Aug 30, 2012 by JOHN SUMMERLY
The Most Potent B Vitamin That Combats Infections Better Than Antibiotics Ever Could
The Nicotinamide form of vitamin B3 is one of the most potent of blood B vitamins, absorbing four times more into the blood than any other vitamin. Cedars-Sinai researchers have discovered that the vitamin has the potential to provide a powerful weapon to fight superbugs and antibiotic-resistant staph infections that health experts see as a threat to public health.
B3 is one of 8 B vitamins. It is also known as niacin (nicotinic acid) and has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects from niacin.
Foods high in Nicotinamide (or Vitamin B3) include Brewer’s Yeast, Sunflower Seeds, Raw Peanuts and Beets. Interestingly Beet Juice & Yeast have been shown to have remarkable cancer killing attributes. Possibly due to the sugars in the beets causing a beneficial form of fermentation to occur with the B vitamins in the Brewer’s Yeast.
The research, published in the September 2012 edition of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that high doses of the nicotinamide form of vitamin B3 stimulated a specific gene (CEBPE), enhancing white blood cells’ ability to combat staph infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
“It’s critical that we find novel antimicrobial approaches to treat infection and not rely so heavily on antibiotics,” said George Liu, MD, PhD, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Cedars-Sinai’s Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center and co-senior author of the study. “That’s why this discovery is so exciting. Our research indicates this common vitamin is potentially effective in fighting off and protecting against one of today’s most concerning public health threats.”
Most staph infections today are caused by antibiotic resistant Staph aureus. The infections can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening illness. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics by doctors has only led to a rapid rise and threatening spread of these resistant germs.
In laboratory tests with mice and human blood, Cedars-Sinai scientists found that vitamin B3 increased by up to 1,000 fold the ability of the immune system to kill staph bacteria. A feat impossible via standard antibiotics. Beyond its findings related to vitamin B3, the study indicates that similar targeting of the CEBPE gene with other compounds may offer a new immune-boosting strategy to fight bacterial infections.
Kyme and Thoennissen turned to vitamin B3, which has been shown to increase the expression of some other genes in the CEBP family. The results: When studied in human blood, clinical doses of the vitamin appeared to virtually wipe out the staph infection in only a few hours.
“There’s more research to be done, but we believe that vitamin B3, and other compounds that are able to increase the activity of this particular gene, have the potential to be effective against other antibiotic-resistant bacteria in addition to strains of staph,” he said.
All the B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them. The body can meet all of its needs for B3 through diet. However, very high doses of B3 are mostly available by prescription, and have already been proven to prevent high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, alzheimer’s disease and cataracts.
Ironically, patients who are prescribed many antibiotics, are also advised to to avoid vitamin B3 because it interferes with the absorption of the medication.
John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.
Vitamin B3 Protects From Alzheimer’s
A vitamin found in meat, fish and potatoes may help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease – and even boost memory in healthy people.
US researchers found vitamin B3 lowered levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s damage in mice.
The Journal of Neuroscience study also showed the animals performed better at memory tests.
UK Alzheimer’s charities said people should not start taking the vitamin before results from human studies.
The vitamin, also called nicotinamide by scientists, is sold in UK pharmacies and health food shops.
It has already been shown to help people suffering from diabetes complications and has some anti-inflammatory qualities.
The researchers, from the University of California at Irvine, added the vitamin to drinking water given to mice bred to develop a version of Alzheimer’s disease, then tested the levels of certain chemicals associated with the condition.
They found that levels of one, called phosphorylated tau, were significantly lower in the animals.
This protein is involved in abnormal ‘deposits’ in brain cells, called ‘tangles’, which contribute to the brain damage which progressively affects people with Alzheimer’s.
Using ‘water mazes’, the team also found some evidence that memory was enhanced in both ‘Alzheimer’s’ mice and unaffected mice.
Dr Kim Green, who led the study, said that human tests were progressing: “Nicotinamide has a very robust effect on neurons. It prevents loss of cognition in mice with Alzheimer’s disease, and the beauty of it is we already are moving forward with a clinical trial.”
His colleague Professor Frank LaFerla, said: “This suggests that not only is it good for Alzheimer’s disease, but if normal people take it, some aspects of their memory might improve.”
Susanne Sorensen, the head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said the research was “interesting” and pointed to new ways to treat the condition.
“From the research, it appears that Nicotinamide has more than one beneficial effect on nerve cells including the facilitation of the recycling of the ‘bad’ phosphorylated tau.
“Nicotinamide occurs naturally in meat, fish, beans, cereals and potatoes and is cheap and easy to take.
“However, more research is now needed to explore the possible mechanisms involved so we can better understand if Nicotinamide could have the same effect in people and, if it does, what level of vitamin intake would be required.”