Ray Peat has written extensively on the healing effects of Niacinamide. In this article we will bring together all the quotes we can find about the incredible properties of Niacinamide that Ray Peat has touched on over the years.
“Niacinamide is a nutrient that inhibits the release of fatty acids, and it also activates phagocytic activity and lowers phosphate. It protects against the development of scars in the spinal cord injuries, facilitates recovery from traumatic brain injury, and accelerates healing generally. While it generally supports immunity, it’s protective against autoimmunity. It can cause tumor cells to either mature or disintegrate, but it prolongs the replicate life o cultured cells, and protects against excitotoxicity.
The amounts needed seem large if niacinamide is thought of as “vitamin B3,” but it should be considered as a factor that compensates for our unphysiological exposure to inappropriate fats. Aspirin and vitamin E are other natural substances that are therapeutic in “unnaturally” large amounts because of our continual exposure to the highly unsaturated plant-derived n-3 and n-6 fats.”
“Glucose and niacinamide work very closely with each other, and with thyroid hormone, in the maintenance and repair of cells and tissues. When one of these energy-producing factors is lacking, the changes in cell functions – a sort of pre-inflammatory state – activate corrective processes.”Ray Peat
“Niacinamide, one of the B vitamins, provides energy to the mitochondrial system. Under stress and strong excitation, cells waste niacinamide NADH, but niacinamide itself has a sedative antiexcitatory effect, and some of its actions resemble a hormone. Estrogen tends to interfere with the formation of niacin from tryptophan. Tryptophan, rather than forming the sedative niacin (pyridine carboxylic acid), can be directed toward formation of the excitatory quinolinic acid (pyridine dicarboxylic acid) by polyunsaturated fats. Excitation must be in balance with a cell’s energetic resources, and niacinamide can play multiple protective roles, decreasing excitation, increasing energy production, and stabilizing repair systems. The stat of excitation and type of energy metabolism are crucial factors in governing cell functions and survival.”Ray Peat
“Although this is an ecological problem, it is possible to decrease the damage by avoiding the polyunsaturated fats and the many toxins that synergize with them, while increasing glucose, niacinamide, carbon dioxide, and other factors that support high energy metabolism, including adequate exposure to long wavelength light and avoidance of harmful radiation. As long as the protective factors are present, increased amounts of protective factors such as progesterone, thyroid, sugar, niacinamide, and carbon dioxide can be used therapeutically and preventatively.”Ray Peat
“In some of the publications claiming that resveratrol increases lifespan, it was reported that niacinamide had the opposite effect, suppressing Sir2, the longevity gene, and shortening the organism’s lifespan. To put their claims into context, it’s helpful to look at a variety of experiments involving treatment with niacinamide.
It protects nerves, vascular cells, insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and a variety of other types of cell from cell death produced by lack of oxygen, excitotoxicity, endotoxin, and a variety of stressors and toxins. (Niacinamide acts in many ways as a negation of resveratrol; for example, resveratrol interferes with the ability of the beta cells to secrete insulin [Szkudelski, 2007]).
Niacinamide protects mitochondrial respiration from many of the age-related factors that can damage mitochondria and decrease energy production. Lipopolysaccharide, the bacterial endotoxin, increases the production of the free radical nitric oxide, leading to the secretion of inflammatory mediators and the suppression of energy production by the mitochondria. These effects are blocked by niacinamide (Fukuzawa, et al., 1997). Calorie restriction also protects mitochondrial respiration, in yeasts (Lin, et al., 2002) and rats (Broderick, et al., 2002) The “replicative lifespan” of human cells in vitro is extended by treatment with niacinamide (Kang, et al., 2006).
In an experiment with human keratinocytes in vitro, resveratrol had the opposite effect, reducing their ability to divide (Blander, et al., 2009). By the definitions of “aging” used by the advocates of the rate-of-living theory, this experiment suggests that resveratrol causes premature aging. Estrogen has a similar effect on keratinocytes. Resveratrol, nitric oxide, and estrogen, unlike niacinamide, suppress mitochondrial respiration. Resveratrol inhibits the formation of progesterone (Chen, et al., 2007), which is synthesized in mitochondria.”
