Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Niacin

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Niacin is a vitamin that repairs and prevents damage to skin cells.

Refer the skin care products containing niacin.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Nicotinic Acid vs. Niacinamide

Nicotinic acid has been clinically proven to affect hyperpigmentation reduction pathways through receptors found within skin.

Conversely, niacinamide has not been shown to have such effects.

Nicotinic acid stimulates mechanisms not stimulated by niacinamide.

Source: NIA 24.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Nicotinic Acid/Niacinamide and The Skin

Nicotinic acid (also generally known as niacin) and niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide) are similarly effective as a vitamin because they can be converted into each other within the organism.

The blanket term vitamin B(3) is used for both.

Niacinamide is a component of important coenzymes involved in hydrogen transfer.

Here, the two codehydrogenases, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) are of central importance.

Topical application of niacinamide has a stabilizing effect on epidermal barrier function, seen as a reduction in transepidermal water loss and an improvement in the moisture content of the horny layer.

Niacinamide leads to an increase in protein synthesis (e.g. keratin), has a stimulating effect on ceramide synthesis, speeds up the differentiation of keratinocytes, and raises intracellular NADP levels.

In ageing skin, topical application of niacinamide improves the surface structure, smoothes out wrinkles and inhibits photocarcinogenesis.

It is possible to demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects in acne, rosacea and nitrogen mustard-induced irritation.

Because of its verifiable beneficial effects, niacinamide would be a suitable component in cosmetic products for use in disorders of epidermal barrier function, for aging skin, for improving pigmentary disorders [hyperpigmentation /hypopigmentation] and for use on skin prone to acne.

Hautklinik am Klinikum der Stadt Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Gehring W.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Topical Niacinamide Reduces Yellowing, Wrinkling, Red Blotchiness and Hyperpigmented Spots in Aging Facial Skin

Previous clinical testing of topical niacinamide (vitamin B3) has revealed a broad array of improvements in the appearance of aging facial skin.

The study reported here was done to confirm some of those previous observations and to evaluate additional end points such as skin anti-yellowing.

Caucasian female subjects (n = 50, aged 40—60 years) participated in a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, split-face, left—right randomized clinical study assessing two topical products: moisturizer control product versus the same moisturizer product containing 5% niacinamide.

Niacinamide was well tolerated by the skin and provided significant improvements versus control in end points evaluated previously: fine lines/wrinkles, hyperpigmentation spots, texture, and red blotchiness.

In addition, skin yellowing (sallowness) versus control was significantly improved. The mechanism by which this array of benefits is achieved with niacinamide is discussed.

International Journal of Cosmetic Science 26 (5) , 231—238 doi:10.1111/j.1467-2494.2004.00228.x.

D. L. Bissett, K. Miyamoto, P. Sun, J. Li, C. A. Berge (2004).

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Mechanisms of Action of Nicotinamide and Zinc in Inflammatory Skin Disease

Nicotinamide (niacinamide), a physiologically active form of niacin (nicotinic acid), in combination with zinc is being assessed in clinical studies for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases such as acne vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid.

The basis for these investigations is the variety of potential mechanisms of action of nicotinamide and zinc, including an anti-inflammatory effect via inhibition of leukocyte chemotaxis, lysosomal enzyme release, lymphocytic transformation, mast cell degranulation, bacteriostatic effect against Propionibacterium acnes, inhibition of vasoactive amines, preservation of intracellular coenzyme homeostasis, and decreased sebum production.

Other possible mechanisms involve suppression of vascular permeability and inflammatory cell accumulation, as well as protection against DNA damage.

The goal of this paper is to review the pathophysiology of inflammatory skin diseases and discuss the role, mechanisms of action, and safety of nicotinamide and zinc as therapeutic options for these disorders.

Cutis. 2006 Jan;77(1 Suppl):5-10.

Fivenson DP.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Niacin Restriction Upregulates NADPH Oxidase and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in Human Keratinocytes

NAD(+) is a substrate for many enzymes, including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases and sirtuins, which are involved in fundamental cellular processes including DNA repair, stress responses, signaling, transcription, apoptosis, metabolism, differentiation, chromatin structure, and life span.

