Anti-aging vitamin keeps diabetics healthy
Supplementation with nicotinamide-riboside not only delays aging processes. According to an animal study that biochemists at the university of Iowa published in Scientific Reports, nicotinamide-riboside also helps diabetics to stay healthy. The vitamin prevents damage to the liver and nerve pathways.
Diabetes, nervous system & nicotinamide-riboside
In people with diabetes, the amount of glucose in the body can reach dangerously high levels. As a result, the liver becomes fatty and nerves can die. Damage to nerve pathways can lead to loss of feeling in limbs in diabetics.
At cell level, nicotinamide-riboside has exactly the opposite effect to that of diabetes. The vitamin B3 analogue imitates the effect of caloric restriction. That's why the researchers decided to perform an animal study to see whether nicotinamide-riboside can reduce the impact on health of diabetes.
The researchers performed experiments with three groups of mice. One group was given standard feed and was healthy [NC]. Another group got feed with added fat so that they gained weight and entered an early stage of diabetes type 2 [HFD]. Yet another group of mice was given not only high-fat feed, but also injections to stop the secretion of insulin [HFD+STZ]. The mice in the latter group therefore developed full-blown diabetes type 2.
In all groups, half of the animals were given feed that had had a large amount of nicotinamide-riboside added to it. One kilogram of feed contained 3 g nicotinamide-riboside HCl. People who experiment with nicotinamide-riboside usually use doses of several hundred milligrams per day.
The figure on the left below shows that nicotinamide-riboside reduced bodyweight in the overweight and diabetic mice. The figure on the right below shows that the supplement protected the liver from becoming fatty. The animals had fewer fat deposits in their liver.
The two figures above show partially how nicotinamide-riboside protects against diabetes. The supplement reduces glucose levels, probably by strengthening or imitating the effect of insulin in cells.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, and this also happened to the mice in the study. When the researchers sent electrical pulses through the nerve pathways of the overweight and diabetic mice, they observed that the transmission speed of nerves that send signals to muscles [MNCV] and along sensory nerve pathways had slowed down. That is an indication of damage. Administration of nicotinamide-riboside prevented that damage.
The researchers think that nicotinamide-riboside not only protects nerves by improving the insulin balance, but also because the substance itself protects nerve cells and helps them to function better.
"We have successfully addressed mouse models of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes with the naturally occurring vitamin nicotinamide riboside," research leader Charles Brenner said of the study in a press release. [sciencedaily.com May 27, 2016] "What we have seen to date in mice justifies clinical testing of nicotinamide riboside in overweight adults and adults with diabetes."
The study was funded by the American government and diabetics' organisations. Research leader Brenner has a patent in his name for the production of nicotinamide-riboside using yeast. [US8114626 B2] ChromaDex, a manufacturer of nicotinamide-riboside, uses the technology. Brenner is also on the payroll of ChromaDex.
Sci Rep. 2016 May 27;6:26933.
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