Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery


Also known as niacin and vitamin B3, nicotinamide is a nitrogen heterocyclic organic compound. When combined in vivo with the nucleotide adenosine, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which functions as a soluble electron carrier in biochemical reactions, is formed.

Nicotinamide serves a variety of functions in the body, but is particularly crucial for the production of steroids, fatty acids, and hormones. The biochemical also aids in the formation of red blood cells and exhibits vasodilating and cholesterol-lowering properties. Though important, nicotinamide is considered a non-essential vitamin because the amino acid tryptophan can be biosynthesized into vitamin B3 within the body. Nevertheless, regularly consuming natural dietary sources of nicotinamide, such as lean meat, cheese, beans, and whole grains, is a good way to ensure that sufficient levels of the vitamin are maintained. Absorption of dietary nicotinamide takes place in the small intestine and the biochemical is excreted in the urine, although a minor amount is sometimes stored in the liver.

A deficiency of nicotinamide is known as pellagra, a disorder characterized by skin sores, gastrointestinal problems, and mental aberrations. In the early stages of pellagra, sufferers become unusually sensitive to light and may form what first appears to be serious sunburn. This general reddening of the skin soon takes on the form, however, of scaly, reddish brown lesions. Confusion, depression, delirium and other neurological symptoms tend to occur most often in the later stages of the condition. Pellagra is relatively rare in many parts of the world, but in areas where corn, a food that does not contain nicotinamide or tryptophan, is the chief component of the diet, it is more common. The nutritional disorder is also sometimes a side effect incurred by chronic alcoholics.



Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 02:19 PM
Access Count Since January 23, 2004: 12460
All of the images in this gallery were captured with a QImaging Retiga camera system.
For more information on these cameras, use the button below to access
the QImaging website:
Visit the QImaging website.
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: