If you’re looking for more than a wide-brimmed hat and sunblock to help protect skin from sunshine, here’s good news. An important study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found that oral nicotinamide (aka niacinamide, the flush-free form of niacin/vitamin B3) was safe and effective in helping to prevent the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation (1).
This large scale, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial followed 386 adults who, over the course of the previous 5 years, had been diagnosed with at least two non-melanoma skin cancers. Subjects were evenly divided into two groups and assigned to take either 500 mg of niacinamide, twice daily, or placebo for an entire year. Regular follow-ups were performed at 3 month intervals. At the end of the trial, it was concluded that patients who took niacinamide developed 20% fewer basal-cell carcinomas, 30% fewer squamous-cell carcinomas and up to 20% fewer actinic keratoses than those who took placebo.
In an earlier study of 76 healthy older adults presenting with sun damaged skin (defined as ‘at least four actinic keratoses on the face, scalp or arms’) subjects taking 500 mg niacinamide twice daily experienced a 35% reduction in actinic keratoses after 4 months compared to the placebo group, with a statistically significant beneficial effect evident after only 2 months of treatment (2).
Actinic keratoses are small, raised bumps considered the hallmark of “sun damaged skin.” They are most common in people with fair skin, light eyes and red or blond hair, in people with a history of severe sunburns early in life and in older folks in general. Actinic keratoses signal alarm due to their potential to develop into squamous cell carcinomas. Non-melanoma skin cancers (basal-cell and squamous-cell) are the most common form of cancer reported in Caucasian populations.
Strong evidence of UV-radiation protection can now be added to the many virtues of niacinamide, a cost-effective, multi-benefit nutrient used for years to help support healthy skin tone and texture. Moss Niadoxene Select™ combines 500 mg niacinamide with 50 mg activated B6 (to support healthy niacinamide metabolism). 1 capsule twice daily replicates dosing found to benefit sun-damaged skin.
By Diana Allen, MS, CNS; Product Development Manager
Moss Nutrition Digest #7 – 08/01/2017 – PDF Version
- Chen AC, et al. A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Nicotinamide for Skin-Cancer Chemoprevention. N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct 22;373(17):1618-26.
- Surjana D, et al. Oral nicotinamide reduces actinic keratoses in phase II double-blinded randomized controlled trials.J Invest Dermatol.2012 May;132(5):1497-500.