Researchers in Spain have discovered a way to make mice live longer healthier lives – and suggest the benefits may be shared by humans too.
Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre used a genetic technique to increase production of a derivative from vitamin B3 which holds the key to the antioxidant defences in the body. This derivative increased antioxidant protection in the mice, enabling them to live for longer and in good health.
Eating foods rich in vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) and supplementing with the nutrient may bring the same anti-ageing effects to humans, say the researchers.
Niacin is found in a wide range of foods, including chicken, tuna, pork, peanuts, wholegrains and dried mushrooms. It is proven to support energy production, mental wellbeing, skin health and nervous system function.
A diet high in processed refined foods and poor quality food will be low in B3 and other B-vitamins and antioxidants, leaving the body open to damage from toxins and free radical molecules. Cellular damage contributes to the ageing process as cells are unable to repair and protect themselves. As a consequence, energy production drops and cell functioning declines.
A diet rich in brightly coloured vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, oily fish and organic meats provides a wide spectrum of antioxidant nutrients, B-vitamins and essential fats. Supplementing with B-vitamins and antioxidants can be especially helpful during times of stress or illness as the body’s demand for these nutrients increases. Choosing a good strength B-complex ensures a balanced intake of all the B-vitamins, including B3, and as the latest research shows, could be a vital step towards a longer healthier life!
BBC News: Can Vitamin B3 slow ageing? Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03mvw8d Accessed online 06/07/2016