Because these molecular processes are important early in cancer development, we developed a model to identify critical NAD-dependent pathways potentially important in early skin carcinogenesis.

Removal of niacin from the cell culture medium allowed control of intracellular NAD.

Unlike many nonimmortalized human cells, HaCaT keratinocytes, which are immortalized and have a mutant p53 and aberrant NF-kB activity, become severely NAD depleted but divide indefinitely under these conditions.

Niacin-deficient HaCaTs develop a decreased growth rate due to an increase in apoptotic cells and an arrest in the G(2)/M phase of the cell cycle.

Long-term survival mechanisms in niacin-deficient HaCats involve accumulation of reactive oxygen species and increased DNA damage.

These alterations result, at least in part, from increased expression and activity of NADPH oxidase, whose downstream effects can be reversed by nicotinamide or NADPH oxidase inhibitors.

Our data support the hypothesis that glutamine is a likely alternative energy source during niacin deficiency and we suggest a model for NADPH generation important in ROS production.

Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.

Benavente CA, Jacobson EL.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Nicotinamide Extends Replicative Lifespan of Human Cells

We found that an ongoing application of nicotinamide to normal human fibroblasts not only attenuated expression of the aging phenotype but also increased their replicative lifespan, causing a greater than 1.6-fold increase in the number of population doublings.

Although nicotinamide by itself does not act as an antioxidant, the cells cultured in the presence of nicotinamide exhibited reduced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative damage products associated with cellular senescence, and a decelerated telomere shortening rate without a detectable increase in telomerase activity.

Furthermore, in the treated cells growing beyond the original Hayflick limit, the levels of p53, p21WAF1, and phospho-Rb proteins were similar to those in actively proliferating cells.

The nicotinamide treatment caused a decrease in ATP levels, which was stably maintained until the delayed senescence point.

Nicotinamide-treated cells also maintained high mitochondrial membrane potential but a lower respiration rate and superoxide anion level.

Taken together, in contrast to its demonstrated pro-aging effect in yeast, nicotinamide extends the lifespan of human fibroblasts, possibly through reduction in mitochondrial activity and ROS production.

Department of Life Science, University of Seoul, Dongdaemungu, Jeonnongdong, Seoul, Korea.

Kang HT, Lee HI, Hwang ES.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

NAD in Skin: Therapeutic Approaches for Niacin

The maintenance and regulation of cellular NAD(P)(H) content and its influence on cell function involves many metabolic pathways, some of which remain poorly understood.

Niacin deficiency in humans, which leads to low NAD status, causes sun sensitivity in skin, indicative of deficiencies in responding to UV damage.

Animal models of niacin deficiency demonstrate genomic instability and increased cancer development in sensitive tissues including skin.

Cell culture models of niacin deficiency have allowed the identification of NAD-dependent signaling events critical in early skin carcinogenesis.

Niacin restriction in immortalized keratinocytes leads to an increased expression and activity of NADPH oxidase resulting in an accumulation of ROS, providing a potential survival mechanism as has been shown to occur in cancer cells.

Niacin deficient keratinocytes are more sensitive to photodamage, as both poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases and sirtuins are inhibited by the unavailability of their substrate, NAD+, leading to unrepaired DNA damage upon photodamage and a subsequent increase in cell death.

Furthermore, the identification of the nicotinic acid receptor in human skin keratinocytes provides a further link to niacin's role as a potential skin cancer prevention agent and suggests the nicotinic acid receptor as a potential target for skin cancer prevention agents.

The new roles for niacin as a modulator of differentiation and photo-immune suppression and niacin status as a critical resistance factor for UV damaged skin cells are reviewed here.

Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Pharmacy and Arizona Cancer Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.

Benavente CA, Jacobson MK, Jacobson EL.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Niacin and Carcinogenesis

The dietary status of niacin (vitamin B3) has the potential to influence DNA repair, genomic stability, and the immune system, eventually having an impact on cancer risk, as well as the side effects of chemotherapy in the cancer patient.

In addition to its well-known redox functions in energy metabolism, niacin, in the form of NAD, participates in a wide variety of ADP-ribosylation reactions.

Poly(ADP-ribose) is a negatively charged polymer synthesized, predominantly on nuclear proteins, by at least seven different enzymes.

