Effects of niacin or niacinamide in diets containing either soybean meal, raw whole soybeans or whole soybeans extruded at 132 and 149 C on ruminal bacterial fermentation were examined with a dual-flow continuous culture system. In Exp. 1, soybean sources each provided 50% of total crude protein in diets comprised of 52% concentrate mix, 36% corn silage and 12% alfalfa hay (dry-matter basis). Each diet was supplemented with 0 or 100 mg/kg niacin. Niacin supplementation increased (P less than .05) total nonstructural carbohydrate digestibility and lowered (P less than .05) butyrate concentration. There was also an increase (P less than .10) in amino acid effluent flow from 8,413.3 to 8,665.3 mg/d with addition of niacin to the diet. In Exp. 2, diets were supplemented with 0 or 100 mg/kg of niacin or niacinamide. The total mixed diet was comprised of 60% concentrate mix, 20% corn silage and 20% alfalfa hay (dry matter basis). Acid detergent fiber and cellulose digestibilities and total amino acid effluent flow were higher (P less than .10) with niacinamide supplementation. Niacin or niacinamide had no effect on dry matter and organic matter digestibilities, ammonia-N, total VFA concentration or crude protein degradation. Contrary to results found in other studies, niacin or niacinamide supplementation had no effect on bacterial protein synthesis.