Can Vitamin B3 Prevent Certain Cancers?

In_The_NewsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Researchers at the Dermatology University in Sydney, Australia recently announced the outcome of a yearlong study which showed promising results for prevention of recurring skin cancer in those with a history of basal and squamous cell carcinomas, the most common types of skin cancers. The study did not involve melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. The nearly 400 study participants, who had experienced at least two skin cancers in the previous five years, were given either 500 mg of nicotinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3, or a placebo twice daily for one year. The study showed that those who were given the vitamin supplements had a 23% lower incidence of recurrence, as compared to those who were given the placebo. This means that those who took this specific type of vitamin B3 developed fewer cancers on average than those who did not, suggesting that nicotinamide might modestly lower the risk of basal and squamous cell cancer reoccurrence in people with a health history of these troublesome growths.

More than 5 million cases of basal and squamous cell cancers are diagnosed every year in the United States. While these cancers are rarely lethal, they are persistent and often reappear, requiring removal through surgery, freezing with liquid nitrogen, or radiation. In addition to reducing the rate of skin cancers, use of the vitamin appeared to cut the rate of precancers, those scaly patches of skin known as actinic keratoses. Researchers say that vitamin B3 gives cells the energy boost they need to turn on the immune system to repair DNA in cells that have been damaged by sun exposure. As always, sun sensible behavior, such as avoiding overexposure, wearing hats and applying sunscreen, is still considered the best way to lower the initial risk of developing skin cancers.

Currently, nicotinamide is not suggested for those with no history of skin cancer. As always, Professional Supplement Center recommends checking in with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. For those with a history of basal or squamous cell skin cancers, a nicotinamide regimen may potentially provide an enormous benefit and may help reduce the chances of reoccurrence. According to Dr. David Agus, director of USC’s Norris Westside Cancer Center, “The 23% reduction is a dramatic number that could make a dramatic difference in reducing cancer rates.”

Study: Vitamin B3 may help prevent certain skin cancers.
ASCO: Vitamin B3 Derivative Cuts Risk for New Skin Cancers.

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