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is responsible for the majority of polymer synthesis and plays important roles in DNA damage responses, including repair, maintenance of genomic stability, and signaling events for stress responses such as apoptosis.

NAD is also used in the synthesis of mono(ADP-ribose), often on G proteins, with poorly understood roles in signal transduction.

Last, NAD and NADP are required for the synthesis of cyclic ADP-ribose and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NAADP), two mediators of intracellular calcium signaling pathways.

Disruption of any of these processes has the potential to impair genomic stability and deregulate cell division, leading to enhanced cancer risk.

There are various sources of evidence that niacin status does have an impact on cancer risk, including animal models of leukemogenesis and skin cancer, as well as epidemiological data from human populations.

Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Kirkland JB.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Protective Effects of B Vitamins and Antioxidants on the Risk of Arsenic-Related Skin Lesions in Bangladesh


An estimated 25-40 million of the 127 million people of Bangladesh have been exposed to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic from drinking groundwater.

The mitigating effects of diet on arsenic-related premalignant skin lesions are largely unknown.


The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of the vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, and cobalamin) and antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E) on arsenic-related skin lesions.


We performed a cross-sectional study using baseline data from the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS), 2000-2002, with individual-level, time-weighted measures of arsenic exposure from drinking water.

A total of 14,828 individuals meeting a set of eligibility criteria were identified among 65,876 users of all 5,996 tube wells in the 25-km(2) area of Araihazar, Bangladesh; 11,746 were recruited into the study.

This analysis is based on 10,628 subjects (90.5%) with nonmissing dietary data.

Skin lesions were identified according to a structured clinical protocol during screening and confirmed with further clinical review.


Riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and E significantly modified risk of arsenic-related skin lesions.

The deleterious effect of ingested arsenic, at a given exposure level, was significantly reduced (ranging from 46% reduction for pyridoxine to 68% for vitamin C) for persons in the highest quintiles of vitamin intake.


Intakes of B-vitamins and antioxidants, at doses greater than the current recommended daily amounts for the country, may reduce the risk of arsenic-related skin lesions in Bangladesh.

Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Zablotska LB, Chen Y, Graziano JH, Parvez F, van Geen A, Howe GR, Ahsan H.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Impaired Flush Response to Niacin Skin Patch among Schizophrenia Patients and their Nonpsychotic Relatives: The Effect of Genetic Loading

We previously reported familial aggregation in flush response to niacin skin patch among schizophrenia patients and their nonpsychotic relatives.

However, little is known about whether this abnormal skin response is associated with genetic loading for schizophrenia.

This study compared the niacin flush response in subjects from families with only one member affected with schizophrenia (simplex families) with those from families having a sib-pair with schizophrenia (multiplex families).

Subjects were patients with schizophrenia and their nonpsychotic first-degree relatives from simplex families (176 probands, 260 parents, and 80 siblings) and multiplex families (311 probands, 180 parents, and 52 siblings) as well as 94 healthy controls.

Niacin patches of 3 concentrations (0.001M, 0.01M, and 0.1M) were applied to forearm skin, and the flush response was rated at 5, 10, and 15 minutes, respectively, with a 4-point scale.

More attenuated flush response to topical niacin was shown in schizophrenia probands and their relatives from multiplex families than in their counterparts from simplex families, and the differentiation was better revealed using 0.1M concentration of niacin than 0.01M or 0.001M.

For the highest concentration of 0.1M and the longest time lag of 15 minutes, a subgroup of probands (23%), parents (27%), and siblings (19%) still exhibited nonflush response.

Flush response to niacin skin patch is more impaired in schizophrenia patients and their relatives from families with higher genetic loading for schizophrenia, and this finding has implications for future genetic dissection of schizophrenia.

Ju Shan Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Chang SS, Liu CM, Lin SH, Hwu HG, Hwang TJ, Liu SK, Hsieh MH, Guo SC, Chen WJ.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Niacin Skin Test Response in Dyslexia

The niacin skin test reflects a flush and oedema owing to the production of prostaglandin D2 from arachidonic acid.

A diminished response may indicate abnormalities in the phospholipid metabolism, which has been shown in schizophrenia.

There is evidence that dyslexia might also involve phospholipid abnormalities, therefore we examined the skin response in 51 dyslexics and 45 controls.

