Vitamin B3 Also called Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide, Nicotinic. Acts as a co-enzyme in the release of energy from carbohydrates. Also needed to help breakdown fats and proteins. Aids in formation of red blood cells. Since the 1950's doctors have used nicotinic acid to treat high cholesterol. Niacin is the only drug available that both substantially lowers the "bad" lipids (LDL), and increases the "good"(HDL) cholesterol. The reason this vitamin is not in the forefront of cholesterol therapy is because many people treated with high doses of niacin experience bothersome side effects such as; facial flushing, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and much more serious, liver damage. Milk, eggs, meats (especially liver), chicken, fish, and most other protein-rich foods contain a significant amout of niacin. Also in smaller amounts in coffee and tea. Dificiency is very rare in modern countries. Symptoms include: Pellagra (diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia) Less severe symptoms of deficiency include irritability, loss of appetite, weekness and swollen tongue.