Dr Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert

As we get older, frequent sun exposure will bring out multiple actinic keratoses, which are pre-cancerous skin lesions. Then cancers develop, both squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas.

Now a study from Australia is showing that Vitamin B3, or nicotinamide, can help to prevent skin cancers.

From the Australian study:

     If you have a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, a simple dietary supplement strategy may be able to help prevent future cases.  Taking 500 mg of nicotinamide (a form of vitamin B3) twice a day cut the occurrence of basal cell and squamous cell  carcinomas by 23 percent among 386 Australians who already had had at least two of these skin cancers during the previous five years.

The average number of earlier skin cancers among study participants was eight, although one patient reported 52 cases. These were all common forms of skin cancer and curable with surgery, which can result in scarring.

In addition to this, sun blocks of at least 40 spf, frequently applied as necessary, and physical sun blocks, like hats and long-sleeved shirts, are also important in skin cancer prevention. The best sun block I have found is DNA Control Sun Block from Neova, which has the added benefit of repairing damaged DNA and preventing further DNA damage.

Study participants who were randomly assigned to take daily B3 averaged 1.77 new cancers during the yearlong study, compared with 2.42 cases among participants who received a placebo. The patients who took B3 also had fewer cases of actinic keratosis, skin thickenings that can become malignant.

Lead researcher Diona Damian said the protective effects of B3 didn't continue after people stopped taking it. She noted that nicotinamide doesn't lead to headache and the other side effects of niacin, another form of B3. At a news conference to discuss the findings Dr. Damian emphasized that B3 therapy is appropriate only for people with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer.


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