Also known as Vitamin B3 Blood
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What is this test?

Vitamin B3 Blood test is used to measure the Vitamin-B3 levels in the blood.

What is Vitamin B3?

Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin, which is a form of B complex vitamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin and found in many foods such as eggs, milk, red meat, fish, grains, yeast, legumes, and green vegetables, etc. It is also available as dietary supplements. The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B3 for energy production and supports the functions of many enzymes. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, digestive and nervous system. Therefore, it is advised to take adequate Vitamin B3 rich food or supplements on a regular basis. Niacin is given in pharmacologic doses to lower the increased cholesterol levels in the body and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to determine moderate to severe Vitamin B3 deficiencies. Severe deficiency of Vitamin B3 in the body may cause a condition called Pellagra. Signs and symptoms of this condition are butterfly shaped lesions on the face or neck, red flaky skin, thick, scaly or cracked skin, restlessness, headaches, confusion, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, sores on the lips, tongue or gums etc. Vitamin B3 deficiency mainly occurs in individuals who do not include Vitamin B3 riched foods in their diet.

This test is one among many tests in the Vitamin B profile. The doctor may ask you to perform this test to screen or detect moderate to severe Vitamin B3 deficiencies. You may also be advised to perform this test if you have a family history of Vitamin B3 deficiency diseases or if you experience any symptoms of Vitamin B3 deficiency conditions such as a swollen mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, headache, thick and scaly skin, or depression, etc.

If you have a family history of Vitamin B3 deficiency conditions, your doctor may ask to perform this test on a 6-monthly basis or a yearly basis. Individuals who are diagnosed with Vitamin B3 deficiency conditions should perform this test on a regular basis as instructed by the doctor. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may have decreased Vitamin B3 blood levels.


Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you take, especially if you are taking anticonvulsants or immunosuppressive medicines before the test. These medicines may interfere with your test results.

Also known as Vit B3 Blood, Nicotinamide Blood, Vitamin B3, Vit B3.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Nicotinamide. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Nicotinamide.

You may need to fast (without eating anything) for a whole night or for 8 to 12 hours before this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test result falls in the normal reference range, then you have the adequate levels of Vitamin B3 and hence, no medical intervention is necessary.

If the test result falls below the normal reference range it may indicate moderate to severe Vitamin B3 deficiencies. Deficiency of Vitamin B3 in the body may indicate the presence or chance of a disease condition called pellagra. Poor nutrition intake or lack of nutrients (malnutrition), or lack of proper absorption of Vitamin B3 through small intestine due to Chrons disease (a disease condition of intestine) may also show low Vitamin B3 blood levels.

Individuals with poor appetite and who consume alcohol also may show decreased Vitamin B3 blood levels. Low Vitamin B3 blood levels may also be seen in individuals who are undergoing dialysis and who take water pills or certain medications such as anticonvulsants or immunosuppressive medicines.

If the test result shows high Vitamin B3 levels in the blood, it may indicate Vitamin B3 toxicity. This is not very common and may occur due to the intake of high doses of Vitamin B3 supplements. Individuals who take higher doses of niacin may cause liver damage, stomach ulcers, or increased blood glucose levels etc.

If you have higher or lower than normal levels of Vitamin B3 levels in the blood, consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.

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