New skin cancer prevention method discovered

05 Nov 2020

Research presented at the 29th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress has indicated that a form of vitamin B3 may have the ability to protect skin cells from the effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure.

Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers which were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB.

Results indicated that pre-treatment with 25µM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage.

NAM was also shown to enhance DNA repair, decrease antioxidant expression and reduce iNOS protein expression.

Lara Camillo, a research student from the Dermatological Unit of AOU Maggiore della Carità, commented, “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”

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