According to researchers individuals with a specific type of Parkinson’s disease (PD) may benefit from increasing their intact of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).
Fruit flies that had a mutated form of the gene (PINK1) that usually protects cells from mitochondrial malfunction due to stress were studied by researchers. These flies received food supplemented with niacin. These flies were found to have a reduced number of faulty mitochondria when compared with flies that were fed a regular non supplemented diet. Additionally the niacin prevented the flies from losing existing neurons.
Cells are prevented from clearing out their mitochondria when there are mutations in the PINK1 gene. When these mutated genes are accumulated neurons cannot get enough energy and die. These damaged mitochondria also release toxic molecules that can damage genes encoded with DNA. Researchers concluded “This study strengthens the therapeutic potential for Vitamin B3/niacin-based dietary interventions in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease”. Prior studies have suggested a relationship between high dietary levels of niacin and a reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease exists.
Further research is planned.
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