Could Vitamin B-3 Help To Prevent Melanoma?

In a new review, researchers claim that nicotinamide may have the potential to prevent melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - and they say that it should be tested for this purpose in clinical trials.

Nicotinamide, also referred to as niacinamide, is a form of vitamin B-3, or niacin. It is present in a variety of foods, including milk, eggs, fish, green vegetables, and lean meats. It is also available as a dietary supplement.


Nicotinamide is already recognized as an effective cholesterol-lowering medication, and it is also used for the prevention and treatment of pellagra, which is a disease caused by niacin deficiency.

The new review - conducted by Prof. Gary Halliday, of the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues - suggests that nicotinamide could also help to prevent melanoma, particularly in people who are at high risk of the disease.

Prof. Halliday and his team recently reported their findings in the journal Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes. These are skin cells that produce a pigment called melanin, which works to protect the deeper skin layers against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be 87,110 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States this year, and around 9,730 people will die from the disease.

Exposure to UV radiation is considered a key risk factor for melanoma; it damages the DNA in skin cells. This DNA damage can cause the skin cells to grow out of control, which may lead to cancer.