Four concentrations of aqueous methyl nicotinate were applied topically to the forearm.

Flushing was rated using a seven-point scale at 3 min intervals over 21 min.

Repeated measures ANOVA for the four concentrations across all seven time-points showed no significant effect of subject group, but when analyses were confined to the first 9 min, flushing was reduced in dyslexics.

Significant group differences were also found for the lowest niacin concentration (0.0001M) across six out of seven time-points.

The results indicate a slightly reduced and delayed response to niacin in dyslexia.

Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Sherrington Building, Oxford, UK.

Cyhlarova E, Montgomery P, Ross MA, Richardson AJ.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Nicotinic Acid: An Unjustly Neglected Remedy

In human organism, the administration of nicotinic acid (niacin) leads to two types of effects.

Within the physiological range (approximately = 20 mg/day), niacin has a vitamin-like role as pellagra preventing factor.

The pharmacological dosage (approximately 0,5-4,5 g/day) substantially influences the plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations: decreases VLDL and LDL concentrations, changes the profile of LDL subfractions towards the larger particles as well as particles with lower density; it also profoundly increases the concentration of HDL-C in consequence of elevated concentration of HDL2 subfraction.

Niacin as the only hypolipidemic drug [which] reduces the lipoprotein(a) concentration.

The hypolipidemic mechanism of niacin is different from that of other hypolipidemic drugs.

On the basis of clinically controlled trials (both interventional epidemiological and angiographical), which satisfy the criteria of evidence-based medicine, it is possible to conclude that niacin falls unambiguously into the class of hypolipidemic drugs with proven beneficial effect not only on cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, but also on total mortality.

Therefore, niacin should have an indisputable role in the pharmacological control of dyslipidemias.

With the respect of basic mechanism (inhibition of the lipolysis of adipose tissue) with subsequent decrease in the concentration of free fatty acids and their flux to liver, niacin fulfils the criteria for pathogenetic treatment of atherogenic dyslipidemia in metabolic syndrome.

The prerequisite condition for the niacin treatment is the respect for serious adverse effects and possible health hazards of administration (skin flush, hepatotoxicity and deterioration of glucose homeostasis).

Recently discovered extrahypolipidemic effects of niacin (antioxidative activity, facilitation of reverse cholesterol transport, activation of PPAR-gamma, antithrombotic effects) and the introduction of drug forms with sustained (extended resp.) release of active compound (that minimizes the adverse effects and administration hazards) form together the basis for [the] firm statement that the derivatives of nicotinic acid should be introduced to the clinical practice in Czech Republic.

IV. interní klinika 1. LF UK a VFN, Praha.

Zák A, Zeman M, Vecka M, Tvrzická E.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A Pilot Study Evaluating The Efficacy of Topically Applied Niacin Derivatives for Treatment of Female Pattern Alopecia


Female pattern alopecia is a common dermatologic condition that manifests after puberty. The only approved drug treatment for this condition is 2% minoxidil for topical application.


This pilot study examined the effect of topical application of two niacin derivatives, octyl nicotinate and tetradecyl nicotinate, on hair fullness in female alopecia.


Sixty female subjects with Ludwig types I-III female pattern hair loss were evaluated in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled (40 active, 20 placebo) design using standardized 35-mm photographic analyses for assessment of efficacy after 6 months of application.


The niacin derivatives demonstrated a statistically significant increase in hair fullness (P = 0.04 compared to the placebo).


Whereas evaluation of hair growth in women is challenging, this 6-month pilot study demonstrated statistically significant increase in hair fullness on blinded 35-mm photographic analysis. Long-term topical application of nicotinic acid derivatives offers promise for providing benefit in female alopecia and warrants further study.

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 4(4):258-261, December 2005.

Draelos, Zoe Diana 1; Jacobson, Elaine L. 2,3; Kim, Hyuntae 2; Kim, Moonsun 2; Jacobson, Myron K 2,3

Saturday, 4 July 2009



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Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Extract




Salicylic Acid

Capryloyl Salicylic Acid

Open Pores




Ascorbyl Palmitate

Kojic Acid

Algorithm for Optimal Sustained Exfoliation: Glycolic Acid

Comparison of 33 Sunscreens