Balanced Blends
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Balanced Blends

Ingredient Breakdown — Niacin (B3)

This week’s ingredient is, shockingly, not a metal. I *finally* get a break from those! Instead, I’m writing about niacin, which is a vitamin…and hey, those sort of rhyme..Ni-a-cin, vit-a-min! I’m a poet and didn’t know it! But I’m a cat, whadya think about that? Bwahahah! Ok, sorry, distracted, here we go, niacin…

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What is it?

Niacin is the third B vitamin — it comes behind B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin). Third vitamin’s the charm?

Why does Balanced Blends use it?

Once upon a time, humans used to get a thing called pellagra, which gave them the “four Ds” — diarrhea, dementia, dermatitis, and then death. Not good! Turns out they needed niacin because they weren’t eating enough meat.

And hey, dogs and cats need niacin, too — without it, dogs can get a black tongue, and become anorexic and lose weight, and yeah, eventually die, too. Cats don’t get the black tongue, but we get the weight loss and the death.

Photo by Steffi Pereira on Unsplash

Niacin helps with some really important stuff. It helps our skin, and our digestive tract, and with something called the Krebs cycle, which sounds like crabs cycle to me which makes me laugh, but female human says this Krebs thing is super important for all life and therefore serious, and she is clearly no fun because crabs on a bicycle is clearly hysterical!

What are its other uses?


Sometimes humans take a niacin supplement if something called cholesterol is high.


Since it’s in our food, humans don’t really need to give it to us very often for any other reason. And thankfully, the only time it’s toxic is if we’re getting like more than 350mg/kg of body weight per day, and it’d be *really hard* to squeeze that much into my food!

Where is it sourced?

It’s in a LOT of food, especially stuff like chicken (mmmm, chicken), beef liver (eh), and fish (yuck). But it’s also in some nuts (ick) and grains (double ick), although the female human says that it’s hard to get as much as you need of it if you’re just eating grains (which is why nobody should eat grains, I mean ew!).

Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

Some pet food companies get niacin from countries like the US, India, Europa, and Korea.

Any issues with its use?

Some niacin supplements can smell really gross, and if something stinks, I’m probably not gonna want to eat it. Just sayin’.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Okay, so as ingredients go, that wasn’t *too* boring. Maybe vitamins are cooler than metals…



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