found in a very small amount of food. Its food source is limited. Like traces of it can be found in meat, fish, nuts, and mushrooms, in some vegetables, cereals etc. Niacinamide is added to various multivitamins containing Vitamin B3 and is given in higher doses. Biologically, Niacinamide comes in the family of Vitamin B. If we talk more precisely, then it will be Vitamin B3 complex. Niacinamide is an important part of NADH and NAD+. The structure of Niacinamide or nicotinamide consists of a Pyridine ring where the amide group in the primary position is attached in meta.

Niacinamide has a boiling point of 334 °C and a melting point of 129.5 °C. The molar mass of Niacinamide is 122.127 g·mol−1. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin. Niacinamide was discovered in the year 1953. Since then, globally, it has been used as a generic medicine. When Niacinamide is used commercially, it is made from Niacin. Around the world, in food grains that are eaten, niacinamide is added to it so that it can provide a supplement.

Niacinamide has very minimum side effects. If a high dose is given, then it may cause liver problems. But during the time of pregnancy, it is considered safe. NBiacinamide cream is used for the treatment of acne.

Main Differences Between Niacin and Niacinamide

  1. Niacin is known by the names like Nicotinic acid, Bionic, Vitamin B3, Vitamin PP etc. Niacinamide is known by the name 3-pyridine carboxamide, nicotinic acid amide, nicotinic amide etc.
  2. The chemical formula of Niacin is C6H5NO2. The chemical formula of Niacinamide is C6H6N2O.
  3. The melting point of Niacin is 237 °C. The melting point of Niacinamide is 129.5 °C.
  4. Sources of Niacin are fish, meat, eggs, milk, yeast, nuts, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains. Sources of Niacinamide are Vitamins B complex supplements, grains etc.
  5. The benefit of Niacin is that it helps to treat Pellagra and cholesterol. The benefits of Niacinamide are it prevents various skin ailments such as acne, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation.

Conclusion

Both Niacin and Niacinamide are great sources of Vitamin B3. Niacin is one of the simple forms in which Vitamin B3 is present. Niacin has two types that are Niacinamide and Nicotinic acid. Niacinamide is one of the forms of Niacin that contains two enzymes, NAD and NADP. Both of these are responsible for the biochemical reaction in the human body.

Both of the vitamins are soluble in water as well as alcohol. Both are odourless and colourless. Niacin, if given in high doses, causes the blood vessels to widen, resulting in a condition called Flushing. Niacinamide doesn’t cause this side effect. Niacin can be converted into Niacinamide using bacteria.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1336277/
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/109/4/654/4770783
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