Determination of vitamin B3 vitamer (Nicotinamide) and vitamin B6 Vitamers in human hair using LC-MS/MS

Sundus M. Sallabi, Aishah Alhmoudi, Manal Alshekaili, Iltaf Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Water-soluble B vitamins participate in numerous crucial metabolic reactions and are critical for maintaining our health. Vitamin B deficiencies cause many different types of diseases, such as dementia, anaemia, cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and HIV. Vitamin B3 deficiency is linked to pellagra and cancer, while niacin (or nicotinic acid) lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides in the blood and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL). A highly sensitive and robust liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy (LC/MS-MS) method was developed to detect and quantify a vitamin B3 vitamer (nicotinamide) and vitamin B6 vitamers (pyridoxial 5′-phosphate (PLP), pyridoxal hydrochloride (PL), pyridoxamine dihydrochloride (PM), pridoxamine-5′-phosphate (PMP), and pyridoxine hydrochloride (PN)) in human hair samples of the UAE population. Forty students’ volunteers took part in the study and donated their hair samples. The analytes were extracted and then separated using a reversed-phase Poroshell EC-C18 column, eluted using two mobile phases, and quantified using LC/MS-MS system. The method was validated in human hair using parameters such as linearity, intra- and inter-day accuracy, and precision and recovery. The method was then used to detect vitamin B3 and B6 vitamers in the human hair samples. Of all the vitamin B3 and B6 vitamers tested, only nicotinamide was detected and quantified in human hair. Of the 40 samples analysed, 12 were in the range 100–200 pg/mg, 15 in the range 200–500 pg/mg, 9 in the range of 500–4000 pg/mg. The LC/MS-MS method is effective, sensitive, and robust for the detection of vitamin B3 and its vitamer nicotinamide in human hair samples. This developed hair test can be used in clinical examination to complement blood and urine tests for the long-term deficiency, detection, and quantification of nicotinamide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4487
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2021


  • Hair analysis
  • LC-MS/MS
  • Nicotinamide
  • Vitamers
  • Vitamin
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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