Could Vitamin B3 Be the Secret to a Long and Healthy Life?
For centuries, people have looked for the secret for a long and healthy life. Surprising new research involving an animal model suggests that the search for the key to longevity may be in the common nutrient niacin, which is also another name for vitamin B3. What have the scientists discovered about vitamin B3 and what other health benefits does niacin provide?
Vitamin B3: A powerful anti-antioxidant?
A group of scientists from Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and the United States investigated the effects of vitamin B3 supplements in roundworms, which have metabolic pathways that are similar to the human ones. Researchers use the parasitic worms because they have a short life span, which makes them easy to study. The team found that the roundworms that were treated with vitamin B3 improved their life span by one-tenth when compared to the animals that did not have the supplement.
When Michael Ristow from the University of Jena in Germany presented the results of the study, his explanation of the team’s finding was surprising to many people in the health community. He explained that niacin promotes the formation of free radicals, which appears to go against the widely held premise that free radicals leads to oxidative stress that causes damage to cells. Dr. Ristow claims that cells can neutralize the effects of the free radicals on their own, which minimizes any sort of health damage. At the same time, he did agree that antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are healthy and people should continue to include them in their diet.1
Sirtuin: The secret to niacin’s life enhancing power
When your body needs to breakdown niacin into nicotinamide to generate energy, the molecule that facilitates this transformation is an enzyme called sirtuin. Another effect of sirtuin is that it slows the expression of some genes in your body that contribute to the aging process.1 An earlier study conducted at the Harvard Medical School also demonstrated that nicotinamide and sirtuin can act together to mimic calorie restriction, which is also linked to extending health and longevity.2
Niacin and sirtuin may offer treatment for 7 age-related diseases
A scientist from the University of Sydney in Australia has released exciting research about how niacin, nicotinamide, and sirtuin promote longevity. He identified the different pathways in the body that are affected by the seven different types of sirtuin. Through this work, he found seven different age-related disease processes that can be treated or prevented by sirtuin, which is activated by vitamin B3, as well as resveratrol.
You can reduce your risk of the following diseases when you take B3 supplements:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurodegenerative diseases3
It is never too late to start the journey to a longer and healthier life by including a high-quality vitamin B3 supplement in your daily nutritional regime.
1Schmeisser, K., Mansfeld, J., Kuhlow, D., Weimer, S., Priebe, S., Heiland, I. , Birringer, M., Groth, M., Segref, A., Kanfi, Y., Price, N. L., Schmeisser, S., Schuster, S., Pfeiffer, A.F.H., Guthke, R., Platzer, M., Hoppe, T., Cohen, H. Y. Zarse, K.,Sinclair, D. A., Ristow, M. Role of sirtuins in lifespan regulation is linked to methylation of nicotinamide Nature Chemical Biology. 2013. (9)11: 693-700. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1352.
2Anderson, R. M., Bitterman, K.J.. Wood, J., Medvedik, O., Sinclair, D.A. Nicotinamide and PNC1 govern lifespan extension by calorie restriction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Nature. 2003. (423) 6936: 181-185.
3Morris, B.J. Seven sirtuins for seven deadly diseases of aging. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2013. 56: 133–171. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.10.525.