Can Niacinamide Cure Alzheimer's Disease?

Jul 14, 2017

Last month we received 3 remarkable posts from KH of Las Vegas, USA, who wrote Earth Clinic about her mother's full recovery from severe dementia while taking niacinamide. The posts piqued our curiosity, so we asked contributing writer Mary Post to investigate this subject a bit further for our first newsletter of 2014.

Read KH's posts detailing her mother's use of niacinamide on Earth Clinic web site here.

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by Mary Post |  January 16, 2014

While many use the terms 'Alzheimer's disease' and 'dementia' interchangeably, technically Alzheimer's is one form of dementia and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Over 5 million Americans live with this disease, and one-third of seniors die with some form of dementia. The cost of treating Alzheimer's is enormous. While the documented cost to the nation of treating Alzheimer's in 2013 was over $203 billion, the unaccounted cost borne by family members was estimated to be over $216 billion in 2012.

According to the Alzheimer's Association March 2013 Factsheet, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's every 68 seconds. Twice as many 70 year olds with Alzheimer's die before they are 80, compared to 70 year olds who do not have Alzheimer's. There is no way to prevent, cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer's, though the quest for treating Alzheimer's has spawned a sprawling, world-wide industry, supporting conferences, chains of nursing homes, expensive new drugs, on top of the ongoing costs of the physical care of patients.

Niacinamide for Alzheimer's

Niacinamide has been used safely for at least 60 years, primarily to treat arthritis but also as a treatment for Alzheimer's. Psychiatrist and clinical researcher William Kaufman published the first documented account of the use of niacinamide in the treatment of Alzheimer's in his 1943 publication, The Common Form of Niacin Amide Deficiency Disease: Aniacinamidosis. In his book, he reported that patients who were deficient in niacinamide had the following symptoms: impaired memory, inability to concentrate, difficulty in comprehending and reading, anxiety, uncooperativeness, inability to complete projects or tasks, quarrelsome and dissatisfied. These symptoms, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, "disappeared... or improved considerably" on treatment with niacinamide.

Subsequent publications by Kaufman focused on the use of niacinamide in the treatment of degenerative arthritis. Kaufman came to the conclusion that niacinamide was not to be seen as a cure but as a permanent supplement, as stopping the dosage brought about the resurgence of the symptoms.

Niacinamide Research On Mice

A 2008 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience with demented mice showed that treatment with niacinamide reversed Alzheimer's by causing a 60% reduction in one of the Alzheimer markers and increasing the number of microtubules that carry information inside the brain cells (1).

A 2012 study on lab mice reported that niacinamide restored cognitive functioning and synaptic plasticity (2).

A 2013 study concluded that niacinamide prevented cognitive decline in Alzheimer's mice through improved neuronal activity and reduced breakdown of brain tissue (3).  

Jonathon V. Wright, M.D. reviewed 2008 studies on laboratory mice and concluded that there was no reason to wait for 'more research' before administering niacinamide to Alzheimer's patients (4).

Niacinamide Research On Humans

The University of California, Irvine, (conductor of one of the above-mentioned mice studies) is working with the Alzheimer's Association to study the side effects of treating Alzheimer's with niacinamide. This study is scheduled to be completed in June 2014 (5).

Niacinamide For Alzheimer's Dosage

Modern-day studies have been based on Kaufman's findings on dosage. Kauffman argued for the effectiveness of having the dose spread out, as opposed to being administered at one go (6,7).

UK-based physician Dr. Sarah Myhill prescribes niacinamide for a number of problems and reports that though she has never had a patient develop liver problems at high doses (over 500 mg. daily), she agrees with Kaufman that the best results are achieved by taking low doses regularly spaced throughout the day (8).

Bottom Line on the Best Way to Take Niacinamide

If possible, taking 250 mg. every 90 minutes, 12 times a day seems to be the best method. Sustained release (time release) niacinamide capsules are available on the internet and seem to be a reasonable compromise, though it is important to be aware that these doses are substantially above the Recommended Daily Allowances.

Summary

Niacinamide has been used safely for at least 60 years, primarily to treat arthritis, but also as a treatment for Alzheimer's. Studies on mice concluded that niacinamide improved cognition. A human study has not yet been completed. Anyone over 60 with a family history of Alzheimer's and who fears getting the disease might want to consider taking niacinamide as a precaution. For those already suffering from Alzheimer's, niacinamide offers hope.


Bibliography

(1) Green KN, Steffan JS, Martinez-Coria H, et al. "Nicotinamide restores cognition in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice via a mechanism involving sirtuin inhibition and selective reduction of Thr231-phosphotau." J Neurosci 2008; 28(45): 11,500-11,510 
(2) Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Jun;34(6):1581-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.12.005. Epub Jan 9, 2013
(3) Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Jun;34(6):1564-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.11.020. Epub 2012 Dec 25
(4)  http://ahha.org/Alzheimers.htm 
(5) http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00580931
(6) William Kaufman, Ph.D. M.D. The Common Form of Niacin Amide Deficiency Disease: Aniacinamidosis  
(7) http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/the-one-memory-boosting-nutrient-you-should-be-taking/#ixzz2nsfoCh7j
(8) http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/niacinamide

