Vitamin B3 (nicotinomide, one of the vitamins found in our B Complex) is necessary for the proper use of sugars and fats in the body in the maintenance of cellular health.
In their article Cell Life Versus Cell Longevity: The Mysteries Surrounding Nicotinamide (US National Library of Medicine) Li et al. have predicted further studies of vitamin B3 and it’s interactions on our bodies will lead to development of therapies for diabetes as well as a host of other concerns including: aging, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.
Nicotinamide, a precursor for the coenzyme β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) as well as an essential nutrient, is vital for cellular function and metabolism. A body of new investigations has broadened the role for nicotinamide as an agent that can promote neurogenesis and cell proliferation, foster cytoprotection in multiple cell systems during injury, prevent inflammatory cell demise, and have a complex role in the cellular processes that determine cell longevity.
Further insight into the spectrum of cellular processes modulated by nicotinamide should open the door for the future development of new therapeutic strategies for a spectrum of disorders that may involve aging, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cerebral ischemia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.
In particular research has suggested that nicotinamide may be used with considerable effect in halting the progression of recent onset type 1 diabetes. A notable study by Pozzili et al. dating back to1989 revealed then that nicotinamide “may improve metabolic control in recent Type 1 diabetes, probably by increasing residual islet Beta cell function”. Beta cells are a type of cell located in the pancreas which synthesizes, stores and releases insulin – the hormone responsible for regulating levels of glucose in the blood.
Further work by Pozzili et al. as well as Kolb H. And Berkhart J. (1999) found further evidence of the ability of nicotinomide to preserve Beta cells, finding that “cell death pathways and gene expression patterns are modified, leading to improved beta-cell survival and an altered immunoregulatory balance.”
Now over 25 years later prevention of the loss of Beta cells is the primary focus of an increasing amount of research geared to stop the spread of this devastating and now epidemic disease. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 1.25 million American children and adults have Type 1 diabetes, becoming the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Will taking B vitamins such as those found in B Complex prevent or control type 1 diabetes? As with all things related to health there are no magic cures, but the relevance of vitamins including B3 nicotinomide have been firmly established with proven therapeutic value.
As consumers of health care products and information it behoves us to explore how disease presents for a holistic approach to treatment. Failing that we are destined to continue our stop gap approach to treating diseases like diabetes while the incidence and fatality rate continues to soar.
Cell Life Versus Cell Longevity: The Mysteries Surrounding Nicotinamide, Li et al. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2248696/
Nicotinamide increases C-peptide secretion in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes, Pozzilli et al. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2527694
Meta-analysis of nicotinamide treatment in patients with recent-onset IDDM. The Nicotinamide Trialists, Kolb et al. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8941464
Nicotinamide in type 1 diabetes. Mechanism of action revisited, Kolb H et al. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10097894