DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph (LM) of Vitamin B3 crystals. Vitamin B3, also know as niacin or nicotinic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin whose derivatives such as NADH play essential roles in energy metabolism in the living cell. Severe lack of niacin causes the deficiency disease pellagra, whereas a mild deficiency slows down the metabolism, which in turn decreases cold tolerance and is a potential contributing factor towards obesity. The body can synthesize niacin from the essential amino acid tryptophan but the process is very slow. As serotonin synthesis is reliant on tryptophan availability, inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B3 may also therefore lead to depression. Vitamin B3 has also been used to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Usually the nicotinamide form is used, as it is considered to be more effective. Unfortunately there is little scientific evidence that this treatment is effective. Magnification: x40 when shortest axis printed at.
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