“Niacinamide, by reducing lipolysis, would be another antiinflammatory agent that could help to interrupt the degenerative processes initiated by exposure to radiation.”Ray Peat
“The “treatment” for intracellular fatigue consists of normalizing thyroid and steroid metabolism, and eating a diet including fruit juice, milk, some eggs, liver, and gelatin, assuring adequate calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and using supplements of niacinamide, aspirin, and carbon dioxide when necessary.”Ray Peat
“Niacinamide, by lowering free fatty acids and regulating the redox system, supporting sugar oxidation, is useful in the whole spectrum of metabolic degenerative diseases.”Ray Peat
“The same simple metabolic therapies, such as thyroid, progesterone, magnesium, and carbon dioxide, are appropriate for a great range of seemingly different diseases. Other biochemicals, such as adenosine and niacinamide, have more specific protective effects, farther downstream in the “cascade” effects of stress.”Ray Peat
“Thyroid hormone, vitamins A and E, niacinamide (to inhibit systemic lipolysis), magnesium, calcium, progesterone, sugar, saturated fats, and gelatin all contribute in basic ways to prevention of the inflammatory states that eventually lead to the amyloid diseases. The scarcity of degenerative brain disease in high altitude populations is consistent with a protective role for carbon dioxide.”Ray Peat
“Eliminating polyunsaturated fats from the diet is essential if the bystander effect is eventually to be restrained. Aspirin and salicylic acid can block many of the carcinogenic effects of the PUFA. Saturated fats have a variety of antiinflammatory and anticancer actions. Some of those effects are direct, others are the result of blocking the toxic effects of the PUFA. Keeping the stored unsaturated fats from circulating in the blood is helpful, since it takes years to eliminate them from the tissues after the diet has changed. Niacinamide inhibits lipolysis. Avoiding overproduction of lipolytic adrenaline requires adequate thyroid hormone, and the adjustment of the diet to minimize fluctuations of blood sugar.”Ray Peat
“The features of the stress metabolism include increases of stress hormones, lactate, ammonia, free fatty acids, and fat synthesis, and a decrease in carbon dioxide. Factors that lower the stress hormones, increase carbon dioxide, and help to lower the circulating free fatty acids, lactate, and ammonia, include vitamin B1 (to increase CO2 and reduce lactate), niacinamide (to reduce free fatty acids), sugar (to reduce cortisol, adrenaline, and free fatty acids), salt (to lower adrenaline), thyroid hormone (to increase CO2). Vitamins D, K, B6 and biotin are also closely involved with carbon dioxide metabolism. Biotin deficiency can cause aerobic glycolysis with increased fat synthesis (Marshall, et al., 1976).”
“It’s the stored PUFA, released by stress or hunger, that slow metabolism. Niacinamide helps to lower free fatty acids, and good nutrition will allow the liver to slowly detoxify the PUFA, if it isn’t being flooded with large amounts of them. A small amount of coconut oil with each meal will increase the ability to oxidize fat, by momentarily stopping the antithyroid effect of the PUFA. Aspirin is another thing that reduces the stress-related increase of free fatty acids, stimulating metabolism. Taking a thyroid supplement is reasonable until the ratio of saturated fats to PUFA is about 2 to 1.”Ray Peat
“The competition between fatty acids and glucose, which has been called the “Randle cycle” for about 50 years, can be applied to the treatment of diabetes and other degenerative/stress problems by adjusting the diet, or by using supplements such as niacinamide and aspirin, which improve glucose oxidation by lowering the free fatty acids in the serum.”Ray Peat
“Niacinamide, progesterone, sugar, carbon dioxide, and red light protect against both free fatty acids and prostaglandins.”Ray Peat
“Many women with abnormal Pap smears, even with a biopsy showing the so·called “carcinoma in situ,” have returned to normal in just two months with a diet including the following: 90 grams of protein, 500 mg. of magnesium as chloride, 100,000 units of vitamin A, 400 units of vitamin E. 5 mg. folic acid, 100 mg. pantothenic acid, 100 mg. of B6 and niacinamide, and SOD mg. of vitamin C, with progesterone and thyroid as needed. Liver should be eaten once a week, because of its high B-vitamin content. Some of the women apply vitamin A (not carotene) directly to the cervix.”Ray Peat
“Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids from the tissues, and thyroid sustains the oxidation of glucose.”Ray Peat
“Suppressing fatty acid oxidation improves the contraction of the heart muscle and increases the efficiency of oxygen use (Chandler, et al., 2003). Various drugs are being considered for that purpose, but niacinamide is already used to improve heart function, since it lowers the concentration of free fatty acids.”Ray Peat
