How Much Vitamin B3 Do You Need
to Take to Slow Brain Decline?
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August 9, 2018

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist


Alzheimer's disease currently affects over 5.7 million
Americans. It ranks as the sixth leading cause of death. One
of every three seniors will die from Alzheimer's disease or
some other dementia, according to the Alzheimer's
Association. In the last 15 years, deaths from heart disease
have decreased by 11%, while deaths fro Alzheimer's
disease have increased by 123%. This terrible disease kills
more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer
combined. That startling statistic should give all of us pause.


Which Form of Vitamin B3 Blocks Brain Decline?

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, comes in two forms,
nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, both of which are found in
food. Vitamin B3 or niacin is a water-soluble vitamin. You
need it in your diet every day because the body cannot store
it and will dispose of it in urine.

The type of Vitamin B3 which helps to slow brain decline is
nicotinamide. Specifically, nicotinamide riboside has been
found effective in treating cognitive decline.

Nicotinamide riboside is a form of vitamin B3 that is
converted to an essential coenzyme called " NAD+". As we
age,  levels of this NAD+ coenzyme in our brains decline, and
many scientists believe the decline is largely responsible fro
cognitive decline. Importantly, studies have found that
increasing intake of nicotinamide riboside triggers an
increase levels of the coenzyme, which in turn extends
lifespan, and reduces cognitive deficits, according to
the
Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.

What Foods Are High in Vitamin B3?

Vitamin B3 is found in many foods including yeast, meat,
fish, nuts, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains.

Your body also makes niacin. It uses an amino acid called
tryptophan.
Tryptophan-rich foods include as milk, eggs,  
cheese and yoghurt.
Read more about foods rich in Vitamin
B3
.



How Much Vitamin B3 Do You Need to Take to Slow Brain
Decline?



























This is the key question. How much Vitamin B3 interrupts
brain decline and inn some studies actually reverses DNA
damage in the brain?

We can draw clues about adequate B3 levels from studies.
For over 50 years, scientists have known that Vitamin B3
improves the health of your brain. Why more hasn't been
made of this link is something of a mystery. But, as we've
noted here on Collectivewizdom, the amount of money to be
made in pushing people toward natural, healthy solutions is
minuscule compared to the massive profits to be in the
pharmaceuticals industry.

In 2011, Jonathan E. Prousky from Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine published a review of  studies going
back 50 years on the effects of Vitamin B3 on brain decline.

Studies often divide participants into 5 parts, quintiles,
ranging from those in the top 10% of Vitamin B3 intake,
then the top 20% , 40%, 60%, 80% and the final quintile.
These type of studies then compare those in the top quintiles
with those in the bottom quintiles.

One study using quintile comparisons of Vitamin B3 intake
was completed in 2009 and published in the Journal of  The
study, entitled " Dietary niacin and the risk of incident
Alzheimer’s disease and of cognitive decline" examined 3718
people aged 65 and over. The seniors were followed by
researchers for 5.5 years.

Those seniors in quintiles 2-4 of Vitamin B3 intake had a  
70% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's dieases, when
compared to participants in the lowest quintile (median
niacin intake 12.6 mg/day). The seniors in the highest
quintile (median niacin intake 22.4 mg/day) had the best
outcomes, as you would expect, with an 80% lower risk of
Alzheimer's disease.

This review included a discussion of a study of Vitamin B3
and the development of Alzheimer'sdisease. A total of 3,718
participants aged 65 years and older underwent at least two
clinical assessments and provided dietary data for analyses
over a median of 5.5 years.

In 1962, Canadian biochemist Dr. Abram Hoffer successfully
reversed early senility in patients by giving them large doses
of Vitamin B3. Twelve of the 15 patients, who experinced
early senilty, psychosis and depression, saw their symptoms
disappear while on the B3 regime. However, it was
necessary to continue taking the large doses to remain well.  
Dr. Hoffer believed, in general, that megadoses of vitamins
could cure schizophrenia, a view that put him outside of
conventional medicine. It may, in fact, have earned him a
place in the Quacks Hall of Fame.


But his 1962 research appears to have been well-designed
and the results have been entirely consistent with the latest
research for universities in the US.  When it comes to Vitamin
B3 and senility, Dr. Hoffer may simply have been ahead of his
time.


In 2018, a study from Dr. Ed Adamck of the National
Institute of Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health
confirmed that taking Vitamin B3 (again in the form of
nicotinomide riboside) protects the brain of mice from
developing cognitive decline and improves mental and
physical function.

Your intake of Vitamin B3 should always be as part of a
normal healthy diet
.  The current recommendation of  the
Food Standards Agency
is 17mg of Vitamin B3 per day for
men and 13mg
per day for women, gained from foods.  

How Much Is Too Much Vitamin B3?

The Food and Nutrition Board recommends a maximum of
6,000mg daily
, which is 60 grams  as a treatment against
cardiovascular disease.
No recommendation is given for the
correct dosage to treat cognitive decline, perhaps because
the acceptance of this connection by the broader medical
community is fairly new.

But, as we've written, Vitamin B3 in high doses may cause
liver damage. For that reason, t
he American Heart
Association advises that supplemental
Vitamin B3 always
should be monitored by a medical professional.


You Need Omega 3 for Vitamin B12 to Improve Your Brain

A study has found that only those people whose baseline
levels of omega 3 are high actually improve i terms of brain
health by taking Vitamin B3.


In 2016, a team of scientists published the study " Omega-3
Fatty Acid Status Enhances the Prevention of Cognitive
Decline by B Vitamins in Mild Cognitive Impairment" in the
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The team found that people with mild cognitive decline who
also had high levels of omega 3 fatty acids in their system
did not go on to develop Alzheimer's.  For those with
suboptimal levels of omega 3, adding Vitamin B3 had no
effect at all.  

Interestingly, one of the doctors who conducted the study,
Dr. David Smith, lamented that "The next stage will be to see
whether providing a combination of B vitamins and Omega-3
supplements can slow the conversion from MCI to Alzheimer’
s disease. This would be an important step in the prevention
of Alzheimer’s disease. We have high hopes that this trial
would work but funding is not easy to obtain for such
studies ".

This kind of work certainly deserves more funding. Spread
the word.

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