Monday, August 30, 2010

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) May Prevent Alzheimer’s Memory Loss

All conservative official sources claim that Alzheimer’s Disease is one-directional, and you cannot turn it back. While it is true as of today, and most of the efforts are placed to slow down the disease development and smooth negative symptoms effects, there is always hope that one day it will be found the distinctive cure, if not a complete cure, but any way to fight efficiently the dementia development. One of the promising directions, for example, is related to use of medical marijuana based products.

Today, we will review one more nutrient, which gives positive signals of being a remedy for Alzheimer’s patients. It is Nicotinamide (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid), an over-the-counter vitamin.

What is Nicotinamide?

Niacin (also known as vitamin B3, nicotinic acid and vitamin PP) is an organic compound with the formula C5H4NCO2H and, depending on the definition used, one of the between forty to eighty essential human nutrients.

Note that in spite of the common similarity Nicotinamide is not exactly the same as Niacin. Niacin is converted to Nicotinamide in vivo, and, though the two are identical in their vitamin functions, nicotinamide does not have the same pharmacologic and toxic effects of niacin, which occur incidental to niacin's conversion. And vice versa, nicotinamide has the some positive health effects, not linked with niacin.

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Nicotinamide(Niacinamide) and Alzheimer’s

As an Alzheimer's treatment, large doses of nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, "cured" Alzheimers disease in mice, reports health researcher/reporter Dr. David Williams. (Again, note: Niacinamide is NOT the same as Niacin. Do not confuse the two.) "Rarely do you hear researchers using the word ‘cured,’ but that’s exactly what happened," says Dr. Williams. "At the end of the Alzheimer's research study, the diseased mice that were treated with niacinamide performed just as well in memory tests as healthy mice. The niacinamide not only protected their brains from further memory loss, it also restored lost memory function."

The study of this treatment for Alzheimer's disease, headed by Dr. Kim Green at the University of California at Irvine, involved four months of Alzheimer's treatment with the human dose equivalent of 2000 to 3000 milligrams of niacinamide. "Cognitively, they were cured," said Dr. Green. "The vitamin completely prevented cognitive decline associated with the disease, bringing them back to the level they’d be at if they didn’t have the pathology." Niacinamide also improved memory in mice without Alzheimer’s.

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The late Dr. William Kaufman did extensive research on niacinamide in the 1930s. Dr. Kaufman found that niacinamide moves in and out of the body quickly, so that smaller doses throughout the day are most effective, with 250 milligrams being the most the body could utilize at one time.

Dr. Kaufman and his wife took 250 milligrams of niacinamide every three waking hours (six doses) for at least 55 years, believing, as a result of his studies, that it helps prevent many of the physical and mental problems associated with aging, including arthritis, fatigue, muscle strength, loss of balance, depression, and cancer.

Niacinamide has been widely used for a variety of purposes for more than 60 years, and its safety is well known, says Jonathan Wright, M.D. In one of Dr. Kaufman's books, Kaufman described symptoms of niacinamide deficiency:
  • Impaired memory, can't concentrate, easily distracted, slow thought, mental fog.
  • Anxiety for no reason, resistant to making decisions and taking responsibility, lacks initiative, starts projects but never finishes, uncooperative.
  • Quarrelsome, mean, intolerant, opinionated, unreasonable, unhappy, little things annoy, can't take a joke.
Dr. Kaufman found that these symptoms and more went away or improved a lot with the use of niacinamide, says Dr. Wright. Arthritis symptoms also improve or disappear with niacinamide, says Dr. Wright, but it's not a cure; the arthritis symptoms return if patients stop taking it.

Based on Dr. Kaufman’s work, Dr. Williams estimates that Alzheimer’s patients "would achieve the best results if they took 250 mg every 1Ѕ hours (a total of 12 doses)" for Alzheimer's treatment. Dr. Wright recommends higher doses at less frequent intervals, which can cause side effects in a small number of people. For more info on Dr. Wrights regimen, read his newsletter.

Keep in mind that this Alzheimer's cure only works for mice so far. Given the outstanding results in mice, human trials for Alzheimer's treatment are proceeding in Southern California and in England. In humans, taking 2000 to 3000 milligrams a day is "totally harmless," says Dr. Williams. The toxic dose would be nearly a pound of niacinamide daily, and there has never been a death reported from niacinamide supplementation.

Where does the positive effect come from?

While the niacinamide didn't have any effect on the most common marker of Alzheimer's, beta-amyloid, it did cause a 60 percent decrease in another marker, called "tau protein" (one specifically referred to as "Thr231-phospho-tau").

Niacinamide was also associated with an increase in "microtubules," which carry information inside brain cells. "Microtubules are like highways inside cells. What we're doing with [niacinamide] is making a wider, more stable highway," one of the researchers said. "In Alzheimer's disease, this highway breaks down. We are preventing that from happening."

On the road to healing
Researchers found that most people are able to take 1,000 milligrams of niacinamide three times daily indefinitely with no adverse effects. Nearly everyone reported that their arthritis symptoms started to improve in just three to four weeks. And after three to four months they'd most often disappear completely-and stay away as long as the person kept taking the vitamin. However, if they stopped taking it, the symptoms it had relieved would start to return (or worsen) just as quickly as they gone away-and come back as bad as ever in within four months.

Occasionally someone would experience nausea taking the full amount of niacinamide. Whenever this occurred, it is recommended that the dose be cut in half, to 500 milligrams three times daily.

According to news reports, clinical trials in humans with Alzheimer's are set to begin in 2010 in both England and Southern California. But, again, there's no need for you to wait for the outcome of these clinical trials to try niacinamide for a family member who has Alzheimer's already. Its exceptional safety, affordability, and availability make it worth trying right now. And when it's Alzheimer's, the sooner naicinamide is started, the better the chances are for it to work, before the accumulation of "intracellular garbage" has done irreversible damage. Of course it's best to work with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine, in case you have any questions.

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Niacinamide is available in 500 and 1,000 milligram capsules and tablets. It can be found at nearly any natural food store and pharmacy.

Side Effects of Niacinamide

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Niacinamide:

  • ·         Diarrhea;
  • ·         dizziness;
  • ·         headache;
  • ·         itching; nausea;
  • ·         stomach upset;
  • ·         temporary feeling of warmth or flushing of the skin.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Niacinamide:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry, or bloody stools; changes in vision; dark urine; decreased urination; fast or irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; muscle pain or weakness; numbness or persistent tingling of the skin; persistent nausea, vomiting, or general "unwell" feeling; severe or prolonged flushing of the skin; stomach pain; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Sources and Additional Information:

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