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Article
March 7, 1942

NIACIN AND NICOTINIC ACID

JAMA. 1942;118(10):823. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830100053014
Abstract

A poor name is a handicap to the promotion of a meritorious product. The name "nicotinic acid" for the vitamin so important in the prevention of pellagra has been doubly unfortunate. To the general public the word "nicotinic" implies too strongly the relationship of this vitamin to nicotine, the chief alkaloid of tobacco often used as an insecticide. The term "acid" denotes a corrosive substance such as the liquid used in automobile storage batteries. The vitamin called "nicotinic acid" was first produced in the laboratory in 1867 by the oxidation of nicotine with potassium chromate and sulfuric acid. Later the compound was named nicotinic acid because it had been made from nicotine and it had the ability to form salts. As a laboratory curiosity, which it remained for over seventy years, nicotinic acid was adequately named. From the point of view of those interested in furthering the distribution of foods

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