Although there is still no cure for the degeneration of the brain that happens during Alzheimer’s disease, scientists are steadily discovering new ways to manage and treat this condition. One of the latest studies found that a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside may be used to treat Alzheimer’s.
So, what is the connection between vitamin B3 and Alzheimer’s?
Previous Studies on Vitamin B3
The fact that vitamin B may have an impact on our brain health hardly comes as a surprise. In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists have found that mice treated with large doses of nicotinamide (the active form of vitamin B-3) displayed restored cognitive function.
The scientists then postulated that this shows promising results for oral nicotinamide as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Another, more recent study that examined the link between vitamin B3 and Alzheimer’s was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2018. The research found that a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside (NR) can also restore brain function and memory in AD mice.
The NR does this by restoring the brain’s ability to repair its DNA. When our brains are unable to properly repair DNA, the mitochondria of our brain cells become dysfunctional, which leads to decreased neuron production and neural dysfunction. Nicotinamide riboside can improve our mitochondrial health and restore memory and cognitive function in the process.
Although the connection between vitamin B3 and Alzheimer’s seems promising, there is still a lot of research ahead of us. Setting the stage for human trials and further examination of NR’s mechanisms is the next step.