Help us: Donate
Follow us on:
×

The Effects of Niacin on Alzheimer’s in Mice

Neuronal growth might be tied closely to energy metabolism.

Swimming mouseSwimming mouse
 

A study published in the Annals of Translational Medicine has shown the effects of niacin supplementation on a mouse model of Alzheimer’s and outlined the genes involved.

Niacin’s known effects

Niacin supplementation has been previously researched in its effects on neurological diseases: we have discussed its effects on Parkinson’s and brain cancer, and the related compound NMN has been shown to improve neurovascular coupling.

While dietary interventions have been examined for their potential in treating or preventing Alzheimer’s, such as the Mediterranean diet [1] and a ketogenic diet [2], niacin was not a prominent factor in that research. The researchers also note that most research related to NAD+ focuses on the salvage pathway of NMN and NR rather than the synthesis pathway of niacin.

A well-known transgenic model

To test their approach, the researchers employed six wild-type mice, six transgenic Alzheimer’s-prone mice given niacin supplements in drinking water, and six transgenic Alzheimer’s mice in the control group. All of these mice were 8 months old.

After six months of feeding, the mice were tested with the Morris water maze test, which tests the ability of mice to find and stand on a platform in water. While all the Alzheimer’s-prone mice performed similarly on the first day, the ones given niacin learned more quickly, having latency times more akin to those of wild-type mice.

These results matched the effects on gene expression. As expected of an NAD-related intervention, genes involving RNA and mRNA were affected, but many of the most prominent effects were on neuronal growth, development, and density. Signaling pathways were also affected.

One of the most prominent genes affected was Ctnnb1, a gene that is part of the Wnt signaling pathway. Mutations in this gene, and this pathway, are related to degenerative disorders. While the biology is complicated and the hypothesis is not proven, the researchers tie together this pathway and energy metabolism, which NAD+ has strong effects on. They suggest that energy metabolism, along with a reduction in inflammation and a reduction in amyloid beta, are the means by which niacin affects the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Conclusion

This research was done on a transgenic mouse model, as mice do not normally get Alzheimer’s disease. While specific genes were identified, whether this research can translate to humans is unclear. However, if niacin or another approach focused on NAD+ can affect the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, it will be a welcome gift to a community in desperate need of disease-modifying treatments.

We would like to ask you a small favor. We are a non-profit foundation, and unlike some other organizations, we have no shareholders and no products to sell you. We are committed to responsible journalism, free from commercial or political influence, that allows you to make informed decisions about your future health.

All our news and educational content is free for everyone to read, but it does mean that we rely on the help of people like you. Every contribution, no matter if it’s big or small, supports independent journalism and sustains our future. You can support us by making a donation or in other ways at no cost to you.

CONNECT WITH US AND STAY INFORMED
Please connect with us on social media, like and share our content, and help us build grass-roots support for healthy life extension:
Lifespan.io YouTube
Lifespan.io Facebook
Lifespan.io Twitter
Lifespan.io Instagram
Lifespan.io Instagram
Lifespan.io Discord
Thank You!

Literature

[1] Norwitz, N. G., Saif, N., Ariza, I. E., & Isaacson, R. S. (2021). Precision nutrition for Alzheimer’s prevention in ApoE4 carriers. Nutrients, 13(4), 1362.

[2] Neth, B. J., Mintz, A., Whitlow, C., Jung, Y., Sai, K. S., Register, T. C., … & Craft, S. (2020). Modified ketogenic diet is associated with improved cerebrospinal fluid biomarker profile, cerebral perfusion, and cerebral ketone body uptake in older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease: a pilot study. Neurobiology of aging, 86, 54-63.

CategoryNews, Supplements
About the author
Josh Conway

Josh Conway

Josh is a professional editor and is responsible for editing our articles before they become available to the public as well as moderating our Discord server. He is also a programmer, long-time supporter of anti-aging medicine, and avid player of the strange game called “real life.” Living in the center of the northern prairie, Josh enjoys long bike rides before the blizzards hit.
No Comments
Write a comment:

*

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want the latest longevity news? Subscribe to our Newsletter!