Discovering Vitamin B and its Anti-aging magic
In 1987 when I became pregnant with my daughter Skylar I was taking the normal Pre-Natal vitamins recommended by my Obstetrician including additional Folic Acid.
While I felt great I noticed that my left eye began to unusually protrude out of its socket.
A quick visit to the Ophthalmologist ruled out all serious ocular concerns but my then wholistic doctor suggested supplementing with more Vitamin B, assuming the condition was stress related. I started a daily dose of 100mg B Complex. My eye quickly returned to normal and needless to say I have been taking daily Vitamin B Complex ever since. When I forget I notice changes in my sleep, my memory, my energy and in my level of adrenal burn out and stress.
Vitamins are molecules that have been scientifically isolated and deemed essential for the correct function of all reactions in our body. While mostly fat soluble, Vitamins B and C are water soluble and therefore easily excreted if over dosed.
There are 8 Vitamin B molecules grouped together as Vitamin B Complex which is what I take so as to be sure I supplement in the correct ratio.
In 1996, after my horrible accident, my functional medicine doctor recommended that I add daily Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalam) to my regimen. Since I was vegetarian and B-12 is normally found in red meat he believed that an oral dose of this red, delicious, magical liquid was essential to my healing. I have been taking one vial of B-12 daily, ever since.
Traditionally Vitamin B-12 is suggested to slow aging, prevent memory loss and Alzheimer's disease, it boosts mood, increases energy, improves concentration and mental function, and builds immunity. It is also used for heart disease, nerve damage, strengthening bones and reducing swollen tendons.
A couple of months ago I recieved yet another Vitamin B alert. I went to see Dr. Bowers for my bi-annual skin check. Years of overdosing on Australian sun lead to the removal and biopsy of 2 small lesions. My Dermatologist of 25 years knows that I am an advocate of alternative medicine and natural cures so I was thrilled when she shared the latest clinical study suggesting that daily supplementation of Nicotinamide (Vitamin B-3) prevents the eruption and growth of skin cancer! WOW.
I immediately went home to study the research. I first came across a study published in Science magazine proving that daily Nicotinamide riboside supplementation in mice improved mitochondrial and stem cell function and extended their life span (Zhang et al. Science 352,1436 ).
This caught my attention, because of my fascination with aging and its prevention; after all I am in the last act of my life!
Nicotinamide is a molecule made naturally in the body but like most essential nutrients it declines as we age. It is a precursor for NAD+ the molecule that prevents DNA damage, promotes DNA repair and is therefore anti-aging. The theory is that taking Nicotinamide will assist your body in making more NAD+. In my experience it is always better to take the molecule that acts as the precursor to essential molecule rather than taking the actual final product. It makes sense as your body is then encouraged to make it naturally.
I have been taking 500mg of Tru Niagen daily for 2 months and after more delving I learned that it is more bioavailable when taken with 100mg of Pterostilbene. While I always have loads of energy I have noticed, better sleep, improved brain function, less fatigue after heavy work and I feel much more relaxed and present. While I have yet to notice a change in my skin I am seeing thicker more lustrous hair. I am sure that my next skin check will reveal those benefits.
I urge you to check with your doctor before adding any supplement and as I continue to monitor the scientific literature for new studies on Nicotinamide riboside and evidence of its benefits, I will not be surprised to find it among the essential vitamins recommended by your doctor in the near future.