We usually talk about the vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A or b12 vitamin as some of the most necessary vitamins for humans. But the vitamin world is so complex that there is still much to know about the functions of these micronutrients in the body. Thus, the vitamin B3 enters the scene with a surprising find.
In this sense, a group of researchers from the CIBER on Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CYBERDEM), from the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau) in Barcelona has found that an active form of vitamin B3 acts as a ‘fat burner’ in the body and protects against the development of obesity.
Specifically, we refer to nicotinamide, an active form of vitamin B3 that protects the body against the accumulation of excess fat due to diet.
«The NAD + molecule is very important for the energy metabolism of cells, protecting them from stress derived from adverse conditions such as obesity. The supplementation of the diet with nicotinamide could therefore represent an effective therapeutic strategy ”, assure those responsible for this research work.
And it is that nicotinamide is a natural precursor of the molecule adenine nicotinamide dinucleotide (NAD +); which is found in certain foods and is used as a dietary supplement.
Thus, the researchers explain that the intracellular content of NAD + decreases in the fat of people with obesity and other related diseases, such as diabetes. “The decrease in the content of NAD + has serious consequences on the energy metabolism of these cells, which ends up manifesting itself with an excessive accumulation of fat,” they explain.
In addition, in line with the research, they describe that the nicotinamide intervention increased the levels of NAD + in the fat of mice; which were the object of study.
To be more exact, experts state that the mechanism of action of nicotinamide (vitamin B3) is based on an increase in energy expenditure in treated mice. In this way, the findings could provide new opportunities for nutritional solutions that work for long-term health maintenance.
Vitamin B3 as a ‘fat burner’
This new and illustrative research work starts from the idea that obesity is a disease of adipose adipose tissue and this active form of vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) would intervene mainly in this tissue as a kind of natural ‘fat burner’ causing the formation of adipose tissue Brown.
This fact was verified through an increase in the abundance of UCP1, a protein that dissipates in the form of heat the metabolic energy received from ingestion that would otherwise also be stored in the form of fat.
For this reason, the experts responsible for this analysis clarify that “UCP1 is a protein that is predominantly expressed in brown adipose tissue, whose mission is to regulate body temperature through the generation of heat.”
They then point out that “the administration of nicotinamide (vitamin B3) not only caused a decrease in another adipose tissue, white, it also resulted in the presence of groups of smaller adipose cells, whose appearance resembled that of brown fat, which it made us suspect that the expression of this protein could be increased in white adipose tissue of mice treated with nicotinamide ”.
In short, the active form of vitamin B3 did not cause side effects and in the not too distant future it could be studied in humans, since there is evidence of a high capacity to function as a natural ‘fat burner’.
“Previous experience with therapies that increase NAD + is still limited today, so it is essential to carry out clinical trials to test whether these beneficial effects also occur in patients who have already developed obesity” conclude the researchers.
Foods with vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is a micronutrient belonging to the group of B vitamins and one of its main health functions is to convert the food we eat into energy for the body. It is also essential for the development and function of cells in the body.
Thus, once the possible ‘fat burning’ function of this vitamin is known, we present some of the foods that contain a higher dose among their composition:
- Serrano ham.
In addition, the University of Navarra also highlights the presence of vitamin B3 in foods such as cooked ham, mashed potatoes, seafood, gizzards, partridge, different types of cheese and patés.