The addition of Niacin (vitamin B3) to the drinking water given to mice, who were genetically predisposed to having glaucoma, prevented the early signs of the onset of the disease in 93% of cases. Additionally further development of the disease in older mice that already showed the onset of the disease was seen.
Glaucoma is a very common neurodegenerative disease and affects approximately 80 million individuals worldwide. Glaucoma patients usually experience high pressure inside the eye which is very harmful. This increased intraocular pressure causes a loss of neuronal cells that connect the brain and the eye by way of the optic nerve (retinal ganglion cells). Aging is one of the most common risk factors for glaucoma by contributing to the increase in intraocular pressure as well as the loss of neuronal cells causing pressure-induced damage.
Researchers believe the Vitamin B3 increases the metabolic dependability of the retinal ganglion cells as they age keeping them healthier for a longer period of time. By keeping these cells healthier for longer, even if the intraocular pressure increases the cells are better able to resist any type of damage.
Further studies need to be done to further investigate the benefits of Vitamin B3.
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