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What is Niacin


Updated January 26, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: Niacin is a vitamin which occurs naturally in many foods and can be synthesized by the body. It is important for overall health. It is chemically similar to nicotine, the addictive psychoactive drug in tobacco. While there is some speculation that niacin may be able to help smokers stop using cigarettes, no studies have proven that taking niacin supplements results in a reduction in nicotine cravings or withdrawal symptoms among smokers who try to quit.
Pronunciation: nI - a - sin
Also Known As: vitamin B3, vitamin B complex (one vitamin of many in this supplement), nicotinic acid
Common Misspellings: naicin
After quitting smoking, some say that their nicotine cravings and irritability disappeared soon after they started taking niacin supplements.
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