Niacin May Help Early-Onset Parkinson's

Vitamin B3, or niacin, may help certain forms of early-onset Parkinson's disease, according to a new study. Niacin is found in a number of foods, including meats like turkey, chicken, and beef, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and others.

Parkinson's develops when nerve cells located in part of the brain called the substantia nigra are lost. In some hereditary cases of the disease caused by a mutated PINK1 gene, this results from damaged mitochondria—organelles that power cells. A chemical in the body called NAD helps repair damaged cells and generate healthy cells—and niacin helps the body produce this chemical.

In this recent study involving fruit flies with PINK1 mutations, subjects that ate a diet high in niacin had fewer damaged mitochondria and lost fewer nerve cells. The results of the study help show that NAD is critical for people with familial Parkinson's, and suggest that certain drugs already approved to treat cancer and a diet high in niacin may be helpful in these patients. More research is needed.

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<a href="" target="_blank>Sourced from: ScienceDaily