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Vitamin B3 – Cure for Glaucoma?

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Could Vitamin B3 be a cure for glaucoma? A common question among glaucoma patients is – What more can I do to prevent my condition getting worse? Years of research has already demonstrated that lowering the pressure in the eye slows the progression of the disease. This is achieved through eye drops, laser and surgery. Melbourne’s Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) has now published evidence that supplementation with Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) can also help reduce the progression of glaucoma.

Unfortunately, this research has now raised some important questions:

How much vitamin B3 do I need to take?

How long do I take it for?

Is it beneficial in all types of glaucoma?

What we know so far is:

  • The study has proven some benefit in taking vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) in patients who suffer from glaucoma. The number of participants was 57, which is a small study. The trial will need to be repeated with a much larger number of patients.
  • Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) is not a replacement for your current treatment. It is still recommended that you adhere to your prescribed treatment.

How does Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) work?

Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) is a precursor of NAD+ (this means by consuming nicotinamide your body can produce the substance NAD+). NAD+ is an essential part of energy and metabolism of cells. It is protective of the retinal ganglion cells which are damaged in glaucoma.

The question still remains: is vitamin b3 cure for glaucoma?

Watch this space!

My current recommendations:

  • Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) shows some promise for slowing progression of glaucoma, although further evidence is needed before I recommend patients commence supplementation.
  • Starting supplementation is unlikely to cause harm to the patient. I therefore have no issue with a patient commencing treatment if they feel they can not wait for a larger trial to be conducted.

Find out more from Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA):

Glaucoma vitamin B3 trial

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