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Journal Title Abbrev.
J. Elem.
ISSN – 1644-2296
DOI: 10.5601

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Variations of niacin content with regard to carbohydrates in energy-rich diets of elite European athletes and their relation with dietary RDA

Wydanie: 3/2016

Otrzymano: Kwiecień 12, 2015

Zaakceptowano: Marzec 10, 2016

Opublikowano online: 2016-05-09


Kozłowska An., Lebiedzińska A., Majewski M., Thoene M.

Kategorie: Food science, Medicine and veterinary

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2015.20.4.921


In sport, proper nutrition exerts a significant impact on sporting results. Scientific data about the nutritional habits of elite European athletes is limited and therefore it is unclear whether athletes are following nutritional recommendations and maintaining proper diets. The aim of this study was to determine the content of niacin in the daily diets of elite European athletes with regard to calories and carbohydrate intake, and its relation to dietary RDA. The study included 64 adult athletes of both sexes from sport teams in five European countries. A 24-hour dietary survey was developed based on an “Album of photographs of meals and food products”. A microbiologically based method was used for the niacin determination, with enzymatic hydrolysis by a 40 mg mixture of papain and diastase run on every analysed 2 g sample (in accordance with the AOAC). The carbohydrate intake of each subject was obtained with a “Carbohydrate count book”, and the energy value determined using a bomb calorimeter. Among the group of elite European athletes surveyed, reconstructed meals provided an average of 28.5 mg of niacin in women, and 22.4 mg in men. The FAO and the WHO recommend daily allowances for niacin in persons over 19 years of age is 15.2 mg 2300 kcal-1 for women and 21.1 mg 3200 kcal-1 for men. The diets analysed did cover the recommendations in 53% of all diets (54% in women, and 50% in men) but in the endurance sports, which require a high carbohydrate intake, niacin demand may increase up to 23.8 mg and 30.4 mg, respectively. Therefore, the average diet is not sufficient. Only 15% of all diets covered the increased niacin recommendations (27% in group of women, and 0% in men). This was proven to be strongly insufficient as the demand for niacin increases significantly with increased caloric intake which may lead to a niacin deficiency. Thus, in such cases niacin supplementation may be justified. Also, the results indicate that daily nutrition does not provide a sufficient amount of energy for athletes. The daily food intake of European sport team members did not fully cover the RDA requirements for niacin due to high daily carbohydrate consumption, and low caloric intake. Thus, daily diets should be better organised to meet the needs of athletes.


Majewski M., Kozłowska A., Thoene M., Lebiedzińska A. 2016. Variations of niacin content with regard to carbohydrates in energy-rich diets of elite European athletes and their relation with dietary RDA. J. Elem., 21(3): 745 - 755, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2015.20.4.921

Słowa kluczowe:

niacin, carbohydrates, calories, nutrition, endurance sport, physical activity

O wydaniu:

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