A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney claims that the inexpensive Vitamin B could help people which are prone to develop common skin cancer prevent the disease. A certain type of vitamin B can lower the risk of developing skin cancer by 23%.
The study will be presented on May 29 the Oncology Society’s annual meeting in Chicago. However more research is needed in order to say for sure that the supplement is beneficial for the whole population. Until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal the findings will be considered preliminary.
386 participants were involved in the study and all of them had reported two or more skin cancers in the previous five years. The average age of the participants was 66 years and the average of skin cancer cases before the study was eight. One of the subjects was even exposed to 52 skin cancers. The study focused on common forms of skin cancer such as squamous cell cancer and basal cancer. These types are much less deadly than serious types such as melanoma.
Half of the participants involved in the study ingested two vitamin B3 pills daily for one year, whereas the other participants received a placebo. The findings proved that the risk of cancer among individuals who were given vitamin B3 was 23% reduced compared to the participants who had received placebo. However vitamins were effective only in the first three months of treatment.
The main cause of non-melanoma cancer is exposure to ultraviolet radiation which comes from the sun. The radiations destroy the cellular DNA and prevent the skin’s natural immune system from eliminating abnormal cells.
Dr. Peter Paul Yu, president of ASCO and director of cancer research at Palo Alto Medical Foundation said that the vitamin is safe, extremely inexpensive and easy to be found. The research team believes that the findings should be put immediately into practice directly to the clinic. However they mentioned that the vitamin should not be used by everyone, but only by people who are prone to skin cancers.
The price of Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) does not exceed $10 for a month’s supply. After nine months of Nicotinamide treatment the participants in the study showed a decreased risk of developing actinic keratosis, which are patches of skin that anticipate cancer emergence.
Dr. Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski and pharmacologist Steven Stratton of the Skin Cancer Institute (University of Arizona) advise patients to consult their doctor before taking the vitamin.
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