Take this cheap vitamin to cut your skin cancer risk by 25 per cent 24



View Profile

Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, with that number to continue to rise in coming years. But what if you could cut your skin cancer risk by up to a quarter with a cheap vitamin?

Well, not it seems you might be able to, if a study by the University of Sydney is anything to go by. They found that nicotinamide, a form of B3, reduced skin cancer by 23 per cent.

Researchers analysed 386 patients’ records and discovered the startling connection. The health burden of skin cancer is enormous and with this cheap vitamin, we could be well on our way to keeping ourselves healthier for longer.

The participants were randomly selected to receive either placebo or daily nicotinamide and in the nicotinamide group, the rates of new non-melanoma skin cancer diagnoses were 23 per cent lower compared to the placebo group.

Additionally, the appearance of actinic keratoses, those thick scaly patches that may proceed to cancer, were reduced in the supplement group, as well by 11 per cent at 3 months of treatment and by 20 per cent at nine months.

This was enough for the senior author of the study to say, “This is the first clear evidence that we can reduce skin cancers using a simple vitamin, together with sensible sun protection”.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr Peter Paul Yu, “It’s a cheap vitamin … one could be generous about starting it early if that’s a preference”.

The major cause of non-melanoma skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which damages DNA and suppresses the skin’s immune system.

The effect seemed to begin as early as three months after treatment started, but stopped after the patient stopped taking the vitamin.

The study’s lead author and dermatology professor Diona Damian said it shows a “need to continue taking tablets for them to be effective”.

Professor Damian stressed that easy-to-buy nicotinamide “almost obscenely inexpensive” is not the same as another B vitamin, niacin, which can cause side effects such as headache and low blood pressure.

Regardless, the best prevention of skin cancer is to use sun protection and have skin cancer screenings regularly. So if you have a high risk of skin cancer, vitamin B3 could truly help reduce that risk, putting your mind at ease.


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I have had a myriad of sunspots removed and about 4 BCC’s.The damage is done when you are a child.We need to cover our children.

  2. It’s a really important vitamin which repairs damaged tissue. 25 years ago in NZ a Professor of Peadiatrics at Auckland Uni ran a moderately successful programme with the children of type 1 diabetics who had high levels of islet cell antibodies. He prescribed large doses of vitamin b3 and it got our five year olds levels back to normal for almost six years. So it seems it has other great applications as well. The professor told us b3 had been used for years in the dairy industry because it helped heal cows udders!

  3. Been using this on our kelpie for 5 years on vet advice. His nose was scaly even tho we put zinc on it. No cancer and he’s 13 now! Nose is still scaly though. Apparently a vet study before humans. We had nothing to lose. Xx

  4. I have been taking vitamin B3 for 5 years also gives you energy over 60 should take all the time as we get older we need it

  5. I asked the price of Vitamin B3 at Priceline and was shown a bottle of 60 x 250mg for $26 – I don’t call that “almost obscenely inexpensive” – at 43c each – and if the guidelines are 500gm per day – then 86c/day I call expensive.

    So I’m still looking.

    2 REPLY
    • I think your mistake was in asking. Priceline probably has a dozen different brands of B3 and the sales assistant chose the most expensive. Natures Own have 60 x 500 mg for $10.00.

    • Try Chemist Warehouse for Vitamin Tablets, they are cheaper than Priceline and Chemist’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *