Vitamin B3: New kid on the block in prevention against miscarriages & babies born with defects
“Arguably, it’s the most important discovery for pregnant women since folate. The promise is that this could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and babies born with defects.”
Scientists from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney investigated why some women have multiple miscarriages and why some babies are born with heart, kidney and spinal defects. They found a major cause was a deficiency of a vital molecule known as NAD, which is important for normal development of organs. Lead researcher Professor Sally Dunwoodie said it was the first time NAD been associated with miscarriages and birth defects.
“We have discovered a whole new cause of birth defects and a way to treat it as well,” she said.
“The promise is that this could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and babies born with defects”.
NAD is usually formed in the body as part of a healthy diet that includes eggs, cheese, salmon, turkey, nuts and seeds. But you can also get it by taking supplements of vitamin B3.
The head of the Victor Chang Institute, Professor Bob Graham, said the discovery could potentially help millions of women around the world.
“What’s exciting for me is that we may be able to help people who have children who have developmental defects or who have had miscarriages,” he said.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team proved birth defects and miscarriages could be overcome by taking vitamin B3. They found a disruption of NAD synthesis caused a deficiency of NAD and congenital malformations in humans and mice. Niacin supplementation during gestation prevented the malformations in mice. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others.)
“We gave pregnant mice with the NAD gene knocked out a regular dose of vitamin B3 and we found it prevented miscarriages and birth defects, over-riding the genetic block,” Professor Dunwoodie said.
Vitamin B3 has a universal role throughout human body metabolism: supporting cellular mitochondrial energy production, is anti-ageing, assists with detoxification, provides skin protection, and assists calming of neurological over-excitation (including from over-methylation). These are certainly exciting times for vitamin B3.
NAD Deficiency, Congenital Malformations, and Niacin Supplementation
Vitamin B3 supplements can prevent miscarriages, birth defects: study
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