Water-soluble vitamin of the vitamin B complex, essential to growth and health in animals, including humans. It is found in the body only in combined form as a coenzyme, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and the oxidation of sugar derivatives and other substances. One of the most stable vitamins, it survives most cooking and most preserving processes. It is widely found in dietary sources, especially lean meat. Deficiency causes pellagra. It is used as a drug to reduce high cholesterol levels in the blood.
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