Vitamin B3 can help prevent certain types of complex birth defects: Research

Vitamin B3 can help prevent certain types of complex birth defects: Research

An additional dose of vitamin B3 can play a crucial role in preventing certain types of complex birth defects, a new study showed.

Vitamin B3 compensate for defects in the body’s capability to build a molecule, known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which has been linked to healthy fetal development in humans.

Matthew Vander Heiden, who studies role of NAD in cancer biology at MIT Cambridge, said that the discovery raises the possibility that increasing levels of vitamin B3 in women’s diets during pregnancy can help a lot in lowering overall rates of birth defects.

The researchers gave mutant pregnant mice low doses of niacin or nicotinamide (both known together as vitamin B3) and found that it led to pups with severe birth defects. However, a niacin-rich diet let the mutant mice to deliver healthy litters.

However, they stressed that more human studies are required before doctors could recommend vitamin B3 supplements for women during pregnancy.

The findings of the new study published in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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