Individuals with a comparatively higher risk of developing skin cancer should be keeping a closer eye on their vitamin B intake, the results of a new study suggest. A trial carried out on a group of patients considered to be more prone to skin cancer than most found that when nicotinamide was taken on a regular basis, the respective individual’s risk of developing the often deadly disease was reduced by up to 23%.
Nicotinamide is an affordable and readily available form of vitamin B3, which in the case of the study was administered in the form of a daily dietary supplement.
“It’s safe, it’s almost obscenely inexpensive and it’s widely available,” wrote the study’s lead author, Diona Damian.
Global spending on cancer drugs broke beyond the $100 billion barrier for the first time in 2014, illustration the importance of seeking more affordable and effective treatment options to ensure patients are not priced out of life-saving treatments. Skin cancer is known to be one of the most widely preventable causes of death in the United States, with much of the population being unaware of the true dangers of UV exposure.
Carried out in Australia, the new study found that the skin cancer risk of each participant fell significantly after the vitamin B supplements were taken for as little as three months. However, when the supplements were withdrawn from the patient’s diet, skin cancer risk once again elevated back to normal levels, suggesting that continuous intake is required for long-lasting benefit.