Could the fountain of youth spring from vitamin B3? Compounds derived from the vitamin may help delay the aging process in humans and slow age-related diseases such as diabetes, according to new rodent research.
Usually, when researchers study the effects of antioxidants, they try to boost the content of just one or two enzymes. For this latest research, European scientists kicked up the whole enzyme enchilada and increased the global antioxidant capacity of entire cells.
Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, University of Valencia and IMDEA Food from Madrid increased levels of a simple molecule that’s critical to antioxidant reactions, called Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. The molecule is derived from vitamin B3.
In their rodent trials, an increase in NADPH increased the natural antioxidant defenses of the organism, protecting it from oxidative damage, reducing aging-related processes, such as insulin resistance, and increasing longevity.
"This increased longevity, although modest, is striking taking into account that until now attempts to increase longevity by manipulating individual antioxidant enzymes had failed," Pablo Fernandez-Marcos, from IMDEA Food, told firstpost.com.
The researchers also found that as the mice aged, the ones with high levels of NADPH metabolized sugar better and presented better movement coordination as they ages. In the journal Nature Communications, they conclude that nutritional supplements that increase NADPH levels may be potential tools for delaying aging, and age-related diseases and warrant future study.
Another European rodent study involving B3 conducted last year found that the vitamin may prevent liver cancer in mice.