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DRI Dietary Reference Intakes: For Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline
daily dose of 50 mg was given as 25 mg in the morning and evening. Although this study also reported a flushing reaction in one of six subjects taking 30 mg of nicotinic acid daily on day 32 of intake, this reaction was not bothersome enough to change the dosing pattern. Sebrell and Butler (1938) was selected as the critical study for identifying a LOAEL and deriving a UL because it provides the lowest effect level. A study by Spies et al. (1938) provides supportive evidence for a LOAEL of 50 mg/day. In this study, five of 100 individuals (5 percent) experienced flushing after a single oral dose of 50 mg of nicotinic acid, 50 individuals (50 percent) experienced flushing after 100 mg, and all individuals experienced flushing after 500 mg.
There is one case report showing that 14 of 69 persons (20 percent) experienced onset of rash, pruritus, and a sensation of warmth about 30 minutes after consuming one or more pumpernickel bagels to which niacin had been inadvertently added from an improperly labeled container (CDC, 1983). The bagels were found to contain an average of 190 mg of niacin.
Uncertainty Assessment. Because of the transient nature of the flushing effect, a small uncertainty factor (UF) of 1.5 was selected. A smaller UF was not appropriate because it is applied to a LOAEL rather than a NOAEL.
Derivation of a UL. A LOAEL of 50 mg/day was divided by a UF of 1.5 to obtain the UL for adults of 35 mg/day, a rounded estimate.
UL for Adults
19 years and older
35 mg/day of niacin
Other Life Stage Groups
For infants the UL was judged not determinable because of a lack of data on adverse effects in this age group and concern about the infant’s ability to handle excess amounts. To prevent high levels of intake, the only source of intake for infants should be from food. No data were found to suggest that other life stage groups have increased susceptibility to flushing effects from excess niacin intake. Therefore, the UL of 35 mg/day is also set for pregnant and lactating adult women. The UL of 35 mg/day for adults was adjusted for children and adolescents on the basis of relative body weight as described in Chapter 3 and by using reference weights from Chapter 1, Table 1-2. Values have been rounded down.