Can a common vitamin prevent sun damage?

Can a common vitamin prevent sun damage?


There are lots of benefits to getting outdoors and getting some sun.

In the morning, the light of the sun can help you feel wide awake.

The sun can also make you feel more energized.  And it can improve your mood, making you feel happier.

Beyond that, the sun can have beneficial health effects.

It can stimulate your body to produce vitamin D.

Plus, it can also give you a big dose of red and infrared light, which have numerous beneficial health effects.

But excess sun exposure can cause sunburn.

Sunburn is not only painful in the short term, but can also be a factor in diseases that take years to develop,  like skin cancer.

So it’s good to get some sun, but also important to protect yourself.

Usually, this means wearing protective clothing, sunglasses, hats, and using sunscreen.

But could certain vitamins also play a protective role against the sun’s damaging traits?

The emerging answer seems to be yes.

One such vitamin is Niacinamide.  Niacinamide is in the class of B vitamins.

It is a form of vitamin B3, which is also sometimes called nicotinamide.

We know that niacinamide is necessary for skin health.

But research also found that it protects against UV radiation in rats.

So, some scientists decided to find out if it had similar UV protective effects in humans.

In this study, researchers sprayed niacinamide onto volunteer’s skin. Then, they exposed the skin to some UV light.

After exposure, scientists measured immune responses in the skin.

Now, people normally have a reaction from their immune system when exposed to UV light.

You can use this reaction to measure the damage that would occur from UV light, such as the sun.

It turns out that niacinamide does protect human skin from UV damage.

The researchers concluded that niacinamide would be a useful additive to sunscreens. 

And it also could be used as sunscreen itself.

In fact, niacinamide was even more effective at blocking a certain type of UV light (UVA) than standard sunscreens.

Nicotinamide cooperated with enzymes involved in cellular energy metabolism, and significantly protected against immunosuppression caused by UVB, longwave UVA and single and repeated UV exposures.

So, niacinamide can protect against the sun when applied directly to the skin.

But could niacinamide from food or dietary supplements also protect the skin?

Another study looked at this question.

In this study, they gave people a supplementary niacinamide for one week, and then tested their response to UV Light.

The researchers found that niacinamide again protected against the UV light.

It even worked when taken as a vitamin, and not applied directly to the skin!

Oral nicotinamide, at doses of either 1500 or 500 mg daily, was well tolerated and significantly reduced UV immunosuppression with no immune effects in unirradiated skin.

So, niacinamide seems to be a pretty good protector of the skin!

Imagine being able to use vitamins to prevent skin cancer!

How can you apply these results in your own life?

First, you can add a niacinamide supplement to any vitamins you may be taking.

Also, you could look for a sunscreen that contains niacinamide as an ingredient.

You can also dissolve some niacinamide in water, and apply it to the skin before or after sun exposure.

Along with protective clothing and sunscreen, niacinamide can help protect your skin from sun damage.

 

 


Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.
Topical nicotinamide modulates cellular energy metabolism and provides broad-spectrum protection against ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression in humans. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19804594 

Oral nicotinamide protects against ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression in humans.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19028705

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