At Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests that nicotinamide (aka niacinamide) can enhance your body’s ability to fight blood cancers. He writes:
According to recent research,1,2 nicotinamide3 (also known as niacinamide), a form of niacin (vitamin B3), enhances natural killer (NK) cells’ ability to defeat blood cancers.
Scientists have previously tried to use infusions of monoclonal antibodies mixed with NK cells as a novel treatment for blood cancers, with limited success. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered that the ability of NK cells to destroy cancer cells can be significantly augmented by pretreating them with niacinamide.
Doing so upregulated a lymphocyte homing molecule called CD26L, which improved the antitumor functions of the NK cells in several ways. Unfortunately, the paper doesn’t specify the dose used to achieve these beneficial effects.
Niacinamide Boosts NK Cells’ Ability to Kill Cancer
As reported by Medical Xpress:4
“‘Allogeneic natural killer cell adoptive transfer has shown the potential to induce remissions in relapsed or refractory leukemias and lymphomas,’ writes Dr. Frank Cichocki and colleagues in the journal.
‘Strategies to enhance natural killer cell survival and function are needed to improve clinical efficacy. We demonstrated that natural killer cells cultured ex vivo with interleukin-15 — IL-15 — and nicotinamide exhibited stable induction of l-selectin, a lymphocyte adhesion molecule important for lymph node homing’ …
In the small preliminary study, Cichocki and collaborators found that nicotinamide not only enhances the activity of natural killer cells but boosts their persistence in the blood and bolsters the capability of these cells not only to hunt down cancer cells, but to handily destroy them.
The combination of nicotinamide-enhanced natural killer cells and monoclonal antibody treatment was safe in 30 patients, including 20 with relapsed or difficult-to-treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Among 19 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 11 demonstrated a complete response and three had a partial response within 28 days of treatment.5 Nicotinamide appears to protect the natural killer cells from oxidative stress, while enhancing their ability to home in on lymph nodes, the team found …
Natural killer cells treated with nicotinamide in the lab also demonstrated an increased ability to generate an inflammatory and toxic response against cancer cells.”
Niacinamide Restores NAD+ Levels
Another mechanism that can help explain how niacinamide improves the anticancer functions of NK cells is that it boosts the NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) level in the cells. As explained in the featured study:6
“Elevated NAD+ in NK cells cultured with NAM [niacinamide] may also account for their enhanced function. Recent work has shown that NAD+ concentrations are low in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes relative to peripheral blood T cells, and NAD+ modulates human T cell function by regulating cellular energy metabolism.
In these studies, reduced NAD+ resulted in attenuated maximal respiratory capacity of mitochondria and concomitant decreases in adenosine 5′-diphosphate (ADP) and ATP.
In agreement with this work, we observed elevated ATP and increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in NK cells cultured with NAM. These metabolic alterations correlated with enhanced natural cytotoxicity, ADCC, and inflammatory cytokine production.”
Read more here.
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