Niacinamide – Will It Help My Skin Cancer?
I have read in several different articles that niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is being recommended by some dermatologists to help reduce the risk of skin cancer. The first time I saw it, I skimmed the article but didn’t pay much attention to it. As I started seeing it with more frequency, I thought it may be something I should look into. Is niacinamide a new fad? Or, is it something that may actually reduce someone’s chances of getting skin cancer?
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is not the same thing as niacin. Niacin, which is sometimes prescribed for those with high cholesterol or vitamin B3 deficiency, can have a side effect of flushing, which is a burning, itching, redness, or tingling of the face, arms, or chest. Niacinamide, on the other hand, does not cause flushing.1
My decision to try niacinamide
I ordered a bottle of 240 niacinamide 500 mg capsules from Amazon, for $12.95. The price was very reasonable, but I wondered if it would work. And how would it compare to CBD oil (the legal kind), that I took for awhile to see if it would help with skin cancer? I did have a clear 6-month dermatologist checkup after using CBD oil for several months, but the CBD oil was quite a bit more expensive. After I ran out of my first bottle of it, I went to the CBD store to buy another one and was talked into purchasing a 1,000 mg bottle instead of 500 mg. Unfortunately, the 1,000 mg CBD oil wasn’t kind to my stomach even though I had no side effects from the 500 mg, and I discontinued taking it.
How much niacinamide should you take?
I don’t know exactly how long I’ve been taking niacinamide. The dermatologists’ suggestions I’ve read online are for 1,000 mg a day, by taking two 500 mg capsules a day. After my experience with the 1,000 mg of CBD oil, I decided to start with 500 mg a day (one capsule), but then I forgot to up my dose to two a day. I have finished one bottle and recently started a new bottle, so I’ve been taking it for at least eight months, and I have experienced no side effects from the niacinamide.
My clear skin check
What I have experienced, though, is that for the first time in a very long time (since I was taking CBD oil, actually), I had a six-month checkup at my dermatologist’s office in which I had no areas that needed biopsied or frozen using cryosurgery. My doctor was as thrilled as I was. She said it was the first time in a very long time that I had nothing that needed to be treated. If you’re like me and dread each skin check appointment, you can imagine how good it was to receive this news. And this was from not even taking the full recommended dose of 1,000 mg a day!
A study on niacinamide for skin cancer
So is there something to the effectiveness of fighting skin cancer with niacinamide? According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that in a test group of people taking niacinamide, the risk of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas were significantly reduced, by approximately 23%. That article noted the importance of taking niacinamide continuously, as the benefits are lost once stopped.2
Given the study results, the relatively inexpensive price, and the lack of side effects that can be associated with other medicines or supplements, it may be worth discussing with your dermatologist if niacinamide would be beneficial for you.
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