nicotinic acid

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nicotinic acid

nicotinic acid: see coenzyme; vitamin.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nicotinic Acid


(also niacin, vitamin PP [pellagra-preventive factor], or 3-pyridinecarboxylic acid), a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex. It forms colorless crystals with a melting point of 234°-237°C. Its structural formula is

Nicotinic acid is widespread in living organisms. Yeast, wheat bran, meat, and especially liver and kidneys contain the richest concentration of the vitamin. The nicotinic acid amide—nicotinamide—a constituent of the important coenzymes NAD and NADP, also possesses vitamin activity.

Symbiotic bacteria, chiefly from the intestinal flora, and many animals synthesize nicotinic acid from tryptophan. In rats, mice, and man, tryptophan is converted to nicotinic acid partially by the activity of the intestinal microflora but mainly in the liver. The role of nicotinic acid in the body is to maintain the normal condition of the epidermis, of the epithelium of the alimentary canal, and nervous system function. The vitamin does so by participating as a constituent of coenzymes in many enzymatic processes.

The daily nicotinic acid requirement of man is about 20 mg. A deficiency of nicotinic acid results in pellagra. As a vitamin preparation, nicotinic acid is used as a specific agent in the treatment of several pathological conditions, including pellagra, gastrointestinal diseases, liver disorders, vascular spasm, and atherosclerosis.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

nicotinic acid

[¦nik·ə¦tin·ik ′as·əd]
C6H5NO2 A component of the vitamin B complex; a white, water-soluble powder stable to heat, acid, and alkali; used for the treatment of pellagra. Also known as niacin.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.