“In the same way that topical lactate can cause vasodilatation and disturbed energy metabolism (Rnedle, et al., 2001), topical niacinamide, progesterone, vitamin K, and coenzyme Q10 can improve the metabolism and function of the local tissues.”Ray Peat
“The amino acid theanine, found in tea, has been reported to decrease the amount of serotonin in the brain, probably by decreasing its synthesis and increasing its degradation. This seems to be the opposite of the processes in hibernation. Progesterone, thyroid, and niacinamide (not nicotinic acid or inositol hexanicotinate) are other safe substances that help to reduce serotonin formation, and/or accelerate its elimination. (Niacinamide seems to increase serotonin uptake.)”Ray Peat
“The inflammatory factors that can promote cell growth can, with just slight variation, deplete cellular energy to the extent that the cells die from the energetic cost of the repair process, or mutate from defective repairs. Niacinamide can have an “anti-inflammatory” function, preventing death from multiple organ failure, by interrupting the reactions to nitric oxide and peroxynitrile (Cuzzocrea, et al., 1999). The cells’ type, environment, and history determine the different outcomes.”Ray Peat
“Since the blood becomes more concentrated, viscous, and clottable during the night (especially during long winter nights), the risk of a heart attack or stroke would probably be reduced by drinking orange juice before getting out of bed (and at bed-time), to dilute the blood and decrease adrenaline and the free fatty acids, which contribute to the increased tendency to form clots in the morning. (Assanelli, et al., discuss the importance of adrenaline in morning/winter sudden death; Antoniades and Westmoreland show that the availability of glucose can override major promoters of clotting and bleeding.)
Things to reduce the stress-related coagulopathies: Sugar and niacin to minimize the liberation of fatty acids, progesterone and thyroid to protect against estrogen and to avoid hypoglycemia (which increases adrenaline and free fatty acids and accelerates clotting), magnesium and gelatin (or glycine), to protect against intracellular calcium overload and hypoxia, and vitamin E and salicylic acid for antiinflammatory effects, are major nutrients that protect the circulatory system against clotting, bleeding, edema, and tumefaction.”
“Niacinamide, like progesterone, inhibits the production of nitric oxide, and also like progesterone, it improves recovery from brain injury (Hoane, et al., 2008).”Ray Peat
“The foods that nourish the patient well enough to support healing while permitting energy reserves to be built up are also the foods that don’t interfere with the hormones, that don’t cause spurious excitation of the tissues. The polyunsaturated fats directly stimulate the stress hormones, activate the excitatory amino acid signals, and directly excite cells, while the saturated fats have opposite effects, and are anti-inflammatory, and also don’t interfere with mitochondrial function. When we eat more carbohydrate than can be oxidized, some of it will be turned into saturated fats and omega-9 fats, and these will support mitochondrial energy production. Carbohydrates in the diet also help to decrease the mobilization of fatty acids from storage; niacinamide and aspirin support that effect.”Ray Peat
“The same better-late-than-never philosophy can be applied to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other degenerative nerve diseases. Aspirin protects against several kinds of toxicity, including excitotoxicity (glutamate), dopamine toxicity, and oxidative free radical toxicity. Since its effects on the mitochondria are similar to those of thyroid (T3), using both of them might improve brain energy production more than just thyroid. (By activating T3, aspirin can sometimes increase the temperature and pulse rate.) Magnesium, niacinamide, and other nerve protective substances work together.”Ray Peat
The science is clear and Ray Peat has showcased the incredible properties of Niacinamide. He has shown that Niacinamide:
- Lowers Stress
- Supports Regeneration and Restoration
- Lowers Harmful Free Fatty Acids
- Protects Against Scars
- Helps Brain Injuries
- Supports Immunity
- Protects Against Autoimmunity
- Improves Metabolism And Tissue Function
- Protects Nerves
- Repairs Cells And Tissues
- Protects Vascular Cells
- Protects Pancreas
- Protects Mitochondrial Respiration
- Reduces Serotonin Formation and/or Accelerates It’s Elimination
- Reduces Lipolysis
- Protects Against Prostaglandins
- Regulates The Redox System
- Supports Sugar Oxidation
- Inhibits Nitric Oxide
Without a doubt, Niacinamide is an incredible life supporting substance to have in the metabolic toolbox.
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