(Natural News) Although research is still in progress, there is currently no single drug or combination of drugs that can effectively treat the deadliest form of skin cancer known as melanoma. Fortunately, a recent study has shown that vitamin B3, or niacin, may play an important role in the prevention and progression of the disease.
In a review of studies published in the journal Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine, researchers at the University of Sydney concluded that the active form of vitamin B3 known as nicotinamide may prevent melanoma. In addition, they found that nicotinamide, also known as niacinamide, enhances DNA repair in response to UV (ultraviolet) exposure. Melanoma starts in the melanocytes, the skin cells that produce melanin, the protective pigment. Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight is a known risk factor for melanoma as it damages cell DNA.
Diona Damian, a co-author of the study, reported that nicotinamide re-fill energy stores of keratinocytes, or epidermal skin cells, reduced by sun exposure. This enables them to repair DNA damage more efficiently. Moreover, nicotinamide lessens inflammation, which is another risk factor for cancer. It does this by inhibiting synthesis of inflammatory substances, such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Furthermore, vitamin B3 helps lessen the immune suppressive effects of sunlight on skin.