Home > Diet and nutrition > Vitamins, minerals and supplements Updated 14 February 2013 What is niacin? In the search to find the cause of pellagra, a common disease in 18th and early 19th century Spain, Italy and America, researchers stumbled upon nicotinamide. 0 Vit & Min doses per day » Count calories in food » Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Ask The Dietitians » 10 foods to boost your immune system Your quick guide to Banting In the search to find the cause of pellagra, a common disease in 18th and early 19th century Spain, Italy and America, researchers stumbled upon nicotinamide (or niacin, as it has become generically known). Niacin is one of the B-complex vitamins, all of which play an essential role in metabolism. NEXT ON HEALTH24X 7 healthy swaps for everyday foods and drinks 2020-01-15 14:15 More: Diet and nutritionVitamins, minerals and supplements advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Live healthier Lifestyle » E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places. Allergy » Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.