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Vitamin B3 vs. Vitamin B12 — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on November 23, 2023
Vitamin B3 aids metabolism and reduces cholesterol; Vitamin B12 supports nerve function and helps make DNA. Both are essential B vitamins.
Vitamin B3 vs. Vitamin B12 — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B12

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Key Differences

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, plays a crucial role in converting the food we eat into usable energy. Vitamin B12, on the other hand, known as cobalamin, is vital for nerve tissue health and the production of red blood cells. Both vitamins are essential to maintain optimal health but serve different functions in the body.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023
The deficiency of Vitamin B3 can lead to a condition called pellagra, characterized by diarrhea, dementia, and dermatitis. Vitamin B12 deficiency, in contrast, can lead to anemia, fatigue, weakness, and even nerve damage. Recognizing the significance of both vitamins, it's clear that each addresses different health concerns.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023
Vitamin B3 is predominantly found in foods like tuna, chicken, and turkey. Vitamin B12, conversely, is primarily present in animal products like meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. This distinction in sources emphasizes the different nutritional landscapes they inhabit.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023
In terms of supplements, Vitamin B3 might be advised for those with high cholesterol or to prevent heart disease. Vitamin B12 supplements are often recommended for vegans, vegetarians, and the elderly, as absorption can decrease with age or dietary restrictions.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Comparison Chart

Also Known As

Niacin
Cobalamin
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023
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Main Function

Metabolism, reduces cholesterol
Nerve function, red blood cell production
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Common Deficiency Effects

Pellagra
Anemia, nerve damage
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Primary Food Sources

Tuna, chicken, turkey
Meats, fish, eggs, dairy
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Recommended For

High cholesterol patients
Vegans, vegetarians, elderly
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Vitamin B3

Can aid in lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Some people take Vitamin B3 supplements to manage their cholesterol levels.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B12

Supports the maintenance of the nervous system.
Vitamin B12 is crucial for proper nerve function throughout the body.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B3

A vitamin that assists in converting food into energy.
Consuming enough Vitamin B3 is essential for efficient energy production.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B12

Known scientifically as cobalamin.
People who don't consume animal products may lack cobalamin or Vitamin B12.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B3

Helps maintain healthy skin and nerves.
For healthy skin, ensure your diet has adequate Vitamin B3.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B12

Helps in metabolizing proteins and fats.
To support your metabolism, ensure a regular intake of Vitamin B12.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B3

Also known as niacin.
Many processed foods are fortified with Vitamin B3 or niacin.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B12

Essential for the formation of red blood cells.
A lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to anemia.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B3

Essential for proper digestion.
Vitamin B3 supports the digestive system, promoting a healthy appetite.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Vitamin B12

Assists in DNA synthesis and renewal.
For cellular health, it's crucial to maintain adequate Vitamin B12 levels.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 10, 2023

Common Curiosities

What is another name for Vitamin B3?

Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Why is Vitamin B12 essential for the body?

Vitamin B12 is vital for nerve function, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Can a deficiency in Vitamin B3 lead to any health issues?

Yes, a deficiency in Vitamin B3 can cause pellagra, leading to diarrhea, dementia, and dermatitis.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

What might result from a Vitamin B12 deficiency?

A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, and nerve damage.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Who is often recommended to take Vitamin B12 supplements?

Vitamin B12 supplements are usually advised for vegans, vegetarians, and the elderly.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Is Vitamin B12 found in plant-based foods?

Vitamin B12 is primarily in animal products, so it's rare in plant-based foods.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

In which foods can I find Vitamin B3?

Vitamin B3 is found in foods like tuna, chicken, and turkey.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Are Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B12 water-soluble?

Yes, both Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B12 are water-soluble vitamins.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Why might someone take a Vitamin B3 supplement?

People might take Vitamin B3 supplements to manage cholesterol levels or prevent heart disease.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

Do both vitamins support metabolism?

Yes, Vitamin B3 aids metabolism by converting food into energy, while Vitamin B12 helps metabolize proteins and fats.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 23, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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