A Part of the University of Maryland Medical Center

Connect with UMGCC
Facebook Twitter YouTube Blog iPhone
Email PageEmail page Print PagePrint page

Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: ácido nicotínico

Nicotinic acid (NIH-kuh-TIH-nik A-sid)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Nicotinic acid helps some enzymes work properly and helps skin, nerves, and the digestive tract stay healthy. Nicotinic acid is found in many plant and animal products. It is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough nicotinic acid can cause a disease called pellagra (a condition marked by skin, nerve, and digestive disorders). A form of nicotinic acid is being studied in the prevention of skin and other types of cancer. Nicotinic acid may help to lower blood cholesterol. Also called niacin and vitamin B3.

Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.