Scientists from Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital found that vitamin B3 may help improve symptoms in glaucoma.
The research is published in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology and was conducted by Flora Hui et al.
A glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve.
The symptoms can start so slowly that you may not notice them. The only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
There’s no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment can often stop the damage and protect your vision.
Retinal ganglion cells are the bridging neurons that connect the retinal input to the visual processing centers within the central nervous system
Retinal ganglion cells endure strong metabolic stress in glaucoma but maintain the capacity to recover function.
Nicotinamide is a water-soluble form of vitamin B3 or niacin. It is made in the body by eating niacin-rich foods such as fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, eggs, and cereal grains.
Nicotinamide supplements are used to treat skin conditions and niacin deficiencies.
Previous research has found nicotinamide is low in people with glaucoma and its supplementation provides protection to retinal ganglion cells in previous research.
However, whether vitamin B3 could help reduce glaucoma in humans is still unknown.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effects of vitamin B3 on inner retinal function in glaucoma, in people who received glaucoma therapy.
They tested 57 people diagnosed and treated for glaucoma.
These people received an oral placebo or vitamin B3. Participants started at 6 weeks of 1.5 g/day then 6 weeks of 3.0 g/day and then exchanged treatments. The team measured the people’s visual function.
The team found patients’ glaucoma symptoms were strongly improved in participants using vitamin B3 compared to people using a placebo.
The researchers suggest vitamin B3 supplementation could improve inner retinal function in glaucoma.
They suggest further studies need to clarify the effects of long-term vitamin B3 supplementation on glaucoma in humans.
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