Resources 

  • P Jaconello. Niacin versus niacinamide.CMAJ. 1992 October 1; 147(7): 990.
  • Jonas WB, Rapoza CP, Blair WF. The effect of niacinamide on osteoarthritis: a pilot study. Inflamm Res. 1996 Jul; 45  (7):330-4.
  • McCarty MF, Russell AL. Niacinamide therapy for osteoarthritis--does it inhibit nitric oxide synthase induction by interleukin 1 in chondrocytes? Med Hypotheses. 1999 Oct;53(4):350-60.
  • "Vitamin pill that may slow Alzheimer's goes on trial," The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk), 11/5/08
  •  Kolb H, Bukart V: Nicotinamide in type 1 diabetes. Mechanism of action revisited. Diabetes Care 1999 Mar;22 Suppl 2:B16-20
  • Pozzilli P, Visalli N, Ghirlanda G, Manna R, Andreani D; Nicotinamide increases C-peptide secretion in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes. Diabet Med 1989 Sep-Oct;6(7):568-72
  • Vague P, Vialettes B, Lassmann-Vague V, Vallo J; Nicotinamide may extend remission phase of insulin-dependent diabetes. The Lancet Mar 1987 ltr
  • Akhundov RA, Sultanov AA, Gadzhily RA, Sadykhov RV; [Psychoregulating role of nicotinamide]. Biull Eksp Biol Med 1993 May;115(5):487-91.
  • Mohler H, Pole P, Cumin R, Pieri L, Kettler R; Nicotinamide is a brain constituent with benzodiazepine-like actions. Nature 1979 Apr 5;278(5704):563-5
  • http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/niacin-niacinamide 


© 2014 Earth Clinic, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


About The Author

Mary Post has been researching and writing on health, financial and technical subjects for over thirty years. Health problems suffered by family and friends led to extensive research on health issues, hunting for better answers to their problems. Mary and her husband live near Tampa, Florida.



Niacinamide for Alzheimer's  

Posted by Emmanuel (Rotorua, New Zealand) on 01/18/2014

While it is encouraging to discover that B3 vitamin appears to be helpful in effecting the course of Alzheimer's positively, yet not completely to the point of reversal or even as a prophylactic, one has to ask the question why there is so much emphasis on one agent, when in fact all chronic diseases are a result of multiple deficiencies. Can people not think in multiple factorials? Or is it mental laziness that prompts people and scientists to want single solutions for diseases which they have decided are a single entity caused by a single factor or agent. All agents that will help to energize brain cells, such as D ribbose, creatine, MSM, coconut oil, coQ10, should be taken into consideration. One must also remember that toxins such as aluminium, fluoride and mercury are neurotoxic and probably play a major role in causing mental deterioration. If such factors are ignored, the research done on any disease becomes null and void and of no value what so ever.

Replied by Mary
Tampa, Fl
01/18/2014

Good comment. It's certainly true that there are often multiple causes and remedies for diseases. However, it is very difficult to research multiple items at the same time. For better or worse, the purpose of any study is to reduce the number or variables to find out is something works. Drug interactions are very problematic and difficult to track down. Anyone taking multiple medications daily can attest to how difficult it can be to figure out what drug is interacting negatively with another drug. I don't know how many Alzheimer's studies are currently in process, but just today I skimmed over at least 50, all different. Alzheimer's does not appear to have one cause: some are genetic, some may be environmental, a lot they're trying to figure out. Research done on one cause or remedy does not invalidate the research. A study is a beginning. Research on a medication, for example, cannot investigate drug interactions until they have the drug developed. No treatment will work on everyone. We are all unique.

Alzheimer's is certainly a very complicated and horrible disease, especially so to those of us who have watched it first hand destroy someone we loved. If niacinamide or anything else can help delay the progress for even a few people, IT IS WORTH IT! It's safe, cheap and has been around for a long time.

Replied by Helpyourself
Texas, Usa
01/19/2014

Anyone know of a trustworthy brand of B3?

Replied by Jason
Uk
06/19/2015
Replied by Jennette
Texas
09/01/2016
2 posts

Now Food is a very good brand

Replied by Keith
Cincinnati
05/08/2017

Nature's Way & NOW brands have a 500mg / 100 capsule that has some Magnesium Stearate in them, but no rice flour. Both are about $5. I plan to open the capsule and take 1/2 (250mg) twice a day.

Replied by Art
California
05/11/2017
273 posts

In reply to Keith (Cincinnati),

If you want just niacinamide with no additives at all and you are going to open capsules anyway to divide your doses, you can just order pure niacinamide bulk powder such as this which should be better and cheaper:

https://www.amazon.com/BulkSupplements-Vitamin-Niacinamide-Powder-grams/dp/B00GW2LXWO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1494483459&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=pure+bulk+niacinamide&th=1

For people who are planning to take multiple doses per day, as some people have reported doing for Alzheimer's Disease, here is a method that might make it easier to take. Niacinamide is water soluble, so if you are willing to do the math, you could potentially figure the total dose you want to take per week and dissolve it into water, juice, a sports drink etc.. As a basic example, let's say you want to take a total of 1,000mg of niacinamide per day in 10 divided doses or 100 mg per dose. You would multiply the 1,000 mg daily dose times 7 to get the weekly dose of 7,000mg. Take those 7,000 mg as weighed on a cheap digital scale and dissolve it into a liter of water, juice, gatorade etc. The liter needs to be divided into 70 equal doses of 14.285 ml or just under a half ounce and each dose should deliver approximately 100 mg of niacinamide. Measure out one dose and pour it into something like a shot glass. Make a mark on the shot glass that is equal to 14.285 ml and this is where you will fill the shot glass to for each dose. You would take ten of these partial shots each day. By the end of 7 days the bottle should be empty. There are a couple of variations on this, but it will be easier to drink this mix than take capsules all day long and you won't be getting all of the fillers and gelatin capsules.......just the niacinamide.

Art

Replied by Marco Tushar Deepak
Bologna - Italy
07/14/2017

What you wrote is true.

Let's take this study for example:

https://www.clinmedjournals.org/articles/jgmg/journal-of-geriatric-medicine-and-gerontology-jgmg-3-021.pdf

The administration of NA alone did not have the desired effects, one should take more factors into account for best results, no matter what.

M.