Gershoff, Stanley N. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
Cubberley, Adrian H. Plastics Division, Allied Chemical Corporation, Morristown, New Jersey.
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A vitamin also known as nicotinic acid. Niacin is a white water-soluble powder stable to heat, acid, and alkali, with the structure shown below. It is found in biochemically active combinations as the amide, niacin\-amide. Analyses for niacin are usually done microbiologically using Lactobacillus arabinosus as the test organism. Chemical methods of analysis are not usually satisfactory. All living cells studied have enzymic systems involving niacin. Many animals, including humans, are capable of synthesizing niacin in varying degrees from the amino acid tryptophan. Niacin is widely distributed in foods. Yeasts, wheat germ, and meats, particularly organ meats, are rich sources of the vitamin. Some foods such as milk are relatively poor sources of niacin, but contain generous quantities of tryptophan.
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